Top 24 Project Management Skills Needed For a Project Manager


Regardless of your position in the team, improving your project management skills can have a direct impact on the team’s ability to accomplish an assignment. So, what are the skills of a project manager? How much weight do they truly support? And how can you hone those skills and position yourself for success? In this comprehensive resource, we answer those questions concerning project management skills – and many more.

What are Project Management Skills?

Project management skills are the attributes and characteristics that enable you to take winning projects from inception to completion. This includes project planning, risk and opportunity assessment, budget creation, stakeholder communication, problem-solving, and more.

Of course, the skills required to complete projects are especially important for persons who wish to start or advance their careers as project managers.
But these characteristics have far broader appeal. Everyone, regardless of any project management title, is accountable for coordinating and directing a project at some time. When they do, they will rely on their project management skills to complete the task.

Project Management Soft Skills

Soft skills, or “non-technical skills,” are those that can assist you to improve your work quality without a specific tool or technical prerequisite. They are often known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills” since they frequently assist you in working with and relating to others in your workplace. The following ten soft skills are crucial for project management:

#1. Collaboration

Partnership is the foundation of all project management skills. Collaboration in project management allows you to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently. When you can cooperate between teams, you obtain vital insights about your project that you might not find within your own team. Projects are intrinsically more innovative and well-developed when more minds are involved in the effort.

Practice having talks to improve your cooperation skills. Employ active listening skills to stay interested and attentive when others are speaking to you. It may sound simple, but understanding how to communicate openly, decrease barriers, and co-create are essential skills for a collaborative workplace.

#2. Teamwork

Everyone on your team has something to contribute, and working together is more effective than working alone. Collaboration guarantees that everyone is welcomed, valued, and encouraged to contribute.

How can you be a better team member if you’re aiming to improve your collaboration skills? Delve deeper into team brainstorms, 1:1 talks, and asking for feedback from your team. Be on the lookout for someone who hasn’t spoken up in a while, and be encouraging when another team member has a fresh suggestion.

#3. Communication

When working with a group of individuals, miscommunications are common. Knowing how to communicate effectively and avoiding these will make the project runs more smoothly and pleasant.

Practice being open and honest with your coworkers to improve your communication skills. This necessitates a high level of trust between you and your team members. To foster this trust, encourage your team members to share their ideas, even if you disagree with them.

#4. Time management 

Time management and organizational skills go hand in hand. As you improve your task organization, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s on your plate and how long your next chores will take.

Yet, it can be hard to focus and prioritize your tasks. To enhance your time management skills and eliminate procrastination, try prioritizing tasks. When you know which jobs are more important, you may tackle them first to ensure that nothing is left behind or falls through the gaps.

#5. Leadership

Even if you don’t consider yourself a leader or have a role in team management, your project team looks to you for leadership, advice, and support when you’re managing a project.

Develop your leadership skills by approaching situations with empathy and understanding. To develop cooperation and collaboration, good leaders bring everyone together and make them feel supported.

#6. Organization

For many project managers, organizing is the scariest soft skill. You may believe that organization is something you “have” or “don’t have,” yet, like every other project management skill discussed in this post, you can improve your organizing skills and become your own Marie Kondo.

The greatest method to become a better organizer is to establish (and keep) a single source of truth for your work and the work of your team. We’re frequently disoriented because our jobs are disjointed—the average employee moves between 10 tools every day. Instead of dividing your time between ten tools, consider employing a digital organization tool to serve as your team’s single source of truth.

#7. Problem-Solving

Problem solving skills are collaborative, iterative abilities that enable you to approach and, ultimately, solve a challenge. Developing problem-solving skills isn’t about always having the “correct” answer to every problem; rather, people with strong problem-solving skills practice approaching challenges from fresh angles and methodically working towards a solution.

Use data-driven decision-making frameworks or routine analyses to become a better problem solver. Use that knowledge to address the issue of fewer sales. In this situation, you may create a new marketing plan in collaboration with the sales team.

#8. Critical thinking

Critical thinking, like issue solving, has no “solution.” You can’t “win” at critical thinking, but you can practice tackling situations logically rather than emotionally. Excellent critical thinkers practice assessing the material in front of them and drawing their own conclusions based on the evidence, much like Sherlock Holmes does when solving a mystery.

Step back and ask yourself, “How did I come to this conclusion?” to exercise critical thinking. Is there another possibility? Is something other than facts influencing my decision? Emotional decisions aren’t always bad; in fact, some of the best decisions are those we’re passionate about. But, critical thinking can help you ensure that you’re approaching a situation from the appropriate angle.

#9. Adaptability

Aspects of your project plan will sometimes alter, whether it’s this project or the next. Perhaps your deadline or priorities change, and you must adjust your workflow accordingly. Exceptional project managers can pivot and adapt to changing situations to keep their project team on track.

Understanding when and how to shift gears is the key to becoming more versatile. To do so, you must first understand yourself. Cultivating other soft skills, such as self-awareness and mindfulness, can help you be more in touch with and regulate your emotions, which are frequently in flux during times of change.

