Top 20 Project Management Skills for 2022 (2023)

Project management is not an easy job. In fact, it’s several not-easy jobs throughout the initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing of a project.

Project managers are responsible for planning projects, assembling a project team, and then managing project tasks, time and costs. To do so, the best project managers use robust project management tools to keep all aspects of their projects organized.

Still, even with robust project management software, that’s a lot to ask of any individual, but project managers have a variety of project management skills to get the job done. But before we continue, what are project management skills?

What Are Project Management Skills?

As stated above, project managers need to plan and control many areas of a project. To do so they need a set of project management skills which consists of personality traits, soft skills and technical or hard skills.

  • Hard Skills: Hard skills, also known as technical skills are those project management skills that can be learned through education or training.
  • Soft Skills: Soft skills are all those which are not learned through formal education or training. Some of these are part of someone’s personality, or are developed through the years.
  • Personality traits: These are not skills, but personality traits that are beneficial for the project manager role.

Below we’ve collected the top 20 personality traits, soft and hard skills every project manager should have. There are certainly more than 20, but if you have these, you have the foundation on which to build a successful career in project management.

These project management skills can be useful for several purposes. You can include them in your project manager resume and cover letter, and you can use them to prepare for your project manager interview. Or, you could simply study them to learn about technical skills to improve as a leader and project manager.

Project Management Hard Skills

In project management, hard skills are the most important because they are the project management techniques that allow project managers to do their job. They are also known as the technical skills or project management know-how that is needed to plan, schedule and manage projects.

1. Knowledge of Project Management Methodologies

A project manager needs to know about the different project management methodologies that exist. That doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert in all of them, as they usually are industry-specific and require certification. Here are some of the most common project management methodologies.

If you want to learn more about these and other approaches, check out our project management methodologies blog.

Pro Tip: As a project manager, you should be familiar with the project management knowledge areas and project management process groupsdefined by the project management institute (PMI).

(Video) Top 10 Project Management Tools in 2022 | PMP Tools and Techniques | Invensis Learning

2. Proficient with Project Management Software

Having a working knowledge of project management software is a must-have technical skill for project managers in today’s world. There are many project management software alternatives available in the market, so you’ll need to determine which project management tools and features are best for you and your team’s workflow.

3. Team Management

Project management is about teamwork. Project managers must have people skills to keep their teams working productively. That means understanding conflict management to keep everyone working together and morale high. It’s always helpful to start projects with team-building activities to help create relationships that will stick through the thick and thin of a project.

4. Time Management

Time is one of the triple constraints and one of the most important technical skills. Not having time management skills can lead to delays and worse. Project management is about meeting deadlines and getting your deliverables out on time. Project managers have to be experts in managing their time, their team’s time and the overall time of the project.

5. Project Planning

Project planning is a must-have project management skill because a project plan is the foundation of the project management cycle. It includes the project schedule, resources and costs. Traditional project management is all about planning ahead. Therefore, the planning stage of any project lays the foundation for everything that follows, including the success or failure of the project.

6. Project Scheduling

The project scheduling process is a vital part when writing your project plan. A project schedule organizes tasks, teams and time to complete a project. When people think about a project management skill, they’re probably thinking about project scheduling, deadlines and deliverables. But project scheduling is more than that, as it also involves resource management and risk management.

There are many tools that can help with this process, chief among them an online Gantt chart, which provides a visual of the schedule with tasks, durations of those tasks, dependencies, and milestones.

Not all Gantt chart software is as robust as ProjectManager. Our tool will do all the above, but unlike competitors, we can automatically calculate the critical path and then you can set a baseline. Now you’re ready to monitor planned versus actual effort and catch discrepancies with your schedule and budget. Don’t you want a Gantt chart that can do more? Get started for free today.

7. Project Budgeting

The project budget is the fuel that drives the project. Project management is all concept and no action without a project budget. But having a project budget is one one side of the project budgeting coin. There’s also budget management, which means tracking costs throughout the life cycle of the project and making sure your actual costs don’t exceed your planned budget.

8. Risk Management

Planning a project, big or small, is inherent with risk. Before executing the project, you have to create a risk management plan to identify, assess, and control risk. The more you can manage risk, the more likely your project is going to succeed.

(Video) Top 5 skills for Project Managers

9. Cost Management

Projects cost money. Creating a budget is part of the planning stage of project management. Once you have a project budget you have to use budget management to make sure that you control your costs through the execution stage.

10. Task Management

Tasks are little jobs that make up the execution phase of project management. They need to be created, organized, assigned to team members and tracked to make sure they meet the project constraints. This is done with task management. Project management software helps you manage tasks and fosters collaboration among your project team.

ProjectManager supersizes the limited features of most to-do software tools and gives you more task management tools. You can use Gantt charts, kanban boards, task lists and project calendars to manage your projects.

