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101 on Project Management Basics


									101 in Project Management Basics – Project
Manager Skills
A couple of years back, I was working as a project manager for a soft skills company. I had a
team who would develop the training materials as per the training requirements and a group of
trainers. Once the marketing team gave me the client details and requirements, it was my
responsibility to arrange for the meeting with the client, take training needs analysis, come up
with a training plan and finally, the budgeting. Therefore, I am the link between the client, the
content developers and the trainers. It is my responsibility to ensure that quality training as per
the level of the trainees is delivered to the client’s satisfaction. I would also like to mention there
was no free project management software such as Apptivo. Everything was done manually, there
was a lot of paper work to be done because there were no document management tools and how I
used to hate paper work. My company’s accounts department had a tough time because there
were many clients and they had to keep track of billing and invoicing each client. Now that times
have changed, thanks to online billing and invoicing, you can send invoices to multiple clients
and also keep track of the dues and late payments. It is true that there are many tools to support a
project manager. However, he has to possess certain skill sets to complete his tasks, lead his
team and also complete the project on time. Here, we look at the various skills that are required
to be a successful project manager.

        Analytical Skills – Whether you are a software project manager or a non-IT project
        manager, you should possess the ability to foresee the challenges a project you undertake
        may encounter. Never underestimate the knock-on changes. You should be able to
        analyze and manage these changes. Remember, project management is a complex
        responsibility; so never overlook even the minor changes that are made to the
        specification after the onset of the project. Online project management tools are available
        to help you keep track of projects and adjust the timelines.

© 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.
        Collaborative Performance – One of the skills of a good project manager is team
        management. You should be approachable. Remember, though the final decision lies with
        you, you should also always hear the ideas and inputs of the team. You should talk to
        them about achieving the goals; done through collective performance. This will help
        build a sense of responsibility and self-esteem among the various team members.

        Budgeting – It is a fact there would be an accounts team to take care of the expenses of a
        project. However, it is necessary that an ideal project manager should possess good
        budgeting skills. He should know how to prepare a budget and monitor it from time to
        time as the project progresses. Though initially he can get the help of the finance team,
        latter it would be wise if he learned the basics of budgeting.

        Time Management – The success of the project manager depends on his time
        management capabilities. Before delegating tasks to your team, you should be aware
        what it is you are spending time on and how relevant and important these tasks are of.
        That is, you should possess the skill to analyze the time requirements of the each task. At
        times, clients would ask for timesheets to keep track of the time you are spending on the

Ultimately, project managers require experience and practice to leverage their project
management skills to maximum advantage.

Maya Pillai is passionate about helping small businesses and professionals. She is a blogger for
Apptivo's Small Business University

© 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.

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