With the new year just around the corner, rapidly evolving changes in the workforce and across all industries, and a global average salary of $120k as demand for project managers increases, there’s never been a more critical time for project managers to upskill them than now.
More than ever, businesses rely on project management professionals to meet the needs of an evolving economy and market. Employers need PMs who are flexible, proactive, collaborative and embrace change.
As you prepare for the business challenges of the new year, there are three critical skills that allow you to stand out as a project manager that you need to carry with you into the future. These skills not only increase your chances of ensuring project success, but, perhaps more importantly, your career success.
Here are the three skills you need to develop now:
Staying relevant and maintaining a competitive edge in the job market requires keeping abreast of current industry trends, market changes, new technologies, and best practices in project management. When you demonstrate a willingness to learn and continue your professional development and training while in your role, you put yourself in a favorable position for your employer, become more effective at work and develop and improve your soft and hard skills, such as budgeting, risk management and leadership.
While continuous learning, such as that obtained through a PMP certification or similar, is ideal, there are many other ways to further your education and professional development. For example, you could decide to ask your employer to allow you to work on a series of projects or projects that are a little outside your expertise or comfort zone in order to improve your skills and improve your areas of improvement. .
Being flexible and adaptable is critical to your success as a project manager. Projects rarely run smoothly, and that’s even more so now as we enter the new year, with new AI-based technologies being developed and implemented almost daily. You will need to adjust your approach to accommodate the use of new technology and also, given how volatile markets have been post-pandemic, prepare for worst-case scenarios.
You must also be ready, on the fly, to reassess your approach according to stakeholder requirements, navigate complex organizational structures and environments, and learn from your mistakes so you can adapt where necessary.
Artificial intelligence is becoming extremely popular as a strategy to reduce time and risk in work processes — and for good reason. AI-powered tools can help project managers become more confident decision makers and perform their roles more effectively by accessing data and insights that were previously unavailable or difficult to obtain. You can now save time on many routine tasks, develop schedules and project plans, create slides, presentations and contracts, map your personal workload, even record stakeholder meetings and take notes and summaries of follow-up actions from meetings . with AI-powered software.
This is definitely a skill you need in your arsenal, as it will free you up to solve problems more creatively and actually enjoy your work more. With just a little research, you can easily discover free and paid AI productivity tools to improve your work, optimize communication between cross-functional teams, and even provide you with more accurate forecasts.
The new year poses many challenges — but just as many opportunities. If you as a project manager embrace these numerous changes through learning and development, staying agile and integrating AI into your workflow, you will be ready to turn these challenges into personal and professional growth opportunities and witness successful project outcomes.