25 Skills every Project Manager Should Have in 2023

It is usually said that being a project manager is like being an artist. You have the different colored process streams combined into a work of art.

A project manager is a professional in project management who is solely responsible for planning and ensuring that every project is well executed.

When any issues arise in the business arena which needs utmost care and execution, the project manager is usually the first point of contact for such issues and discrepancies. They are usually the head planners of most projects to be carried out.

Every project manager must have skills peculiar to them to succeed in their career as a project manager.

We have outlined the 25 skills you should look out for as a project manager and added things you should know about being a project manager.

Project Management Skills

Who is a Project Manager?

Different people have different definitions of who a project manager is. However, a project manager is a person who uses his skill and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within a project team.

They take on new responsibilities daily, organizing projects assigned to them and ensuring they reach the required goals. They are responsible for driving business results.

Project managers are generally known to work well under pressure. They note the small details that make up the bigger picture of their work. They are also known not to be afraid of change as they are always ready for what could be thrown at them.

As a project manager, your skill in dealing with people is very necessary. You must also have a broad toolkit to help you handle any complex tax thrown at you.

Also, you need to have interdependent activities into tasks and sub-tasks that are documented, monitored, and controlled. You would also have to learn to improve on your own and carry your team’s skills along through lessons-learned

How to Become a Project Manager?

If you consider becoming a project manager, that’s a good career plan. Here are the things you need to do.

Understand the Project Management Skills you already have

The first step towards becoming a project manager is finding your skills that have manifested before in this line of work.

If you have planned and led the progress of a project on your own, you have done some elements of project management.

Though you might not have thought of it as project management then, your past experiences may have given you some exposure to the skills you need to become a successful project manager.

If you already have a lot of experience, you may be ready to apply for project manager positions or approach your manager to state your interest in becoming one.

Research has shown that with project management, you would get better on the job if you have the skills required.

Build your Project Management Skills

After you have realized you possess the skill for being a project manager, the next thing to do is to build your project management skills.

Your role as a project manager may gradually expand as you gain industry expertise, take on managerial tasks, develop organizational skills, and learn to work with the people on your team.

If you’re trying to build your project management skills, look for opportunities in your current work.

Look for Entry-level Positions

When you have toned up your project manager skills, you can start in entry-level organizational positions to build your key skills.

Some entry-level positions are positioned as a coordinator, including project coordinator, operations coordinator, associate project manager, etc.

Applying for these positions can perfect your skills before you know it.

Consider a Project Management Credential

A certification in project management can help you get your foot in the door for project management jobs.

It can make you stand out and show your preparedness for the job.

Some of the certifications you could get are- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Google Project Management: Professional Certification, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master, and Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I), amongst others.

Is having Project Manager Skills good for my Career?

According to the Job Growth and Talent Gap report from PMI, employers must fill some 2.2 million new project management-oriented roles annually through 2027.

Job seekers with leadership and technical skills will be in demand in the coming years.

According to the PMI report, industries like healthcare, manufacturing and construction, information services and publishing, finance and insurance, and management and professional services are expected to grow in project-oriented roles.

If you lack project management skills, dig for some now. Even if they are not valuable right now, they will be worth it in a few years.

What Can I Do with Project Managerial Skills?

In every organization, a project manager is needed. A project manager without his skills is simply incompetent.

Most people see a project manager as a manager, an employee, or an independent consultant.

As a project manager, your skills are crucial in determining your success. They would see you as a professional in the field of project management, and it is these skills which would possess that would make you live up to expectations.

Your skills as a project manager would make you the first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments in an organization before the problem escalates to higher authorities as project representatives.

These skills would open doors for you and ensure you maintain the progress, mutual interaction, and tasks of various parties in such a way that reduces the risk of overall failure, maximize benefits, and minimize costs.

You would be required to develop project plans, manage the project stakeholders, manage communication, manage the project team, manage communication, project risks, project schedules, and even the project budget.

How Long Does it Take to Get Project Managerial Skills?

This depends on whether you already possess any project manager skills.

If you have previous managerial experience, you may be able to master the skills within a few months.

Building up your skills may take a few years if you’re starting to become a project manager.

Top 25 Skills a Project Manager Should Have in 2023

#1. Risk Management

This skill has to do with the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling threats to an organization’s capital and earnings.

You can’t be blindsided by an unexpected crisis while deep into executing your project.

After you identify risks, your job does not end; you must also find ways to control the risks by weighing probability and cost.

#2. Budgeting

As a project manager, you administer and oversee the finances related to your business project.

You should understand the stakeholder’s needs and wants, recognize when the circumstance has changed, and make the necessary funding essential to get the project resources in motion.

#3. Scheduling

As a project manager, you are expected to schedule by listing activities, deliverables, and milestones within a project.

Plan the start and finish dates and the resources required to complete the project.

Project scheduling refers to seamlessly scheduling the people you need on your project when needed.

#4. Performance Tracking 

This is also one of the top skills you should possess as a project manager.

A Gantt Chart allows managers to track the project’s progress by providing an overview of tasks, workload, and milestones at any point of the project life cycle.

A project manager must have the skill of performance tracking to be successful in their career.

#5. Communication

To be an effective Project Manager, you must be able to communicate immaculately. This is one of the major skills a project manager must have to be successful.

You should be able to confidently talk to anyone in an organization, from the people lowest on the organization’s ladder to senior management.

Your communication abilities will also be paramount when dealing with clients and stakeholders.

#6. Leadership

Leadership skills are a core skill that you must possess as a project manager. You must have this skill in other to motivate and inspire teams.

