6 must-have project management skills that companies look for

6 must-have project management skills that companies look for

As business projects increase in momentum and complexity, project managers play a pivotal role in ensuring the successful planning, execution and completion of these tasks.

Although hiring managers may have individual preferences when it comes to field experience, these are 6 must-have project management skills that companies in Singapore look for in their candidates.

1. Communication

One of the main project management skills that companies in Singapore seek is excellent communication - both verbal and written. As a project manager, you will be communicating and reporting back to key stakeholders regularly as part of project execution. Good communication skills can help you to simplify industry-specific jargon as well as present the project in a way that different stakeholders can relate to.

You can develop better communication skills by getting to know industry buzzwords and best practices. Also, learn to adapt to traditional and new communication mediums to effectively engage stakeholders across generations, cultures and communication styles.

2. Interpersonal skills

Project managers are hired not just to manage and lead the project, but also the project team itself. Companies hiring project managers prefer candidates with good interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate those reporting to them.

To develop this critical project management skill, take concrete steps to strengthen your leadership skills and develop your soft skills in the workplace. It’s a good idea to also seek mentoring and network with business leaders from other departments and companies to maintain a broad exposure to different working styles and demands.

3. Scheduling

When it comes to project management, time is money. Project managers who are skilled in schedule-related aptitudes, such as multi-tasking and delegation, possess one of the most in-demand project management skills in the Singapore marketplace.

As scheduling involves time, cost and resource management, you can learn to schedule well by planning consistently for future projects/events and ensuring enough time is set aside for any unexpected barriers. This prepares you to meet tight deadlines and apply quick thinking to solve problems – something that project managers face on a regular basis.

4. An eye for detail

When it comes to delivering successful projects, the devil is often in the details. Being careless or being too particular about details can significantly slow projects down.

The good news is that developing your attention to detail doesn’t take as long as mastering most other project management skills. You can do so by practicing good organisation skills and outlining specific checklist steps needed to complete upcoming projects.

Negotiating realistic deadlines or budgets will also help with pacing the project team, so that everyone can remain alert to potential pitfalls in the project execution and delivery.

5. Problem-solving skills

Due to their complex nature, business or IT projects can run into unexpected problems. When that happens, companies expect project managers to be prepared with contingency plans to mitigate them.

Project managers with problem-solving skills are highly valued by companies dealing with complex, multi-stakeholder projects.

View problem-solving as a mindset and sharpen your skill in this area by solving everyday problems around you. Always ask if there is a better way to doing something more effectively and efficiently.  

6. Negotiation

Companies also look for project managers with excellent negotiation skills as these managers will have to deal with stakeholders who may have differing (and possibly divergent) interests on the project execution.

Good negotiators will be able to understand the interests of various stakeholders and drive positive collaboration to deliver the project successfully.

To negotiate well, be a good listener first. Understand the other party’s interests, needs, priorities and constraints so that you can offer options for mutual gain. Presenting multiple offers that reflect various stakeholder’s interest will not only demonstrate professionalism, but also an understanding of what may be at stake with the other parties involved.

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Equip yourself with in-demand project management skills

Good project managers who are competent in both technical and soft skills are valuable assets in any company. By developing these six crucial project management skills, you’ll position yourself as the project manager that companies in Singapore are looking for.

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