Project Management Soft Skills

Soft skills are not taught anywhere and are developed naturally by individuals. However, some of these can actually be improved through practice.

1. Leadership Skills

Some say that leadership is a personality trait or soft skill that can’t be taught. While some project managers have better people skills than others, we think everyone has the potential to learn how to apply proven leadership skills and techniques.

As a project manager you’re responsible not only for project success, but you also need to be a leader that applies leadership skills to guide and motivate team members to achieve their goals.

2. Communication Skills

Communication skills really go hand-in-glove with leadership. You can’t be an effective project manager if you’re not able to articulate what it is you need your project team to do. But you’re not only going to be communicating with your team, you’ll need to have a clear communication plan for your customers, stakeholders and contractors.

3. Negotiation Skills

Being good at negotiation is one of many communication skills, but it deserves its own space here. In project management, negotiation is an important skill for conflict resolution and stakeholder management. For example, you’ll likely get demands from stakeholders that can impact the project scope. You’ll have to give them pushback, but diplomatically, so all project stakeholders feel they’re getting what they want.

4. Organization Skills

The term organization skills refer to the ability that an individual has to manage time and tasks in an efficient manner. So as the name implies, organization skills allow someone to work in an organized and efficient manner.

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5. Interpersonal Skills

Teams are made of people and people have personalities. There are many different types of team members and they all have to get along. Having interpersonal skills brings the best out of your project team and helps with conflict resolution.

6. Problem-Solving Skills

Projects are problems. Having the skills to solve those problems means that your project is more likely to deliver success. Think of problems as puzzles that you can have to figure out. There are many problem-solving tools out there to help you along the way.

Personality Traits of a Project Manager

As noted above, these are not exactly skills but personality traits that are beneficial for project managers and their teams.

1. Adaptability

Change is a constant in project management. Being flexible is what keeps a project viable. If you’re not willing to adapt then the project will suffer. Of course, you have to have the wisdom to know when adaptability serves the project and when you have to bite the bullet and push through.

2. Critical Thinking

Too many people understand the basics of project management but can’t think outside the box. Critical thinking is all about not accepting everything you hear but taking the time to understand the issue and do the research that leads to an informed decision. A critical thinker is more likely to clear the hurdles that every project has to go through.

3. A Sense of Humor

Having a sense of humor is an essential project management skill, even if it is a soft skill in project management. Humor relieves stress for you and your team, and only when tensions are lifted can smarter actions and ideas show themselves. Project team-building activities are a great example of how humor can be used by project managers.

4. Patience

Nothing is solved by rushing through a project or getting frustrated when things don’t go well. Projects need to be thoroughly planned in order to run smoothly. That doesn’t mean there won’t be issues. They’re always issues. Whether it’s a change request or stakeholders having unrealistic expectations, if you don’t have patience everything will be exponentially worse.

ProjectManager Puts Project Management Skills to Use

Now that you know what skills you need to be a successful project manager, it’s time to equip yourself with the right project management tools. ProjectManager has a suite of powerful tools that can improve the workflow of any project manager. In addition to offering the aforementioned award-winning Gantt charts and dashboards, we also offer powerful reporting features to track your project’s progress.

You can have all the soft and technical skills in the world, but without project management software you’ll still be working at a disadvantage. Luckily, there are tools that enhance your skill set and make you even more efficient and productive. ProjectManager has features to help schedule, manage tasks and budget your project, as well as being online so it’s great for team collaboration. You’ll have to bring the sense of humor, but we’ve got the rest. Try it for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial.

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FAQs

What are good skills for project management? ›

7 Essential Project Management Skills
  • Effective Communication. From project kick-offs to stakeholder meetings, project managers are constantly communicating. ...
  • Negotiation. ...
  • Scheduling and Time Management. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Technical Expertise. ...
  • Risk Management. ...
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.
12 Aug 2019

What are the 3 most important skills of a project manager and why? ›

The most important skills of a project manager include leadership, communication, time management, negotiating, team management, and critical thinking. Furthermore, he/she must also be able to keep up with the project management trends and use the tools they have to their fullest.

What are the six 6 general skills that each project management team member should have? ›

Top 6 Skills Necessary For Project Teams
  • Basic project management knowledge. In this competitive era, it has become essential that the team members also possess knowledge of project management. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Conflict resolution skills. ...
  • Team Conversation. ...
  • Risk management. ...
  • Customer management skills.
11 Oct 2021

What are the six traits of a highly effective project managers? ›

From communication to stability, here are the top six traits of successful project managers.
...
  • Competence.
  • Decisiveness.
  • Vision.
  • Communication.
  • Stability.
  • Open-mindedness.
20 Sept 2019

What are the 4 main roles of a project manager? ›

planning and monitoring the project. adopting any delegation and use of project assurance roles within agreed reporting structures. preparing and maintaining project, stage and exception plans as required. managing project risks, including the development of contingency plans.