#10. Conflict resolution

Conflict will inevitably develop during the tasks you oversee. A stakeholder may wish to alter the project’s scope. Or perhaps you missed your budget or timeline. Conflict resolution entails addressing both sides of a dispute so that everyone feels heard and supported. If there are affected parties, listen to them and try to find a solution that works for everyone. Even if it is not possible, approaching the conversation with patience and empathy can help defuse a potentially difficult situation and lead to a better outcome.

Project Management Hard Skills

Hard skills are measurable abilities, as opposed to soft skills. While the soft skills listed above apply to many job functions, these seven project management hard skills are exclusive to project management. Developing these will help you become a more well-rounded and efficient project manager.

#11. Project Planning

A project plan (also known as a project charter) is essentially a blueprint of the major pieces required for your project to succeed. A typical project plan will include the following seven items:

  • Project Objectives and Targets
  • Success metrics
  • Stakeholders and their Roles
  • Budget and scope
  • Milestones, deliverables, and project dependencies
  • Timetable and timetable
  • Communication strategy

In your project roadmap or brief, some of these details, such as your objectives or milestones, may already be specified. Nevertheless, your project plan is where all of these project aspects join together to form a unified picture of your planned work.

#12. Defining the project

The size, objectives, and constraints (i.e., dates and resources) of your project are known as the project scope. Your project scope will specify what you can do within a given timeline and budget. Defining and defining your project scope is critical to avoiding scope creep, which occurs when your project deliverables exceed your intended project scope.

Practice setting project scope early and often to enhance your project scoping skills. Once you’ve established your project scope, discuss it with stakeholders and revisit it often to ensure that everyone is on the same page about the project’s goals and constraints. You can use it as a guide to help you decide when to decline fresh requests.

#13. The creation of the project brief

Your project brief defines your overall project goals and how you intend to achieve them. This might act as a useful North Star for guiding planning sessions.

The most important thing to remember about your project brief is that it is a live document. You can adapt and update your project brief as you create your project strategy and gather feedback from stakeholders. In general, your project brief should include a link to your project roadmap, if you prepared one, a list of your project stakeholders and their duties (also known as a RACI chart), any other relevant documentation or files, and any other high-level information your team may require.

#14. Organizing a project kickoff meeting

A kickoff meeting is an opportunity to align with your project stakeholders. This is your opportunity to clarify your project goals and scope, as well as provide any documents you’ve already created, such as your project plan, project brief, or supplemental documentation, such as a bill of materials for a marketing campaign or a creative brief for a design team.

Plan to distribute the documents you’ve compiled with project stakeholders in order to have a successful start meeting. Finally, organize a brainstorming or Q&A session to agree on any extra variables, such as money, resources, or final deliverables.

#15. Creating a timeline for your project

The sequence and duration of activities within your project lifecycle are defined by your project timeline. Understanding your project timeline assists your team in tracking project success and delivering the appropriate assets on time.

Clarify the start and finish dates of your project, as well as any critical milestones, in order to create a great project timeline. Set dependencies between activities and specify the start and finish dates of each item of work as you proceed to build up individual tasks and deliverables.

#16. Task management

Once your project is underway, task management relates to how successfully you and your team manage your time. The greatest project managers have real-time visibility into what their team is working on, allowing them to efficiently prioritize and execute projects.

But, you don’t have to know everything that’s going on in your project; instead, employ task management software. Task management software is more than just a to-do list; it’s a method to see the big picture of everything going on in your project. You can enable your team to operate more productively, efficiently, and effectively with excellent task management.

Project Management Technical Skills

Check for soft skills. Got it, hard skills. Technical skills are the only thing you still need to perfect!
Your understanding of particular tools and software used in project management is referred to as your technical skills. These tools aren’t hard to learn—as previously said, modern project management is designed to be versatile and simple to use. These eight skills are parts of project management jobs that you should become familiar with so you know when and how to use them.

#17. Project management software skills

Project management software has come a long way from legacy technologies that were difficult to use and required a project management specialist to implement. Yet, like with any tool, even the most simple, the soft software you choose will require time to understand and completely master. Make sure the tool you choose has a written guide and instructional videos to educate you on how to use it.

#18. Gantt charts

Gantt charts are a technique to visualize your project as a horizontal bar chart, with each bar representing a piece of work and the length of each bar representing the amount of time that task will take.

  • Project milestones
  • Dependencies
  • Real-time project progress
  • Start and finish dates

Conventional Gantt chart technology can be difficult to use and limited in scope, which is why, at Asana, we combined the best of Gantt chart technology to create Timeline, a Gantt-chart-like tool that shows how all of the pieces fit together.

#19. Kanban boards

Kanban boards are another common form of visual project management. Each column on a Kanban board symbolizes a stage of work, such as New, In Progress, or Done. Individual tasks are represented by cards that go through the columns until they are finished.

Kanban boards are a common visual project management tool for lean project management teams, especially product, engineering, and software development teams. They are an Agile approach that is designed to be adaptable and flexible in order to respond to development needs in real-time.

