What skills and interests do I need to be a project manager?
Project management is not just about being organised. The personality traits of a senior project manager are similar to those of a successful entrepreneur: they take responsibility, they lead and they drive a team to achieve success. Not everyone makes a good project manager. There are however many roles within project management that will suit most people.
The tools and techniques of project management are universal. A good project manager should be able to add value in any environment. Most project managers bring some specific prior training and subject matter expertise with them so are in effect wearing two hats; the hat of the professional project manager and the hat of an expert in building bridges, installing IT systems, managing business process change or introducing a new product to market.
Skills a project manager should have:
- be effective at planning, monitoring and reviewing
- be able to manage resources
- be able to motivate and encourage others
- be decisive and able to work well under pressure
- be aware of who the project will affect and manage the effect it will have on them
- command respect and trust
- be able to resolve conflicts
- be good at problem solving
- have an understanding of health and safety
- possess excellent communication skills both verbal and written
- be able to co-ordinate work carried out by different people and organisations
- be able to work as part of a team and on their own initiative
- be able to control and monitor budgets
- possess good IT skills.
It is also important to:
- have the tenacity to see a project through from start to finish
- enjoy taking responsibility
- be motivated by achieving set goals or targets.
The APM Competence Framework is a resource that reflects the complexity of the modern project management profession. It describes APM's new view of the competences necessary for effective project, programme, portfolio management and PMO in today's environment and in our view of the future needs of the profession. It allows professionals to measure their skills, knowledge and professional needs against specific roles and competencies. By using the competence framework you will be able to match the skills you have to the skills you require for a new role.
If you are looking to move into project management then make sure your CV focuses on your transferable skills and anything that will reflect your natural, and learned, project management skills.