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6 Essential Project Management Skills for Students

6 Essential Project Management Skills for Students

Cramming is an activity that is too familiar for students today, as most of them would often start and finish their projects, homework, or take-home quizzes on the same day. Unfortunately, cramming mostly leads to failing grades since the students didn’t have enough time to research on the topic for the project or essay, and they also don’t have time to edit their work. 

If a student gets used to cramming in school, there is a high chance that he or she may do it at work as well after graduating. Cramming sometimes produce even worse results in work, so it is best to stay away from the habit of cramming start learning some project management skills by reading a project management essay or watching a tutorial video. It is even better to start knowing all of the project management skills while in school in order for the learner to get used to applying these skills in curricular activities.

To get started, you would first need to know what the most crucial project management skills are, and to help you get some knowledge about them, we have compiled a list of the said skills so that you can read all about them in one go. Here are the essential project management skills for students.

Time Management

Arguably the most important project management skill, time management allows the students to handle their time per day properly. Time management also prevents students from cramming their project since they will be able to schedule when they will work on it. Based on a blog post published by the Northeastern University, to improve time management skills, one must first know the activity called scheduling, which is usually done for the student to plan out what he or she will do for the day. 

Managing time efficiently also shows the importance of crashing in project management. Crashing is a technique that shortens the period of time that the project should be done. However, crashing is not the same as cramming, where you would have to fit all the tasks in one day or a shorter amount of time since the technique relies on activities that are so well-planned that it would only take a few days or a week to finish the project.

Students may include in their schedule how many hours they should allot for doing homework or projects, and how much time they need for performing other activities at home as well, such as eating, taking a bath, playing video games, and reading books. If the student did well in following the schedule, he or she could get his or her own reward so that the student can get more motivated to stick to the plan.

Proper Planning

planning for the project

Time is not the only thing that should be planned, but also how the project should be done. Before taking on the project, it is crucial for the student to know what exactly to do for it, like if it needs research or if it needs other groupmates to perform tasks. By planning what to do before actually doing the project, you will be able to have an easier time executing the plan for the next few days. The plan may also include time management, so both of the said skills can work alongside each other for better results.

Leadership

If the project involves you and other students to work together for it, then it is essential for you and your groupmates to learn the skill called leadership. If a student is more knowledgeable about the project than the others, he or she should take the initiative to be a leader and guide other groupmates to accomplish a task for the project. 

However, leadership doesn’t mean that only one student should learn it, as everyone in the group can be a leader, as long as he or she knows more about an aspect of the project. A simple essay on project management would tell you that leaders should always be hand-on in the project since they would have to know everything that is happening within the group. In addition, the leader should also have the initiative to plan out a project schedule, which is where the time management and proper planning skills would enter the spotlight.

the triangle of proper project management

Good Communication Skills

According to Strategy Execution, a leader should have good communication skills so that he can talk to his or her groupmates well. Practicing communication skills is as easy as having a simple conversation with friends or even your groupmates in the project. The topic that can be talked about can be unrelated to the project, and it can be about knowing your groupmates more and piecing together his or her likes and dislikes when it comes to doing activities in school. 

By knowing your groupmates well, you will be able to assign them to a task that you think he or she would like more than the other tasks. Furthermore, communication skills are also important for you to properly state your intentions in planning out tasks for the project to your groupmates, and being clear in what you are saying allows them to have a better grip on the activities that you are planning and leading on.

Managing Costs

Some projects at school would require students to spend money to buy items or props, so it is best if you learn about cost managing skills in order to compute how much you and your groupmates would need to spend to buy stuff for the project. Computing costs are actually really easy, but the hardest aspect of it is limiting your budget to what the project needs. 

There are some items that have similar functions, like a pen and a pad of paper, but the prices and the quality between brands may vary. You may want to focus on getting items that are good quality but are lower in price compared to the others, but these kinds of items may be quite difficult to find. Managing costs can also be done by several people in the group so that you can discuss which items to buy, as well as if the items can fit in the group’s total budget. To limit spending, it is essential to set a budget for the group first before buying things.

Being Tech-Savvy

In order to apply all the skills mentioned above efficiently, the student should have a basic knowledge of several programs found on the computer or smartphone. For time management, a student should be able to use the digital clock to set alarms for tasks, and he or she also needs to know how to use Microsoft Office Excel so that the daily tasks can be inputted in a sheet and can be shared to other groupmates via a flash drive, Google Sheets, or email. 

For communication, social media apps or websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be a gateway for students to communicate well even if they are far away from each other or in the comfort of their home. Video call programs like Zoom and Skype are also effective tools to have for group communication. For managing costs, students can use the calculator to compute group spending and budget if they aren’t quite proficient in math. Microsoft Excel is also an excellent program to have in order to keep track of the items spent on by the group and also the total amount of budget remaining for the project.

Those are six great project management skills to learn while in school, and these skills can easily be carried over to the workplace once the students are ready to take on the role of an employee.

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