TRG Talk Project Management event
February 6, 2020 – TRG Talk: Project Management welcomes a regular speaker, Brian O’Reilly, MBA Program Coordinator at Vietnamese-German University (VGU), who has over 18 years of experience in higher education, management consulting, business coaching, and corporate training.

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Why project management is important?

Fun fact, this TRG Talk: Project Management is our very first Talk of the Year of the Rat. Still, we welcome a room full of professionals from a wide variety of industries and have a very robust discussion.

Brian begins his presentation by pointing out that more than a handful of managers do not fully utilise their project management skills. Some even lack the necessary skills.

The shortage of skills will have a negative impact on both the project as well as the organisation’s bottom line. As a result, the lack of project management skills will restrict the project team to work efficiently and properly.

Additionally, without a good project manager, the whole team will not be achieving its full potential; the project might result in chaotic and poor quality. Unfortunately, this is the problem that many are facing in the new decade.

Top 3 project management skills of the new decade

Project Management skills can be divided into three categories: technical skills, strategic skills, and leadership skills.

Technical skills are the specific and necessary skills one needs to conduct their tasks. Examples of technical competence can be IT related skills, data analysis, and task management. As technologies are constantly changing, therefore, this competency also needs to evolve over time. Technical skills are one of the most in-demand skills right now.

Strategic skills are meant to help with the long-term company goals, which align with the overall vision of the organisation. Portfolio management and long-term planning are just a few examples of this category. Brian also mentions that the overall vision is crucial for the project manager and the project itself. With a clear goal in mind, the project team knows why they are doing certain tasks, why they need to be productive, and what the company will get at the end.

Last but not least, it is critical for project managers to possess adequate leadership skills. Examples of essential leadership skills are communication, coaching, mentoring, and emotional intelligence. Brian also emphasises that it is important to acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses when working in a team. He also mentions that leadership skills are the most challenging ones to gain and practice.

It is normal and expected to have a conflict in your team, but it is vital to deal with them in a professional and healthy way. Everyone should have a right to express their thoughts and make suggestions throughout the project regardless of their positions. A good project manager needs to be trustworthy and trusted by the teammates to run a project successfully. Additionally, a professional project manager has to build a relationship with teammates as well as with clients and stakeholders to have better insight and control over the situation.

According to Brian, Emotional Intelligence (or better known as EQ) is as critical as IQ. An effective project manager needs to be smart to maintain the cost and requirements of the project under control and within the time limit. But he/she also needs to have a high EQ to manage people, their team, and the project stakeholders.

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