Essential Project Management Skills For Those Starting Out

Paul Naybour

When it comes to becoming a project manager, there are several challenges that one must take to keep each project on track as well as within the budget. Moreover, there are several factors that need to be considered. There are also internal and external elements that must be checked as these elements can actually cause a project to derail. However, by taking several precautions, having the right training and developing the essential project management skills, and formulating an excellent plan of approach, a project manager can definitely lead his or her project to success.

Learn the Art of Proper Planning

Proper planning is a key in project management. This will involve full investigation of any situation at hand. After careful analysis and investigation, you can now move on to developing possible solutions and the right plan.While there are instances when projects fail, as a project manager, one should be able to describe these projects. Moreover, one should not focus on the failure itself but on how one overcame such adverse situation. In addition, a project manager should also focus on the lessons acquired from such events. These lessons will eventually prevent the same situation from happening again.
There may be training courses that will help project managers learn the art of planning. These courses will help. However, experiences in the field are also helpful in planning. With experiences, one can determine the best planning approach for certain situations and the possible outcome from using such approach.

Managing the Project’s Budget

A project manager should also learn how to manage a project’s budget. A project manager’s top priority is ensuring the overall success of a project. However, if the project goes over its budget, this will not be considered a success even when the project is delivered on time and the project meets the needs of the clients. This is the reason why project managers need to meticulously manage their budgets.In learning this aspect in project management, there are various strategies that will help project managers maintain control of their project budget and prevent instances involving massive cost overruns. These are some of the strategies involved managing a project budget:

  1. Continually Forecast the Project Budget. Frequent budget oversight will prevent the project from getting too far out of hand.
  2. Regularly Forecast Usage of Resources. Just like the need to constantly revisit the project budget to keep it on track, the resource usage should also be treated similarly. The people who are working on the project will also contribute to its cost.
  3. Keeping the Team Informed. Keeping the project team informed of the budget forecast will empower the team to own the project. They will likely watch out project charges and expenses.

Negotiating with Customers

Project managers should understand the dynamics that will play in their career. Basically, such dynamics will involve the customer, the team and the organization. Every decision that is made in behalf of any of these entities will actually impact the other entities. Moreover, the success of the project manager will depend on how well he or she can actually balance the expectations of these three entities.When a project manager knows this, he or she can readily spot the problems and formulate the appropriate solutions. Completely understanding who the customer is and the goals that they are trying to accomplish will enable the project manager to quickly determine the gaps when it comes to the scope, schedules and resources in the project.
Lending a Project TeamProjects are a team effort. A project manager should seek help when he or she needs it. Moreover, the project manager should also give help whenever it is needed. A project manager should learn how to leverage the skills of the members of his or her project team. This way, the team can actually come up with the best solution to any problem at hand.It is also be best to get to know the project team. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of the team members can help maximize their tasks in making the project a successful one. When problem arises, a project manager should gather his or her team to brainstorm and determine the best solution possible.

Managing Contracts

A project manager should also learn how to manage contracts. Recently, there are more complex projects that are appearing. At the same time, the user requirements of projects have become more complex and difficult to define. Thus, project managers should have the ability to develop and manage contracts. This aspect has become an important factor in project management.Project managers should understand the importance of an effective contract and the key legal concepts involved in contracts as well as contractual relationships. Moreover, they should also understand the steps that need to be taken in pre-awarding of a contract and during the awarding of the contract. Lastly, project managers should understand the key activities that need to be carried out in the effective delivery of a contract.


Reporting is another skill that a project manager must master. When it comes to reporting, the project manager must know the basics on what to report on specific project types. Reporting is a factor under th communication aspect of a project. With proper reporting, the right information will be disseminated and an open communication between the customers, the team and the organization is ensured.

Managing Risks

Project management will always involve some risks. A project manager should learn how to identify these risks and how to manage the risks. Project risk management is an important aspect of project management. Project risks can be defined as any unforeseen event or perhaps activity which can impact the progress of any project and its outcome. This must be assessed and managed to ensure that this will not affect the project.

Finding the Right Mentor

If are new to being a project manager and you are still learning the different things involved in project management, you can definitely benefit from the project management courses offered by the Parallel Project Training in London and Reading, in the UK. Read more on our skills for new project managers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Upcoming Courses

Scroll to Top