If you’re a project manager, project success is probably the one thing you think about day in day out. More specifically, you probably worry about how you can make sure your project(s) gets completed on time, on budget and to a high quality. The common assumption is that project success comes down to executing PM skills and techniques effectively, such as writing achievable plans and minimising risks to the plans being delivered. But while these are absolutely essential elements to get right, they are not the whole answer, and they won’t necessarily lead to triumph without a number of peripheral skills being effectively employed.

Anecdotal evidence, as well as formal research continues to suggest that some of the most important areas Project Managers need to develop revolve around people management, and other behavioural skills. When it comes to project failures, technical know-how is rarely the reason behind a project not being completed in line with expectations. Issues that have been highlighted include poor people management and a lack of clear leadership, insufficient understanding of the requirements and strategic vision, ineffective communication, poor stakeholder management and issues around negotiation and supplier management.

With project failures costing companies millions, sometimes billions, in unnecessary expenditure, finding ways to improve the outcomes of projects has never been more important, and equipping project managers with the skills to excel is the first step to achieving this success. In our experience project success comes down to having the following skills.

Spelling Success in PM

S – Stakeholder management

U – Understanding relationships

C – Communicating effectively

C – Conflict management

E – Engaging and Motivating teams

S – Successful negotiations

S – Solving complex problems

But what do you think? Have we missed any core skills that you think are imperative to project success? Let us know via LinkedIn or @UnderscoreComms on Twitter.

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