• Michelle Haynes

Soft Skills are Essential for a PM

Updated: Jul 8

Millions of dollars are wasted annually due to poor project performance: $123 million for every $1 billion spent [source: Pulse PMI]. A way to minimize this is to have the right people on board—and a phenomenal follow-up strategy—to execute your project successfully.

Think about this for a minute. A project has many moving parts, and the PM needs to ensure that everything gets done on time and within budget and scope.

This is the reason why the following soft skills are crucial for your PM to have:

Leadership – Your PM needs to be able to lead the team and know when to say no, what direction to lead the team, and how to assign resources to the right person. They need to be flexible, adaptable, and able to bring the team together to accomplish a common goal.

Communication – Your PM needs to know how, when, and to whom they need to share communication and how to deliver communication timely with tact. Your PM needs solid listening skills and the ability to provide the necessary feedback to ensure that the project stays on track.

Problem-Solving – The ability to solve problems is essential to the success of your project. Let’s say that your project is due in three weeks, it’s over budget and behind schedule—your PM should try to avoid this scenario altogether—your PM needs to solve it in a way that lessens the overall damage.

Decision-making – Making the right decisions at the right time is essential for project success. If a project falls behind schedule because of an unexpected staffing shortage, your PM will need to make decisions that may be difficult but necessary.

Stress management – Balancing multiple priorities is key to keeping stress in check. Your PM needs to manage the stress related to their projects, including working with various stakeholders that come with their wants, needs, and possibly demands.

Projects will always have hiccups, but having a PM with these soft skills will lessen the headaches associated with these hiccups. It can also lead to a host of other benefits, both tangible and intangible.

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