Writing usually doesn’t come to mind first when you think about the project manager position. There are so many other things that project managers have to do that writing doesn’t seem like an issue. It’s just something you do to get the job done – it isn’t a job on its own.
However, communication is a big part of a project manager’s job and most of that communication will happen through emails, texts or in any other written form. The quality of the job and the success of the project inherently depend on how clear and understandable what the project manager wrote is.
But writing doesn’t come easy, not even to the professional writers. It takes time, editing and a lot of anxiety on whether the message was conveyed properly. It’s a hard skill to master.
Luckily, the truth is that you don’t really have to master it. No one expects literary perfection from your writing. In fact, if you do a good job, no one will even pay attention to your writing but to what is being said.
You have a simple goal – to be understood. This you can achieve with clarity and brevity – and no literary skill at all.
To achieve this, though, there are a few skills that you, as a project manager, should undoubtedly have. Here is our list:
1. The Ability to be Clear and Readable
As we already mentioned, clarity is one of the most important things in your writing. Without it, a web design that you want can become something way too complicated for a web designer to understand or a simple copy something that can’t be done.
Especially as a project manager working with dozens of people in different countries and time zones, you need to be able to get your message across without confusing anyone if you want your project to succeed.
When you have an email to write, create several drafts of it. Think of the simplest way to write what you want them to do. Edit your writing until it’s so simple that even a layman could understand what you wanted to say. Omit complicated words and jargon – don’t use a dictionary word when a simple one will do.
2. The Ability to Establish a Relationship
When working with a wide variety of people with different backgrounds and opinions, one of the most valuable skills that you, as a writer could have is to be able to establish a good relationship with all of them. This will not only lead to easier communication but also to the better quality of your project.
In your emails or briefs, try to address everyone by their name, focus on them instead of you. The best way to do this is to avoid saying ‘I’ or ‘We’ but rather use ‘You’ instead. Building good relationships takes time, but one of the best ways to do it is through communication.
Don’t be stern and distant – write to them like you would write to a friend. Joke sometimes, use simple language and be someone they can talk to. Strict bosses are a thing of the past – you’ll earn a lot more respect if you are just one of them.
“Try to understand their problems. Don’t jump at their throats if they can’t deliver now but in an hour instead, because they have a family issue or something similar. Although, try to keep this within boundaries – a few hours late is not the same as a few days late,” says Millie Atkins, Project Manager from Elite Assignment Help.
3. Tools that will help you improve your Skills
Everyone in this world, no matter what job they do need some help sometimes. When it comes to writing, fortunately, there are plenty of tools to choose from:
- ViaWriting and MyWritingWay – It’s not your job to write with perfect grammar. But it can’t hurt and it adds to the overall clarity. For this, use these two grammar resources.
- Essayroo and Boomessays – Editing doesn’t come easy to everyone and to be honest, it’s a tedious job. Fortunately, Australian Reviewer recently recommended these tools for editing.
- StateOfWriting and Simplegrad – Most people like to get tips from a professional but also from someone who is down to earth and understands their issues. If that’s what you are looking for, check out these writing blogs.
- UKWritings and Academized – If you need a proofreading tool that is so good it’s recommended by Academized review, you should try one of these and you won’t be disappointed.
- Writing Populist and AcademAdvisor – If you feel like you could use some professional help in your writing, you can always visit these sites and get some business writing guides.
4. The Ability to keep it Cool
“Doing business with so many people gets frustrating at times. Someone is late on their part and someone else needs the first someone to be done so they can move on and so on – the process is quite complicated and your contractors and team members might be getting into a lot of arguments. Especially if the project isn’t running smoothly,” says Mike Dunbar, a writer at Paper Fellows.
This is where you step in. One of the most important skills of any project manager is the ability to stay cool in the time of crisis. Writing calming emails is a big part of that job.
To do this, try to understand where everyone is coming from and let them know that you hear and understand them. Try to come up with a solution that works for everyone. If someone is fighting directly with you, remain calm and answer in a calming, professional manner. This is the key to keeping your project on track and finishing it with success.
5. The Ability to Communicate with Different Professionals
As a project manager, you communicate with a lot of people from various industries. This is why it’s so important that you know how to communicate with each of them.
You’ll have to communicate with people that are above you – managers, investors and so on – people that you hired and vendors as well. It will probably get a bit tricky at times but any professional can handle this with grace.
Learn to speak the language of each group. With copywriters, you’ll have to talk about copy, with designers, you’ll have to know something about web design, with investors, you’ll have to talk numbers and so on. It can get confusing but it will be worth it.
6. The ability to Self-edit
While you have a wide variety of tools at your disposals, sometimes the simple ability to self-edit will do. This is especially true with short emails and messages. Learn to remove redundancies and repetitive sentences that don’t add any value to your email.
This is a skill and it will take time to learn it but just like with writing – you don’t have to master it, you only need to do it well enough for people to understand you clearly.
There are many elements to being a project manager and writing well is just one of them. It’s certainly not the most important skill but it’s essential for communication and as such it gains value for your job. Remember to be clear and keep these tips in mind.
Apart from the above writing tips you must have to take the help of Project Management Software which can simplify your work, communication and collaboration with your team for more productivity.
OrangeScrum is an Enterprise Open Source Project Management & Collaboration tool that helps you to organize your tasks, projects, resources, docs, invoices, expenses & timesheets at one place. It offers both Open Source and Cloud version. To know more details, visit orangescrum.org.
You can use OrangeScrum to manage and track your bug & issues at one place. Read here how you can use OrangeScrum as a Bug Tracking System or you can check out the Bug & Issue Tracker feature of OrangeScrum here. Download our free Open Source Project Management Tool to manage your projects, bugs, tasks, users to maximize your productivity. Want a personalized demo, schedule a demo here.