Why Project Managers Need to Have Exceptional Writing Skills
You already know that your job is much more than just telling people what to do. A modern boss isn’t even necessarily bossy. However, you do need to communicate – and do it well. How much of this crucial communication is written? More than people might think. This is why you need exceptional writing skills as a project manager.
Your Team’s Productivity is on the Line
As a project manager, it’s likely that you do the majority of your internal communication via email. Your team’s inboxes are noisy, full of unimportant emails (up to 62% of the emails they receive are insignificant). Furthermore, it takes time to “recover” from the distraction of an email. The last thing you need is to waste more time.
It is critical that you say what you mean the first time to avoid productivity plummeting. Honing your email writing skills ensures that your team is on-track to produce results and meet project goals. Here are a few tips for writing effective emails:
- Make good use of subject lines so that your team can easily reference the emails you send.
- Avoid language that can be interpreted in more than one way to ensure clarity.
- Proofread each message before you hit “send.”
Project Plans Aren’t Optimized Without Writing
Important parts of your duties are scheduling and creating deliverables, communicating deadlines, and creating milestones – project planning. Goals, data, and other important information is lost without writing, either in your project management software or as a proposal delivered to the team.
Though not directed at project managers, here’s more on writing a winning project proposal.
A proposal will answer all potential questions the reader may have: What? Why? When? Where? Who? How much? You want your team to be clear on all aspects of each internal project.
Writing Helps With the Training Process
Training is yet another area of your job that will require impeccable writing skills. Learning style varies from one person to another. The reason that modern courses are designed with written, audio, and visual materials is so that the information will be absorbed by everyone in the class. Project management is no different.
Whether bringing on a new teammate or teaching an existing one new skills, writing some of your training materials will ensure that the person you’re training can gain a complete understanding. They can also keep what you deliver for future reference, saving you the time it would take to review. If you have more of a talking or showing style, try delivering some written materials to your next trainee and see if they better absorb the information. If you know what you want to say, but aren’t sure how to say it, you can enlist help from professional writers, such as those at Custom Writings.
You Need to Produce Team Member Performance Reviews
As long as all facets of your projects run smoothly, performance reviews can be easy: “John did a great job meeting deadlines this month.” Sadly, a perfect project is rare. Less than 30% of projects are completed on time and on budget. This means that you need to know how to let your team members know exactly where they are lacking, and in a constructive manner.
Simply telling Sally that she failed to meet deadlines 9 times out of 10, and leaving it at that, will not suffice. Writing in positive, motivating, and constructive comments alongside the areas for improvement will go a long way.
A performance review should be comprehensive, covering all positive and negative aspects of a teammate’s performance. Recap the issues that have come up throughout the period referenced. Provide constructive criticism in your reviews, and encourage a discussion. With great writing skills, you will be able to do this easily.
Writing is a necessary skill for project managers in any niche. It enhances productivity, project planning, training, and performance reviews. If you’re writing skills aren’t on par, do something today to improve them.