Skills of a Project Manager

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 347
  • Published : March 30, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
13_26_ch02.fm Page 13 Friday, September 8, 2000 2:43 PM

Chapter

2
Basic Skills for Project Managers
Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great; some achieve greatness—others have greatness thrust upon them. William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

Introduction
Before now, we had discussed project management in the broad sense, that is, from the perspective that any type of project—industrial assembly line, new construction, or technology implementation— operated by the same sets of rules and processes. For the remainder of this book, we focus on the last type of project and its leader—the IT project manager. Project managers are a very special breed of people. They are in much demand and will be increasingly so as the need for effective technologists continues to soar. Good technology project managers are trained, not born. They develop skills through experience and education. They become better project managers each time they successfully deliver a project. They learn new techniques and apply them on their projects. They learn lessons—sometimes the hard way—to be better managers in the future. 13

13_26_ch02.fm Page 14 Friday, September 8, 2000 2:43 PM

What Does a Project Manager Do?
Briefly, technology project managers fulfill the following broad requirements: G

G

G

G

G

G

G

G

Define and review the business case and requirements by regular reviews and controls to ensure that the client receives the system that he or she wants and needs. Initiate and plan the project by establishing its format, direction, and base lines that allow for any variance measurements and change control. Partner with the end users, work with project sponsors and other management to establish progress and direction of the project by achieving goals, reaching targets, solving problems, mitigating risks. Manage the technology, people, and change in order to achieve goals, reach targets, and deliver the project on time and within budget. Manage the project staff by creating an environment conducive to the delivery of the new application in the most cost-effective manner. Be able to manage uncertainty, rapid change, ambiguity, surprises, and a less defined environment. Manage the client relationship by using an adequate direct yet complete and formal reporting format that compliments a respected and productive relationship. Drive the project by leading by example, and motivating allconcerned until the project accomplishes its goal.

Now let us examine the skills and qualities needed to meet these requirements.

Necessary Skills
The skills that a good project manager possesses are many and varied, covering the entire spectrum of the human personality. We can divide these skills into a number of specific categories, namely: 14

Chapter 2 | Basic Skills for Project Managers

13_26_ch02.fm Page 15 Friday, September 8, 2000 2:43 PM

Personal Skills
Project Managers must be able to motivate and sustain people. Project team members will look to the project manager to solve problems and help with removing obstacles. Project managers must be able to address and solve problems within the team, as well as those that occur outside the team. There are numerous ways, both subtle and direct, in which project managers can help team members. Some examples include the following: G

G

G

G

G

G

Manage by example (MBE). Team members will be closely watching all actions of the project manager. Therefore, project managers must be honest, direct, straightforward, and knowledgeable in all dealings with people and with the project. A good manager knows how to work hard and have fun, and this approach becomes contagious. A positive attitude. Project managers must always have a positive attitude, even when there are substantial difficulties, problems, or project obstacles. Negative attitudes erode confidence, and a downward spiral will follow. Define expectations. Managers who manage must clearly define what is...
tracking img