Project management involves a grab bag of interrelated (though ranging) skill sets. From helping to compare highly technical solutions, to acting as mediator between bickering parties, to opening an office in a new city, project managers need a thorough understanding of many soft skills as well as technical and managerial disciplines. While many of these skills are learned through continuing education and years on the job, many great project managers already have a solid aptitude for project management before they start. Check out our quiz below to judge your aptitude for a wide range of project management skills today!
How do you feel about change in work processes?
Successful project managers embrace change and are able to adapt and foster adaptation in their team members.
Are you good at providing feedback that others may not want to hear?
There are many situations in which the proper move to keep a project on track is to tell employees (and even higher-ups) "no" or give hard-to-hear feedback.
Are you good at bouncing between the "micro" and "macro" of a given project?
Good project managers are able to help team members to deal with minutia without losing sight of the larger project goals.
How well do you deal with high-pressure situations?
Project managers are often called on to explain situations to stake holders, held accountable for project outcomes, and need to be able to stay calm when tensions may rise surrounding projects.
How do you handle mistakes you've made?
Good project managers are able to make hard decisions and live with them. If they end up being the wrong call, good PMs learn from the situation rather than dwelling on the mistake.
Are you decisive?
While good project managers weigh potential courses of action deeply, they also need to act decisively
How would you rate your organizational skills?
Projects are composed of many smaller tasks completed simultaneously. Project managers may be called on by a variety of different stake holders to provide an account of how any one of those tasks is progressing .Whether for an employee, customer, or higher management, PMs need to be able to quickly find related documentation and convey the status of project elements.
Are you a good communicator?
Project managers are responsible for keeping open communication channels between many parties. PMs without strong communication skills are often sunk.
Are you good at empathizing and working with those of different backgrounds or cultures?
In an increasingly global workplace, PMs must know how to work with global citizens as well as how to soothe tensions that may arise between workers of different backgrounds or cultures.
Are you good at getting the best out of fellow workers?
Good project managers don't know how to solve every problem, but they know how to strategically align the skills of employees with key problems to obtain objectives.
Are you more of a "doer" or a "talker?"
Project managers who take actions that align with their stances are much more likely to inspire the respect and allegience of workers than those who just have "positions."
Would you describe yourself as enthusiastic?
Enthusiasm for work is contagious. Pessimism or lack of interest is too. PMs who are embued with a sense of passion and purpose for a project are likelier to lead impassioned teams.
Which do you prefer:
Many business processes involve so many parties and decisions that it's rare to find a single "cause" of a problem. PMs that excel in open-ended scenarios by finding the best possible way forward (not "the solution") are often the most well suited to contemporary business.
How comfortable are you delegating important tasks?
PMs that foster talent on teams and signal to employees that they are trusted perform better.
How good are you at sifting through data and prioritizing?
PMs are often overloaded with data regarding a variety of tasks. The ability to sift through disparate data and prioritize quickly is a must for PMs looking to retain perspective.
Are you good at asking the right questions?
Good PMs ask the right questions of stakeholders, employees, and bosses to ascertain what needs to be delivered, when, and how to better deliver products in the future.
Are you dependable?
Good PMs follow through once protocol is set in motion. If you are set to have a bi-weekly status meeting with an employee, you need to regularly show up for the meeting.
Are you good at cultivating a network of specific problem solvers?
Project managers help to isolate and solve problem areas quickly. Whether this means calling someone outside of your team or a subject matter expert. Networks help with this.
Do you have subject matter knowledge of the field you wish to manage in?
Good PMs can at least speak the technical language of those they're managing. Great PMs know the subject matter in which the project deals front to back.
How would you rate your attention to detail?
Project management isn't all about the big picture and strategy. It's also necessary to be able to go through employees work with a fine-toothed comb.
How good are you at dealing with uncertainty?
Many projects endeavored upon simply will not work (or will be completed in some limited capacity). Risk management is a crucial skill of modern project managers.
How good are you at managing the expectations of others?
Good project managers are a liason between higher-ups, other stakeholders, and their team, effectively managing the expectations of each party and communicating the trade offs of different work styles or work choices.
Do you feel competent at picking up new technology within your field quickly?
Project management is increasingly augmented with software, devices, or about building technology. The ability to quickly pick up new tools related to your industry and project management is a must.
Do you understand (and can you effectively communicate with) the language of business and executives?
Higher-ups in corporations often seek information on how a project syncs up with broader corporate initiatives. Knowing how to parse the importance or needs of a project in business terms instead of the technical "nitty-gritty" can keep you from being pigeon holed and lead to more interaction with executives in the future.
Are you comfortable taking on many tasks at once?
Good PMs can keep tabs on many smaller tasks simultaneously, assessing the importance of each, assisting where needed, and backing off when necessary.
Are you good at figuring out ways to track progress?
Organizations spend massive amounts of money on projects, and want to know that processes are in place for accurately measuring progress (or lack thereof). Good PMs are great at spotting quantifiable ways to measure the success of a project.
Would you call yourself a good negotiator?
When visions of how to complete a project invariable clash, project managers are responsible for ensuring productive communication between parties and negotiating a compromise or solution.
Are you good at spotting "A" players for your team?
The ability to spot, retain, and nourish talented individuals is a set of skills that sets great project managers apart from simply good project managers.
Are you a highly logical thinker?
Good PMs are great at breaking down complex "many-forked" situations into a series of potentialities, then weighing the pros and cons of each. PMs also need to be able to effectively communicate these logical steps with others.