How To Be a Better Analyst

The majority of Microsoft Project books will undoubtedly teach you how to master the software. They explain in great detail how to set a baseline, update a calendar, or format a Gantt chart. However, most do not teach you the skills to be a well-rounded analyst, to solve problems, or how to interact with your co-workers.

A good scheduling analyst will possess a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are something you can learn in a classroom environment, or by reading books and technical journals. These hard skills include being able to discern whether you possess a quality schedule, determining that a project schedule is logically sound, the proper way to status a schedule, and maintaining a critical path.

While hard skills are essential to management, soft skills are more critical when dealing with human beings. These soft skills include being able to communicate clearly (both writing and speaking), the ability to solve problems on your own, coaching more inexperienced workers, and having the ability to focus on the task at hand. An analyst needs to also stay up to date with current business trends, by either reading project management literature, or by networking with fellow analysts.

Developing your Microsoft Project hard skills is important at the beginning of your career, but it is the soft skills that will get you promoted.

Learn more in Ed’s webinarHow to Be a Better Scheduling Analyst, now available, on-demand.

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Leveraging Project, Project Server and Project Online for Better Communications
The Basics of Schedule Planning – It’s ALL about Communication

Communication: 5 Ways to Improve Your Project’s Lessons Learned
Size Matters (in Plan Communications)
Ask the Experts: 15 Microsoft Project Tips for New Users

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Ed Killingsworth is a Senior Program Analyst, currently working at System Studies & Simulation, Inc. (S³) in Huntsville, Alabama. He has used Microsoft Project since 1999. Ed is a member of the local PMI group and earned his PMP certification in 2014. He holds a BSBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and his MBA from UNA. Although he doesn’t run very fast, he is also a member and volunteer of the Huntsville Track Club.
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