Communication, Motivation, and Decision-Making: The Keys to Strong Project Management

key skills for project managers online master

While the job title “project manager” may bring to mind the tech industry for many, in reality there are a wide variety of industries that need skilled project managers. From construction to insurance, architecture to software and IT, many businesses use project managers to lead their teams to success. According to the Project Management Institute, the demand for project managers will continue to rise through 2027, when there will be 22 million jobs for project managers, a 30% increase from 2017. 

Project management is a unique role because it involves managing not just people, but also timelines, resources, and coordinated efforts within teams. A project manager needs to have multiple skill sets to achieve the goals laid out for the project they’re managing.Those skill sets are unique to the industry (and often the specific business) they’re working in. 

For example, a project manager working in the financial services sector needs to understand all of the national and international regulations their company is required to follow. In contrast, a construction project manager needs to understand contractual obligations and be able to manage strict construction timelines.

Regardless of the industry or their specific title, three keys to project management are critical to any project manager’s success: communication, motivation, and decision-making. Without these skills, a project manager will struggle to lead their project team and bring their project to a successful conclusion.

The importance of communication

Of all the roles of a project manager, being a liaison between the team they’re leading and the project’s stakeholders is one of the most important. They have to be able to understand all of the requirements their clients have and communicate those to their team so that everyone is on the same page as the project moves forward. 

Reporting and documentation are also a crucial part of a project manager’s role. They must be able to clearly and concisely write and speak about what their team is working on and their progress toward the successful completion of a given project. 

Being a conduit of information between management, team members, and a client is one of the primary responsibilities of a project manager. A project manager needs to be able to understand and communicate data and information so that they can appropriately designate the resources available to their team.

Why motivation is key to success

The ability to motivate a team toward success is another one of the keys to project management. This ability is especially important in project management, where the culmination of the team’s hard work may be months or even years away. Keeping a team motivated to meet their end-goal makes it possible for project managers to get the best work out of each team member and deliver high-quality results to their clients.

There are many ways to motivate people. Project managers need to be able to understand their team members’ work styles and the culture of the company. Then, they can use that information to develop a strategy that keeps individuals focused on high-level outcomes and working hard to produce a quality result.

How decision-making affects project management

Along with communicating with various stakeholders, decision-making is a skill that a project manager will use every day. If they’re deciding how to assign tasks, choosing how to spend their budget, or addressing an issue that has arisen, the project manager has the final say.

When it comes to project management, decision-making in its role as a key to project management isn’t just about picking one option and moving on. Project managers need to understand all of the project details so that they can decide how to proceed in any given situation. They also usually don’t have days or weeks to agonize over a decision or spend a lot of time gathering information and asking others for their opinions. Their team members depend on them for answers and guidance, so project managers need to be skilled in weighing their options and making a decision quickly.

How to get started on the path to project management

Whether you are a new college graduate or a working professional looking to change careers, Geneva College’s Master of Science in Leadership Studies Project Management Track helps you develop the keys to project management and to become a successful project manager. 

We developed our master’s program to teach you what you need to know to build a successful project management career in the industry of your choice. We understand what businesses need most in their project managers and have built a program that will make you an attractive candidate.

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Ryan Buchar
Student Recruitment Manager
724-858-4026
onlineInfo@Geneva.edu

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