Project management is essential to all business functions. Whether you have a designated project manager or have someone in a supervisory role who assumes those duties, the skillset is necessary to manage time and keep things on schedule. Self-made millionaires like Semion Kronenfeld have mastered the need for good project management and incorporate these skills into all their business endeavors.
Develop Scheduling Skills
A large part of project management boils down to scheduling. While this seems like an easy skill to master—after all, anybody can use calendar software — schedule involves more than just putting meetings into blank spaces. When you schedule, you need to consider what will be accomplished during a time slot, how much time is needed to complete the task, and what follow-up may be required. As you plan out your weekly meeting, try to envision the calendar as a big picture instead of several small meetings listed together. Where are your appointments? How much travel time do you need in between commitments? Will you need to allocate time for emails, correspondences, and phone calls afterward? By thinking about these extra things, you can gain the big-picture skills needed for project management.
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Act Rather than React
Anybody can respond when a problem crops up, but a project manager needs to be proactive in resolving matters. That means that you should look critically at any plans or work schedules and try to predict where and when trouble might complicate things. If a project is reliant on one specific employee, what happens if that employee gets sick or changes jobs? Training somebody else to take over might seem like a time sink at the time, but it can pay dividends should the unexpected occur. Even the best project managers cannot predict every problem that might come up, but they should always be thinking about how to fix a potential issue or streamline a process. By being proactive rather than waiting for things to come to you, the effective project manager creates better results.
Pay Attention to Priorities
One of the most valuable assets that a good project manager can have is a task list. However, it is not enough just to write down everything that needs to be done; you also have to prioritize it. Examine the tasks at hand regularly and be prepared to move them around as deadlines shift and new priorities emerge. Your goal should be to evaluate where each task stands, what resources are needed to see the matter through to its conclusion, and when the task needs to be completed. This may mean moving some deadlines back to accommodate a sudden change in need. The ability to work flexibly but with assurance is one of the qualities of a good project manager and many successful professionals such as Semion Kronenfeld.
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Business communication is essential for a project manager. You need to be able to tell others what you need succinctly and in a straightforward manner that leaves no ambiguity. At the same time, you need to do so compassionately and kindly shows employees that they are valued. Practice your communication skills, but also work on honing your listening skills. Pay attention to what others say about you and the challenges they face at work so you can adjust your style as needed.
The more you focus on these skills, the stronger your project management proficiency will become. This will allow you to direct work appropriately, make deadlines more efficient, and improve your overall productivity. Entrepreneurs like Semion Kronenfeld rely on strong project managers for a reason.