#20. Agile management

Agile project management is a lean project management style that is particularly popular among product, engineering, and software development teams. This is a strategy of continuous improvement and incremental evolution that includes numerous lean approaches such as lean portfolio management, Scrum, and Kanban.

The project manager must coordinate with team members and remain flexible in order to lead an Agile team. This may entail altering the project timetable, collaborating with teams working on a different project, or simply remaining in touch through excellent communication.

#21. Workload management

If you’ve ever managed a project, you know how hard it is to determine who is working on what—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Workload management allows you to assess your team’s bandwidth and ensure that they are not overworked or underworked. It’s an interactive process with no beginning or end point; instead, a skilled project manager will continuously check their team’s workload to ensure no one burns out.

Workload management software can be used in two steps. To begin, determine your team’s capability, competencies, and present workload. From there, allocate resources depending on particular workloads or rebalance workloads as needed.

#22. Cost management

Cost management in project management is considering how each activity affects your budget at each stage of the project. This is a crucial aspect of project management and will determine whether or not your project is successful. Keeping within budget is as crucial as meeting your project deadline, and cost management can help you get there.

To manage expenses effectively, skilled project managers identify their costs and budget at the start of the project. Ascertain that all project stakeholders and team members are aware of the budget. Then, during the project, keep cost and budget in mind.

#23. Portfolio project management

Using project portfolio management (PMM), you may receive a bird’s-eye view of your team’s activity across numerous projects. In contrast to typical project management, PMM entails working on many projects or large-scale initiatives at the same time. In order to connect strategy to execution, project portfolio management systems provide a real-time, holistic view of all of your team’s activity.

#24. Change Management

If you’ve ever implemented a significant organizational change, you’ve most likely used change management, even if you weren’t aware of it. Change management is the practice of implementing organizational change—such as new processes or tools—over time to make them simpler to adjust to.

How Can I Improve My Project Management Skills?

As you evaluated all of the skills of a project manager, you undoubtedly saw a couple that you already know you excel in. But, you may have noticed several others that you know you need to learn or improve.
Fortunately, you can build the skills you need to be a successful project manager. Understanding which skills you already possess and which ones require improvement is the first step in doing so.
This level of self-awareness might be challenging, therefore you can gain a better understanding of your existing skill set by:

  • Reviewing previous roles and projects to determine where you excelled and where you faltered. This can help you identify certain strengths and limitations.
  • Requesting feedback from previous or present supervisors or team members. Other people can sometimes provide useful insight into what you offer to the table.
  • Take a formal evaluation (Gallup’s CliftonStrengths is a popular one) to find your greatest abilities.

Once you’ve determined where you need to improve, there are numerous strategies to advance your skills:

#1. Reading

There are numerous materials available to help you extend your horizons and enhance your skills. You can learn on your own by purchasing a project management book. Additional resources, such as our blog, eBooks, and even this project management guide, will assist you in laying a strong foundation.

#2. Take a course

There are many competent project management courses available from respected companies that can help you develop your skills. The Project Management Institute offers eight distinct credentials, and professional organizations all over the world offer additional certifications to assist you to strengthen your project management skills.

#3. Seeking a mentor

Do you know someone who is an expert in a field in which you are lacking? Contact them to discover if they’re willing to provide customized counsel and recommendations. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box here, either. You don’t necessarily need to look for other project managers to learn from because project management draws skills from a wide range of disciplines. Your legal acquaintance may be able to provide excellent negotiation counsel, but your data analyst neighbor may be able to assist you in improving your critical thinking or reporting skills.

#4. Familiarize yourself with a project management tool

A huge 77% of high-performing projects employ project management software, so you’ll need some experience with one. You can build that via experience, and most project management software offer free trials so you may explore and learn.

Regardless of the strategy you use, keep in mind that acquiring a new talent takes time. Be patient and persistent, and you’ll gradually improve your project management skills and knowledge.

Are Project Management Skills Truly Necessary in the Workplace?

The short answer is yes. And the skills required for a project manager in the job market are vital not only if you want a job with a formal project management title.

Regardless of your position, chances are you’ll be in charge of a project, whether it’s a team initiative or a job, or an obligation on your own to-do list. To plan, execute, and deliver your work, you must use various project management skills.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that project management skills are highly sought after by businesses.

Project Management Skills to Include in Your Resume

As you put together your resume, showcase your project management skills by mentioning the scope of the project, the size of your team, and the positive outcomes of your work. For example, “Led a team of four developers to redesign a payment platform with a $2M budget to complete the project on time.”

You can highlight your project management skills by listing them in the “skills” section of your resume. If you haven’t led a project previously, highlight your previous experiences where you were involved in the planning or implementation of a new initiative.


While there are several paths to becoming a project manager, you will need a few project management competencies to succeed. These skills span from technical ones like project management software, budgeting, and planning approaches to soft skills like communication, teamwork, adaptation, and leadership.

The skills you require vary for each project manager, but it is critical to take the time to identify the skills that are most important to you. Once you know what skills you need to improve, you can begin working on improving yourself and your job as a project manager.


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