Which project management skills should I be learning right now?

As economic pressures continue to influence the business climate, project professionals are looking for ways to be valuable and valued. Below are a handful of skill sets that are attractive in any market, but especially when companies are running lean and maximizing every team member’s contribution is vital.

Budgeting – many new projects are running under tighter budgets, and existing or restarted projects are undergoing more rigorous value engineering than in years past. Spotting cost inefficiencies and controlling expenditures for maximum long-term value will continue to be important skills.

Personnel management – as organizations continue to respond to the economic climate, project professionals with no previous supervisory experience are increasingly finding themselves in charge of employees or heading up teams under revised departmental structures. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of managing others to be sure you’re maximizing your team’s potential and giving your staff their best chance at success.

Technology management – even if your team doesn’t specialize in technology projects (software, etc.), it’s a good investment of your time to bone up on the latest tech innovations and how they can be used to make you and your team more productive. In addition to maintaining a current knowledge of the overall technology offerings, savvy project managers will also be looking for new ways to leverage technology solutions that gain them every advantage possible.

Cost negotiation – don’t confuse this with budget management—even though the two are often linked, they are distinctly separate skills. As organizations have reduced staffing in other departments, project managers are frequently taking on cost negotiation duties that traditionally have resided in Purchasing, Accounting, or some other group. Improving your ability to scrutinize market conditions and pressures all along the supply chain will often give you an advantage when negotiating the best price for products and services.

Check out the second part to this blog here: Which project management skills should I be learning right now? -Part 2

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