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Why project management is such an important skill for managers

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  • August 08 2020
9 minutes to read

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Proficient project managers are now more than ever in high demand amidst the uncertain and challenging times we find ourselves in. Organisations are looking for skilled managers who are competent in both project management fundamentals and key business disciplines to navigate through the consequences of the global pandemic

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) the demand for project management skills continues to grow, and it is estimated that by 2027 employers will need almost 90 million employees working in project management orientated roles.

There are several reasons for this growing demand: the need to understand business management of projects in a world that requires urgent rebuilding; professionals retiring and a considerable increase in demand for project-oriented skills, especially in rapidly developing countries.

What is project management?

The PMI defines project management as the application of knowledge, tools, skills, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. It is vital for an organisation because it offers leadership and a detailed plan for every project.

Traditionally project management has been associated with the construction and engineering sectors. However, there has been a growing demand for this skill across a range from industries, including IT management, marketing, health care management, and financial services to ensure the successful delivery of projects in a competitive environment.

Why is project management important for managers?

  • It is more than just managing: i n the past, project managers have traditionally focused on management skills, with leadership skills being secondary. The modern project manager needs to be able to handle both management and leadership aspects of this role equally.
  • Understanding of interlinked roles in organisations: t his allows you to manage across functional areas, gain insight into the works of the organisation and make well-informed decisions.
  • It is a scarce global skill: t     he shortage of qualified project managers poses a notable risk for organisations that rely on that talent to implement strategic initiatives, drive change and deliver innovation.
  • Expert decision-making skills: t hese skills are based on a combination of numeric methods and qualitative techniques.
  • Ability to bridge the understanding between project management and business management: c ontribute directly to the strategic value chain that gives your organisation an edge over competitors.

Leadership skills that managers require when managing projects

Managers who successful practice strong management skills as well as leadership skills are considered good project managers. It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between management and leadership skills.

In the paper Essential leadership skills for project managers by Victoria Kumar, she points out that strong management skills can be gained through experience and practice while leadership skills can be learned and leadership qualities can be developed.

The following leadership skills are needed to ensure the successful delivery of projects:

  • Motivation: keep a project on track by regularly communicating its vision as this will help keep the team motivated.
  • Team building: encourage team members to work together on both individual and group tasks, and this will help achieve the overall goals of the project.
  • Communication: create an environment where team members can communicate honestly and openly.
  • Listening: have active listening skills when engaging with stakeholders and team members.

Also read: 3 Foundational Elements for Effective Project Management

Benefits of studying project management with USB

Project management is especially suited to help you future-proof your career in a rapidly changing world. Therefore, the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) will introduce an MBA with a specialisation stream in Project Management from 2021.

The advantages of studying project management include advanced management skills and strategic project management skills, allowing you to fill senior-level positions in any organisation. The new stream will benefit from the solid reputation that USB’s MBA enjoys as a degree with three international accreditations.

You can also study project management via the Blended Learning format, which allows you to attend class from anywhere in the world. It also means that you can continue to work while you study, and you can implement your newly acquired skills immediately.

Also read: 5 Reasons Blended Learning Should Be Your New Normal

At the USB, we realise that the world and the way in which we work can change in an instant. Our programmes are designed to turn challenges into opportunities – to reinvent yourself, rethink your business ventures and help rebuild the economy. Most importantly, this programme is your opportunity to keep learning. Apply for our MBA in Project Management today.

Develop innovative and long-range decision-making skills to mitigate risks and to identify opportunities.

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