What are the 10 processes to sharpen your project management skills? ›

  • 10 Key Project Management Skills and Competencies to Master in 2022. ...
  • Leadership skills. ...
  • Effective communication. ...
  • Planning and strategic thinking. ...
  • Team management. ...
  • Time management and scheduling. ...
  • Task management skills. ...
  • Risk mitigation.

What are hard skills in project management? ›

8 hard skills a project manager should have
  • Negotiation.
  • Relevant technical skills.
  • Writing.
  • Organization.
  • Prioritization and goal setting.
  • Project planning.
  • Delegating.
  • Budget management.
25 Jan 2021

What are the 3 most critical elements of effective project management? ›

The 5 Most Important Elements of Successful Project Management
  • Have Clear Project Goals. Make sure you have all the details in front of you before you start. ...
  • Be Dynamic. Once you have your plan in place, remain flexible. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Stay on Track. ...
  • Review The Project to Improve for The Next Time.
7 Sept 2016

What makes a great project manager? ›

Good project managers understand and know their market and the industry of their projects. They study the competition and evaluate alternatives. A good project manager stays up to date on the latest trends in the industry of their project, and they exhibit a solid understanding and expertise of their industry.

What are the 7 C's of project management? ›

There are seven core elements that if considered will contribute to the organization's project decision-making process. The seven elements (7 C's) are: customers, competitors, capabilities, cost, channels, communication, and coordination.

What are 7 keys of success in project management? ›

7 Keys to Achieving Project Management Success
  • Quick Response. Time is of the essence. ...
  • Detail Oriented. The little details matter! ...
  • Flexibility. Plans change and unforeseen problems are bound to arise. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Project Types. ...
  • Exceed Expectations. ...
  • Trust.

What are the 7 principles of project management? ›

The 7 Principles
  • Continued Business Justification. A project must make good business sense. ...
  • Learn from Experience. Project teams should take lessons from previous projects into account. ...
  • Define Roles and Responsibilities. ...
  • Manage by Stages. ...
  • Manage by Exception. ...
  • Focus on Products. ...
  • Tailor to the Environment.
19 Sept 2016

What are the 5 project key elements? ›

5 Key Elements To Success In Project Management
  • IDENTIFYING CLIENTS NEEDS. Accurately identifying the client's needs is the key to ensuring that you produce the right product. ...
  • PLANNING. ...
  • MONITORING. ...
  • COMMUNICATION. ...
  • COLLABORATION.
7 Sept 2021

What are the 4 major determinants of project success? ›

Good planning, diligent execution, timely and appropriate communication, and management of stakeholder expectations are all essential elements in delivering a project to completion.

What are the five project success factors? ›

Five Critical Success Factors for Project Managers
  • Agree on the project goals. ...
  • Develop clearly defined plans with assigned responsibilities and accountabilities. ...
  • Manage the project scope effectively. ...
  • Cultivate constant effective communications. ...
  • Make sure you have management support.
3 Aug 2010

What is the highest position in project management? ›

The director of project management is often the highest-ranking employee in a company's project management operation. The director of program management oversees the company's big-picture planning, including all projects executed by the company.

What do project managers do all day? ›

A Project Manager is responsible for the planning, procurement, execution and completion of a project. The project manager is in charge of the entire project and handles everything involved, such as the project scope, managing the project team, as well as the resources assigned to the project.

What is project life cycle? ›

The Project Lifecycle is the sequence of phases through which a project progresses. It includes initiation, planning, execution, and closure. Learn more. The Project Lifecycle is the sequence of phases through which a project progresses.

What are the seven 7 processes of project time management? ›

The seven processes in the Project Time Management knowledge area are:
  • Plan Schedule Management (Planning process)
  • Define Activities (Planning process)
  • Sequence Activities (Planning process)
  • Estimate Activity Resources (Planning process)
  • Estimate Activity Durations (Planning process)
  • Develop Schedule (Planning process)

What are the 8 skills that a project manager must have in order to be an effective manager? ›

These leaders should also equip people with the time, tools, and other resources they need to handle their to-do lists.
  • Communication. Any project management skills list is sure to include communication near the top. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Negotiation.

What are the 7 elements of a project plan? ›

Let's dive into the details:
  • Step 1: Define your goals and objectives. ...
  • Step 2: Set success metrics. ...
  • Step 3: Clarify stakeholders and roles. ...
  • Step 4: Set your budget. ...
  • Step 5: Align on milestones, deliverables, and project dependencies. ...
  • Step 6: Outline your timeline and schedule. ...
  • Step 7: Share your communication plan.
13 Jul 2022

What are the 5 stages of a project? ›

Five stages of project management
  • initiation.
  • planning.
  • execution.
  • monitoring and control.
  • closure.

