20 Key skills that every Project Manager must have

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If you manage projects, chances are you working with digital content. Some project managers have experience in design or development but not usually have extensive knowledge of the digital world. Here are some tips and essential skills that will make your team values ​​and respects you.

1) Writing and editing content

Content has always been and will remain the most important. Able to write and edit properly will become an invaluable member of your team. Always we are working against the clock, regardless of the number of partners that count. Whether dealing with a report for a designer, an article for the blog of the agency or an email to a customer, it is essential to have writing skills. The same goes for editing. No offense, designers are often not experts in the art of writing. For this reason, it is imperative that the project coordinator can transform the words of a designer or developer in a striking and pleasant text.


HTML and CSS are the main languages of the Internet, and all who have browsed online have grappled with HTML. To edit or writing HTML is a very valuable skill to help designers or developers if needed. The more you know, the more you can help your team members. There are situations where you know how to add formatting online content, add text and images, and embed YouTube videos really help developers. Codeacademy.com , lynda.com and w3schools are great places to learn HTML.

3) FTP

We usually connect to servers and local file systems and online via a file transfer protocol or FTP. Knowing how to use FTP will differ from other project managers only manage Dropbox. You can receive and deliver materials easily by logging in to a free FTP program such as FileZilla or Cyberduck . Personally I prefer to transmit for Mac, which while not free, is worth every penny.

4) Analytical and reports

Data is the future, and project managers should know how to collect and interpret them . The simplest is to start with Google Analytics. This is the preferred platform for the industry, because it is very intuitive and complete. Google detailed guide helps you easily install analytical codes on the site. However, installing Google Analytics will not help you much if you do not know how to interpret the reports. Google offers a free online course on how to use the platform here . Once you’ve read all the information, you can get certified as analytical, which has much more value in the industry than you think.

5) Information Architecture

While no one expects you to be an expert in usability schemes or configure user experiences, you excel in your job if you know how to audit and classify information. To categorize and structure information in a logical manner is essential for the team to engage in the design and development instead of managing information. Remember that your role as project manager is to make sure every member of your team to work effectively. You can use simple tools like POP , Frame Box or Gliffy to help you with this task.

6) Knowledge management systems contents

WordPress, ExpressionEngine and Drupal are three of the systems most popular content management. All work in much the same way. The first thing to know is that some content can be edited and others are coded templates. To create, edit and publish content through a CMS is a very useful skill. You will offer invaluable help to the developer if you know how to insert images, text and other content in a system.

7) Social Networking

When publish and manage social networks, it is very important to understand the various platforms. At present, all trying to develop a presence on social networks, either with a Facebook page, a Twitter profile or using the full array of platforms. As project manager you must know what content can be used on every social network to make the most. Many professionals use social networking tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck or enterprise software such as Radian6 or Virtue, but even knowing how they work is practical, the most important thing is that you can determine which tools are most useful and why.

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8) SEO

Search engines still dominate the digital discovery process, so it is essential to know how to improve your site’s ranking in searches. SEO allows you to create great content and connect so that increase their relevance in search engines. You will find extremely useful to understand how encoding, content and linking pages work together to promote a better ranking. Designers and programmers often neglect this aspect. SEOmoz is an excellent tool site and software as a service (SaaS) to help you take the first steps in SEO optimization.

9) Keynote / PowerPoint

Most marketing strategies are based on organized narrative of compelling stories. You sumarás many points if you know how to create a slide show. The book slide: ology , Nancy Duarte, is an excellent resource to learn about this art. You can also use online platforms as Prezi , SlideRocket or Haiku Deck , featuring many templates for beginners.

10) Presentation skills

To tell a compelling, concise and coherent story will stand out from the rest of the project managers; and that’s the difference between a leader and a manager who is not actively involved. A captivating presenter can make PowerPoint presentation mediocre have an incredible effect, and vice versa. The audience will not remember the slide, but remember the impact that the presenter had on her.

11) Photo Editing

There are many simple online publishers to crop images, resize and retouch the colors. Make simple changes or create magnificent headers will help you implement editorial improvements. As a bonus, you shall set up the self-esteem of the designer.

12) Terms of marketing and technological jargon

It may seem obvious, but using appropriate terminology will help you communicate and input correctly. If you know, for example, what it means and why jQuery helps increase interaction with pages and conversion rates from forms, you will win the respect of your customers and your team.

13) Attention to detail

This might seem obvious, but it is surprising the number of projects that are published with howlers. A careful project manager should be able to easily detect misspellings, broken links or failed interactions.

14) Organization

Maintain a certain internal order will help you meet deadlines for a project. Even the simplest tasks can take a long time if the correct file names are not assigned or if errors occur during the process. Sometimes, team members do not consider the whole process when organizing their work. The role of the project manager is to ensure that the protocol is followed.

15) Methodologies formal project management

There are schools of thought that teach approach projects from the perspective of the life cycle. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the Agile methodologies, Scrum cascaded. Projects and needs differ in complexity, but if you know how to deal with different types of assignments, you ‘ll look like a real expert to the client, your team and agency leaders. We also recommend using popular tools like Basecamp , Liquid Planner or Pivotal Tracker .

16) Relations with suppliers and strategic partnerships

Sometimes it is impossible to address all tasks internally due to the lack of specific knowledge or capacity constraints. In these cases it is essential to know how to find and qualify suppliers. Ideally you count on a list of professionals that you can go. Knowing how to manage external contractors and freelancers is a real talent.

17) Knowledge of modern technologies and emerging platforms

Knowing what tools are available is essential for your work. Project coordinator for the digital age you should know how to use the various technological elements, such as API and SaaS. Do not worry if you do not get along with the technology at first; the IT team will help you navigate the digital world and will be happy to share their knowledge with you.

18) Negotiating Skills

Time and deadlines are tyrants. An excellent project manager knows how to mitigate risks and work with your team and your customer to track changes in the scope and burdensome deadlines. Know how to negotiate rates with providers, deadlines with customers and internal teams expectations.

19) Fiscal Responsibility

Companies are not maintained with complex codes and striking designs, but with the money they generate. The best project managers are aware of the implications of profit margins and the impact of deadlines in the final results. This is essential to manage daily activities, allocate resources and determine the scope of projects.

20) Positive attitude

I do not dedicate myself to give motivational speeches or write self-help books, but I recognize that it is essential that project coordinators have a positive attitude. You are the link between the project and the team. When something goes wrong, someone else gets the credit, but when something goes wrong, it’s always your fault. The most important thing is to remain optimistic in both situations.

This article was originally written in English by Peter Sena  to HubSpot.