You must have other leadership skills like negotiating, communicating, listening, influencing skills, and team building.

To successfully use this skill, you must be goal-driven, have a clear vision, and be practical.

#7. Time Management

Only some people know how to manage and keep to time. As a project manager, this skill would bring more gigs to your doorstep.

It directly affects the quality, scope, and cost of a project. You have to be able to use the time allocated to a project wisely to meet scheduled deliverables and conclude all work by or before project completion.

#8. Technical Skills

This skill entails a lot of other skills added together. You should understand the team skill level, communicate the technical need to the business team, and estimate project derivable.

This skill also relates to finding and using platforms like Microsoft Project, Basecamp, and Evernote to track project progress and communicate with their teams.

#9. Organizational Skills

This skill for a project manager requires identifying goals, arranging priorities from highest to lowest, breaking large projects into achievable tasks, and communicating effectively with team members.

To succeed in a project manager career, you must have organizational skills.

#10. Diplomatic Skills

This is a skill you cannot do without a project manager. You should feel comfortable negotiating with executives, stakeholders, and project team members.

You can’t get anything done with force, but by using diplomacy, you can have a say in almost everything in the project.

#11. Project Planning Skill

A project manager’s entire aim is to plan and execute projects successfully. Project planning is an important skill that you should have.

It has to do with the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of a project.

Crafting a proper project plan takes a lot of skill and, usually, experience in creating things like meeting plans, statements of work, estimates, timelines, resource plans, and briefs.

#12. Reading, Writing, and Math

Like many jobs, project management requires a person to have various skills to succeed.

You would be expected to be an effective problem solver with above-average math skills.

Also, you would be required to write project briefs that are persuasive and concise.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to catch budget and expense math errors and verify the correct numbers. If you’re very weak in any of those areas, it could pose a problem.

#13. Process Management

When we talk about process management, we mean taking a closer look at things like budgeting, project delivery, project launch, invoicing, and resourcing.

It is an important skill that requires that you manage the systematic series of activities directed towards the closure of the project being managed.

#14. Relationship Management

Throughout a long project, you can expect to deal with at least one stakeholder or client nervous about your ability to hit your deadlines on your important deliverables.

Managing those relationships and expectations is a huge part of your job as a Project Manager.

You must be honest and realistic while also ensuring that any impatient parties understand why the project is unfolding the way it is.

#15. Negotiation Skills 

With negotiation skills, you can resolve conflicts and also ensure that success is achieved with minimal risk to the project objectives.

You must be able to negotiate fluently. A lack of negotiations can make your project take longer time than normal.

#16. Team Management Skills

You must work with others to complete a project- you need your team. You must have the skills to manage this team properly to avoid conflicts.

Also, you must ensure balance within the team, ensure visibility and transparency, and foster a culture of collaboration, amongst others.

With this skill, your team and yourself can work together to complete the project.

#17. Conflict Management

Conflicts are bound to fall out during a project. You should be able to have the skill to manage the conflict effectively.

You must be able to exercise power, withdraw, compromise, appease, delegate, and know to hear both sides.

This skill is one of the skills every project manager should have.

#18. Motivational Skills

Stimulating team member performance requires a project manager to harness different interpersonal skills, including the ability to train others.

This skill is necessary because your team might get laid back at a point in the project. It would take your motivational skills to get them back on track.

#19. Adaptability Skills

This is another skill you can barely do without as a project manager. You must be able to frequently review and revise the project plan to be sure everyone is on track.

It also involves growing with any new changes, purpose, or situations. You should be able to adapt to new environments, expectations, and situations comfortably.

#20. Technologically Savvy

As a project manager, you should know and understand modern technology, especially computers.

They may require you to use collaboration tools or even website or social media experience during a project.

In these modern times, this is a skill every project manager must-have.

#21. Reporting Skills

This is a skill every project manager must-have.

At every stage of the project, you should be able to report your project progress to your boss and, if possible, document the progress of a project for future purposes.

#22. Active Listening Skills

As a project manager, you should have active listening skills.

You should listen instead of thinking about what you will say, listen even if you do not agree with or don’t want to hear what is being said, and also try to keep eye contact with the person speaking.

This is a skill every project manager must possess because from listening, you would learn something from each person you meet.

#23. Research Skills 

A project manager has to have the skill to do research when necessary. He has to find the answer to a question or the solution to a problem.

You have to be able to gather information about any topic and analyze and interpret the said information.

#24. Interpersonal Skills

This skill is important for project managers because it enables them to communicate with others where social rules and relations are created.

It requires that you socialize adequately with people and not isolate yourself.

This skill is important because socialization is necessary for getting projects done.

#25. Project Management Methodologies 

Project management methodologies are a skill every project manager should have to have the ability to ensure that they know the principles and practices that generally guide project managers to ensure optimum performance.

You are only a complete project manager if you have the core knowledge of these methodologies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the project management skills most important?

The most important skills of a project manager include leadership, communication, time management, negotiating, team management, and critical thinking. Furthermore, they must also be able to keep up with the project management trends and use the tools they have to their fullest.

What do project managers do?

A project manager organizes, plans, and executes projects within budget and schedule constraints. Project managers lead teams, define project goals, communicate with stakeholders, and see a project close.

Is project management a skill or competency?

Project managers combine various skills and areas of knowledge to do their jobs effectively. Project management competencies are key qualifications that great project managers have, including skills, experience, and other qualifications.


Being a skilled project manager can be challenging. You would be expected to know everything. People would come to you for advice on things not even related to your work.

You would, however, not face these challenges alone. You often worked alongside team members and used software or online tools to streamline the process.


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