What doesn't a project manager do? ›

As a project manager, you don't “make the decisions on the direction of the project. Given the role of managing projects, too many assume you're deciding the goals, budget, priorities, and so on when, really, you're executing the plan that is designed to most efficiently achieve these.

What two things must a successful project manager do to be successful? ›

Excellent Communicator

Being able to communicate clearly and effectively when managing any project or team is a skill that is absolutely essential. Project leaders must be able to communicate their visions and articulate a project's goal in a way that everyone can grasp for themselves, quickly and easily.

What are the 3 major project constraints? ›

The triple constraints of project management—also known as the project management triangle or the iron triangle—are scope, cost, and time. You'll need to balance these three elements in every project, and doing so can be challenging because they all affect one another.

What are the 6 project constraints? ›

To remember the Six Constraints, think “CRaB QueST” (Cost, Risk, Benefits, Quality, Scope and Time).

What are the 6 key success factors of this project? ›

6 Success Factors for Managing Project Quality
  • Key Success Factor 1: A good plan. ...
  • Key Success Factor 2: Appropriate Communication. ...
  • Key Success Factor 3: Manage Stakeholders. ...
  • Key Success Factor 4: Good Measurement. ...
  • Key Success Factor 5: Constant Review. ...
  • Key Success Factor 6: Act early. ...
  • About the Author.
11 Dec 2012

What are the 10 critical success factors? ›

Top 10 Critical Success Factors for project success
  • User Involvement.
  • Executive Support.
  • Clear Business Objectives.
  • Emotional Maturity.
  • Optimization.
  • Agile Process.
  • Project Management Expertise.
  • Skilled Resources.

What are the 9 principles of project management? ›

Here are the nine principles of project management:
  • Formal project management structure.
  • Invested and engaged project sponsor.
  • Clear and objective goals and outcomes.
  • Documented roles and responsibilities.
  • Strong change management.
  • Risk management.
  • Mature value delivery capabilities.
  • Performance management baseline.

What are the 8 steps to success? ›

8 Steps for Success in Life
  • Create a Support Network.
  • Put in the Work.
  • Stay Focused.
  • Whatever success you're working towards, keep your focus on it. Remind yourself often of the success you want to achieve. ...
  • Set Many Small Achievable Goals.
  • Give Yourself a Break.
  • Believe in Yourself.
  • Get Back Up Again.
20 Nov 2020

What is the golden rule of project management? ›

Rule 1: Thou shall gain consensus on the project outcome. Rule 2: Thou shall build the best team possible. Rule 3: Thou shall develop a comprehensive, viable plan and keep it up-to-date. Rule 4: Thou shall determine how much activity you really need to get all things done.

What is the golden triangle of project management? ›

The golden triangle is another name for a project management triangle. It is a project management model that shows that three constraints—time, scope and cost—all must be balanced in project management in order to deliver a quality final deliverable.

What are the 12 steps of project management? ›

The 12 steps are
  • define the project.
  • list the tasks.
  • estimate the cost and time of each task.
  • plan the dependencies and longest route.
  • speed up the project plan if necessary.
  • create a Gantt chart (I love Gantt charts)
  • check you have the resources required.
  • think about risk.

What are the 7 stages of a project? ›

The key project management processes, which run through all of these phases, are:
  • Phase management.
  • Planning.
  • Control.
  • Team management.
  • Communication.
  • Procurement.
  • Integration.

What are the 7 phases of a project? ›

Take a look at the seven stages of the project management lifecycle to achieve optimal results regardless of your industry.
  • Planning. Also called initiating, the planning stage is the most important part of the project management lifecycle. ...
  • Analysis. ...
  • Design and analysis. ...
  • 4. Development. ...
  • Testing. ...
  • Implementation. ...
  • Maintenance.
11 Jul 2022

What are the 7 themes of project management? ›

The 7 Themes
  • Business Case. Related to the continued business justification principle. ...
  • Organisation. Related to the define roles and responsibilities principle. ...
  • Quality. Related to the focus on products principle. ...
  • Plans. A plan describes how targets will be achieved. ...
  • Risk. ...
  • Change. ...
  • Progress.
19 Sept 2016

What makes a strong project manager? ›

Good project managers understand and know their market and the industry of their projects. They study the competition and evaluate alternatives. A good project manager stays up to date on the latest trends in the industry of their project, and they exhibit a solid understanding and expertise of their industry.

What are the six factors of project success? ›

6 Success Factors for Managing Project Quality
  • Key Success Factor 1: A Good Plan. ...
  • Key Success Factor 2: Appropriate Communication. ...
  • Key Success Factor 3: Manage Stakeholders. ...
  • Key Success Factor 4: Good Measurement. ...
  • Key Success Factor 5: Constant Review. ...
  • Key Success Factor 6: Act Early.
18 Mar 2009

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