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4 Essential Project Management Skills for the Modern World of Work

August 3, 2018 | By Greg Bailey

In the modern world of digital technology – where the cloud, Big Data, and mobile devices are changing what’s possible – even the best project managers find their powers significantly restricted by inferior technology. On the other hand, the right tools can elevate them to new levels.

In this blog post, we will outline four essential project management skills that are required for success in the modern workplace and how technology can help.

The four skills are:

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Planning
  • Communication

We believe resource management is integral to each of these skills, making it a crucial aspect of the success or failure of any project. Resource management is the management of people, equipment, and budget – and it contributes significantly to how a project will turn out. Therefore, as we discuss these four key skills, we will focus on how they can help project managers stay on top of their resources at all times.

Four essential project management skills

Let’s look at four essential project management skills that project managers need in the modern world of work:

1. Leadership

With so many moving pieces and so much at stake, every team needs a leader to weigh the options and make the tough decisions. Almost by definition, a project manager is a leader and therefore requires strong leadership qualities to be successful in the job. Whether it’s making tough decisions about resource allocation or keeping a cool head when reacting to unexpected obstacles mid-project, leadership skills of a project manager are incredibly important.

The influence of technology in this area: You can be an intelligent leader, motivate and inspire the team, and always remain calm under pressure. But without 100% visibility over your resources, it can be difficult to stay on top of a project. Many popular PPM tools do not offer viable options for resource management, forcing project managers to use outdated applications. These tools don’t provide the visibility required to get to grips with resource data to help great leaders lead from the front effectively.

2. Time management

Getting projects completed on time is of the key project management skills. Being able to schedule your resources so that tasks are completed on time is therefore fundamental. Great project managers must be able to manage their own time as well as the time of every member of their team. Priorities, schedules, and timelines help project managers deliver on time.

The influence of technology in this area: Optimizing resource allocation by ensuring the right tasks are allocated to the right people is vital to ensuring time isn’t wasted. Timesheets are a project manager’s best friend in achieving this goal. Using technology to input timesheet data which can be easily analyzed alongside resource data can really help a project manager boost the efficiency of their teams.

3. Planning

Looking at the big picture of a project is critical for project management. A project manager needs to be able to plan for all outcomes and eventualities in advance so that they can figure out the best path forward. As such, planning is one of the primary project manager skills businesses need to deal with unforeseen circumstances and achieve success.

The influence of technology in this area: There are innovative solutions on the market offering next-level planning capabilities. For instance, real-time modelling and reporting allow project managers to move resources around in real-time and see the impact of their decisions on resource allocation. Also, what-if analysis is a powerful tool that can help you test possible scenarios in a risk-free environment, so that you are prepared for all eventualities.

4. Communication

Everyone needs to be clear about their roles and objectives in the organization or company. People need to know what jobs they have been allocated and the timeframes they need to follow. Also, key stakeholders at the board level, or in the project management office (PMO), need to be updated on all resource and project data so that they can provide initial sign-off and then, post-project, measure success.

The influence of technology in this area:research paper from the Project Management Institute indicated that 90% of a project manager’s time is spent communicating effectively with their team. With modern day trends for remote, flexible, and home-working stretching teams across the globe, professional communication is as important as ever. Project manager technical skills are also necessary in today’s modern world. Cloud technology that allows everyone to access important information anytime, anywhere, and on any device is not only useful- it’s vital to the development of businesses. Visual models and reports (which can easily be shared or attached in emails) make it easy for everyone to understand project progress. Technology also allows managers to learn new information regarding operations, create alternative approaches if necessary, and set flexible terms and goals for business objectives.

The right tools can make all the difference

Whether you’re a project management rookie looking after a small team or a seasoned-veteran managing multiple projects across the world, Tempus Resource can enhance your abilities in these four essential project management skill areas. Even the most skilled practitioners in the art of resource management need the right tools to help them achieve their goals and reach even greater heights. With us, you can take your project management skills from good to great.

Tempus Resources is the perfect tool for resource management in the modern world of work. It’s a sophisticated and powerful piece of resource management software that:

  • Provides real-time reporting
  • Makes it easy to input or import resource data
  • Integrates with all major PPM tools
  • Offers sophisticated resource modeling and forecasting
  • Can elevate a project manager’s powers with what-if analysis

To find out more about resource management, Tempus Resource, or these four essential project management skills, get in touch with the  ProSymmetry team today.

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