Project management determines the success or failure of the project. It covers initiating, planning, implementation, and evaluation steps. Of course, the team members, not just the project managers, need to have the necessary skills and abilities on project management. There is no need to have the formal title “project manager.” Everyone virtually has an experience of managing a project. For instance, when you manage a birthday party for your kid, you are actually a ‘project manager’ for the event.
When reading a project management book, you will get general concepts and skills that one needs to have in managing a project. They may include scheduling techniques, drawing Gantt charts, building an effective team, designing work breakdown structures, etc. These skills are certainly helpful, but are they enough?
Project Management Skills You Need to Have
An article by Dana Brownlee on Forbes highlights some specific skills that you need to have to provide wonderful benefits of a project for an organization. They are the following:
Using Project Charters
The domain of project management is identical with tools, templates, and techniques. One of the most important tools is project charter. In fact, many organizations are fumbling with key initiatives and strategies in planning and implementing the project. A project charter provides the solution. It enables every members of the team to agree on key points of the project. This way, they can avoid problems since the beginning.
Actually, there are no standard form, styles, and even contents of the project charter. The point is that the charter contains a fundamental premise and critical elements that all key players agree on before the project begins. It will be better if all parties provide signatures on the agreed document. This enhances the level of project accountability.
Failure to vet project ideas may lead to failure of the project. Vetting the ideas help the project team to eliminate the bad ones. The project management textbooks note that a project always begins with a proper initiation, instead of planning. In other words, the initiating phase determines the next ones, as it involves the following things. It aims at scrutinizing the ideas to identify their complexity. In case that this upfront analysis does not exist, the project will face some problems, such as:
- Rambling comments from the executive levels during a meeting on the projects
- Ill-advised opinion or emotional response to problems related to the project
- Lack of cooperation among the team members
- Hesitance to find common solutions for the problems, etc
To anticipated unnecessary problems, make sure to discuss the answers to some possible questions, if not problems, for instance:
- Possible problems related to the project
- Best ways to solve them
- Resources (time, money, human, and assets) that the team has
- Risk analysis
- Cost of not doing the project compared to the benefits
- Agreement on whether the project is continued or cancelled
So far, two important skills and capabilities that project management team needs to have are using project charters and project initiation. Make sure to read the next articles for more skills that will help you with the project.