Unless you have been grooming yourself for a project management position, finding yourself in it can be very overwhelming. It is a leadership position and it is not easy to lead a team and churn out the company’s desired result. This is because you would be dealing with diverse people with different work ethics and you need to find harmony for all of you to achieve a common goal. There are a number of skills you should possess as a first-time project manager that will help you have a successful outing at your new desk. If you didn’t already have them before assuming the position, you can acquire them while already carrying out your duties. Here are some of them.
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Take trainings on effective communication
Like we said earlier, a project manager will have people reporting to him. Overseeing a project to completion requires collaboration with your team members, the management team, and the clients involved in the project’s progress whether directly or indirectly. Since projects, tasks, and everything else involved depends on these people, you will have to coin up ways to communicate with them effectively. Effective communication would mean that everyone is treated with respect and knows his or her tasks. Once they see themselves as important in your eyes, they would make sure they do not disappoint you and the project gets to be successful. You can read some books that teach the rudiments of effective communication or attend training online that can help you develop that skill. Even if all you have got as a project manager is good communication skills, you would perform on your project because you will be able to get your team to help you out where you are lacking.
Take courses on task management and delegation
As a first-time project manager, you would be shooting yourself in the leg if you do not know how to organize a proper division of labor on your assigned project. Task management and delegation would mean that you have to know the strengths of every member of your team to know what aspects of the project they would be able to undertake and deliver on. While sharing tasks, you also need to be sure that no particular one person is overwhelmed with too much to do. You should also learn to believe in your team and not overload yourself with most of the jobs on the project. Everyone would be carried along as the project progresses and will know their timelines. So to develop this skill, you can take crash courses online and use your office as a real-life scenario to work with.
Take project management courses
Project management is the practice of turning ideas into reality. Planning, budgeting, prioritizing tasks, and executing them are all aspects of project management. The capacity to set clear goals and realistic objectives is not an easy feat and this is why as a first-time project manager, you will need to take a course on project management. Online project management courses provide the same experience as those taken in a class. This is because you get to do your workshops and training online and since you are already a project manager, the courses will play a real-life situation in your head from the experiences you have had on the job. Once you get your degree, you will be girded with skills you need to excel in a variety of projects and it would automatically make things easier for you at your new desk.
Learn some technological skills
It is good to be technologically savvy as a first-time project manager. At least learn a little above the basics for a level above the average. If you have a good knowledge of some technological tools, you won’t need to do every aspect of the job by hand. For example, you could track a project being executed with tech tools. Office 365 and project central can do a lot for you. You can also automate the task management procedure and use the time saved to assist with the ongoing project. You can take some of these courses online on Udemy.
Take lectures on risk management
Learning how to manage risks is very important if you must succeed as a project manager. Identifying potential risks facing your project and nipping them in the bud so they don’t throw you off balance later is an invaluable asset to any project manager. Some of the risks you should be wary of are budget and scope creeps, poor performance from team members, and lack of stakeholder engagements. Creating communication plans before getting started is very important to deal with stakeholder engagement problems. You can also set up some project scope statements to block off these risks. All these are skills you can develop in terms of risk management as a first-time project manager. You can learn about risk management online and apply points obtained during your project’s execution.
The desire of every project manager is to come out successful and deliver the completed project to time. This will significantly boost his or her resume and open up more opportunities for him or her. Even when it looks like you were not fully ready skill-wise to take up the job, there are some skills you can immediately improve upon by taking courses online. You can even learn some new ones on the job. It is easier to develop these skills because you will be having hands-on experiences.