skills

Project management survival skills toolkit

It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket. – Elon Musk

W

orked your way up through the ranks to land a project management role? It’s a common career trajectory for professionals of all stripes the world over, with technical skills acquired in younger years augmented by on-the-job training or tips and tricks picked up on the fly.
 
If this is you, all the signs suggest you’re in the right game. Almost 50 per cent of employers are upping permanent staff levels in project management roles across all sectors, according to jobs giant Hays, while Job Outlook expects more than 50,000 gigs for specialist project managers to open up by 2019.
 
So what are the basic skills needed to survive and thrive in the high pressure world of project management? Here are a handful that can mean the difference between ‘do’ and ‘die’.

Engage with stakeholders

Think the project’s all about you and your team delivering the goods? Kind of right – but you’ll up your chances of success if you learn to bring stakeholders along for the ride. Best practice: engage with them in the planning stage when their input will be invaluable, not a way down the track when you start to hit bumps.

Leave room to wriggle

Under-promise and over-deliver…does the mantra for successful selling hold true in the project management sphere? It’s fair to say you’ll fare better giving realistic estimates of delivery milestones than promising stakeholders the earth yesterday and frantically back pedalling when you find you can’t deliver. Work with your team to determine how long blocks of work will take to complete and don’t forget to allow yourself some wiggle room.




Catch up often

Have an idea of where every member of your project team is at and what’s on their task list for the week? Most folk aren’t fans of meetings but frequent, efficient team huddles or stand-ups are the key to ensuring issues don’t develop and fester on your watch. Schedule a time each week, stick to an agenda ruthlessly and make attendance non-negotiable.

Get smarter

Is it possible to keep winging it forever – or could further study online help fill in some of the blanks? If you’d like to hone your project management expertise but are already struggling to find enough hours in the day, a Master of Project Management Online could be the key to fast tracking your skills.
 
With six online intakes per year and flexible study schedules that allow you to pace or accelerate the learning process, the SCU Online Master of Project Management can provide a deep understanding of project planning and methodologies and the skills you need to make complex, strategic decisions with confidence.
 
Like to learn more about how an online postgraduate course in project management could enhance your skills set?
 

SCU Online
Southern Cross University is one of Australia’s pioneers in distance and online education. With over 20 years of accredited experience, we now have more than 5,000 people studying with us through distance learning. We understand how to incorporate connectivity so you feel engaged with your peers and academics, while delivering information in a way that you can take away and absorb at your own pace. Learn more about Southern Cross University Online.

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