Saturday, April 14, 2012

Three Types of Project Manager Skills

A successful project manager needs three types of skill: technical project management skills, project leadership skills, and general management skills.

Technical Project Management Skills
Project managers need to have mastered the technical requirements of the job. These include planning skills such as the ability to develop work breakdown structure, identify dependencies, gather and assess estimates, analyze risks, assign and level resources, and build a project plan. They also include project execution skills such as the ability to gather and evaluate status data, develop estimates at completion, prepare meaningful status reports, and track progress.

Project Leadership Skills
These skills are typically called "soft" skills because they involve managing relationship and the expectations of project participants. However, there is difference between general soft skills, discussed in the next section, and the specific skills needed by a project manager. The later include such skills as the ability to force a clear project objective, to create and manage a comprehensive statement of scope, to differentiate between requirements and expectations and manage both, to analyze and manage risks, to define and enforce a clear review and approval process for deliverables, and to build cohesive team out of a temporary group of employees.

General Management Skills
Project managers also need the general skills used by all effective managers. These include such abilities as listening, goal-setting, delegation, communications, time management, meeting management, and negotiation.

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