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Five Vital Skills for Project Managers – Adaptability

This is the last in the series Five Vital Skills for Project Managers – Adaptability. We have previously talked about Communication, Leadership, Organisational Skills and Critical Thinking. Today we will look into the benefits of being Adaptable.

Changing your approach

Adaptability as a skill refers to the ability of a person to change their actions, course or approach to doing things in order to suit a new situation. In today’s changing world, this skill could not be more vital.

However, adaptability is not just about changing something or adjusting to a situation. It includes being able to bring about changes in a course of action with smoothness, timeliness and without any major setbacks.

Remaining Agile

Regardless of what Project Management methodology you prefer to use, understanding the basics of Agile is a good skill to help your ability to adapt to changes that may be out of your control. Even in a typically Waterfall project, there are still some Agile practices you can incorporate. These include daily check-ins, iterative sprints and continuous feedback. Employing these practices will enable you to flexibly respond to change in the moment. The benefit of this is that you won’t be sacrificing your whole project plan and be forced to start from scratch again.

Projects typically bring about change

Project managers must be able to adapt to upcoming product trends, new technology, user demographics and more. Recognising in the first place that there is a need for change is key to successful Project Management. Resistance to change only delays the inevitable.

Project managers spend a lot of time producing plans and establishing team objectives. Sponsors, stakeholders, and teams then spend just as much time making changes to the scope of the work and the rollout process. Keeping a steady eye on the bigger picture, even as some of the details shift, goes a long way toward keeping the project moving forward. This also allows you quickly and smoothly adapt.

This concludes our look at Five Vital Skills for Project Managers – Adaptability.

For more information on Adaptability, take a look at our Project Management and Managing Change courses.

By Jacob Ahmadzai

Helping businesses improve performance with proven learning and development solutions. London based with a global reach.