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Five essential skills in the project management toolkit

Updated: May 11, 2023

By: Shubham Dudeja | May 23, 2022 | PMO & Project Management

Five Essential Skills In the Project Management Toolkit
Five Essential Skills In the Project Management Toolkit


Being a good project manager requires more than qualifications, degrees, and the ability to track timelines. While these skills are essential, the day-to-day role of a project manager requires far more than keeping projects on track. Soft skills are often underrated but will help you stand out and be valued and trusted by the team.

A project manager is akin to an artist who layers different considerations, balances multiple needs, and converges various resources with keen attention to detail to produce valuable work.

Here is our rundown on the five essential project management skills to help you succeed as a great project manager.

1. Mindfulness

A project manager must juggle time, cost and scope for quality delivery. Drill into the details like timelines, cost, milestones, requirements, and resources while being mindful of the bigger picture like the strategy, vision and mission. Mindfulness is critical for maximising value to clients by ensuring optimal project delivery as per the objectives outlined at project inception.

2. Stakeholder management

Besides having an in-depth understanding of project management concepts, methods, and tools, a project manager should be able to identify key stakeholders and constructively understand their views and needs. Stakeholder management is a trait that enables project managers to make reliable project plans, effectively identify and manage project risks and integrate stakeholders in the PMO process.

3. Critical thinking

Identifying the root cause of a problem is a challenge that project managers run into quite often.

Critical thinking coupled with emotional intelligence empowers project managers to set up the project for success and support employee retention and productivity.

4. Communication

Listening and speaking are essential communication skills in a project management toolkit. Mastering active listening is critical to the success of a project manager as they need to keep a tap on the pulse of the team, comprehend stakeholder needs and leadership vision, and empathize with evolving customer needs. Project managers also need to communicate the priorities and project milestones to the team, drive focus and motivation, align all collaborators to the leadership vision and ensure transparency on project health to drive team efficiency.

As an effective communicator, a project manager should also be able to encouragingly extend their skills to hone others in the team by creating forums to provide and practice delivering presentations in a safe space.

5. Decision-making

A project manager needs to be quick with making decisions. It facilitates their reasoning and helps them choose the best course of action for the project under all circumstances. It is pertinent for a project manager to influence the team members and motivate them without using formal authority.

Project managers can extend their influence through informed and timely decisions.

About us

Gravitas Consulting is a Toronto-based firm founded in 2021. We focus on strategy, operations, and technology. That as our guiding beacon, we set out on the journey with Gravitas Consulting. Our team of experienced consultants has been associated with top-tier global management consulting firms and has advised a diverse array of clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations. We tailor our solutions to your needs, we flex, and we strive to get you the desired outcomes.

Traditional PMOs can be heavy touch and can slow down the flow of work. To solve that problem, we have launched Laminar, a PMO as-a-service offering with in-built best practices of Fortune 500 clients. We offer a complete solution to manage the 3Ps - portfolios, programs, and projects. Laminar is a pure plug-and-play solution that can be configured in less than a week and sits atop your current project management tools - purposefully designed to be low-maintenance and fully automated so that you can focus on running the business.

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