Much of the work that a PM performs involves tough situations, politics, coordination and communication across boundaries. This suggests to me quite an array of personal skills are required, but I've been unable to find a list that breaks them down in an easy to read format.

How would you break down the personal-skills that a PM is required to have in order to effectively do his job?

  • 4
    This is a dupe of pm.stackexchange.com/questions/77/…
    – ashes999
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:58
  • Voted to close as duplicate.
    – jmort253
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 6:56
  • 1
    Doesn't anyone think that he needs technical skills? Then why ever promote a techie guy to being a project manager?
    – Mugen
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 19:30
  • @Mugen, as I said on my answer: "not mandatory, depends the project requirements". Some project may demand more or less technical skills.
    – Johnny
    Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 16:11

3 Answers 3

  • Communication skills: The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. - Peter Drucker
  • Leadership skills: Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing. - Peter Drucker
  • Organized
  • Resourceful: No one person will have all the answers, but if one is resourceful, she will know how to get the answer. A resourceful person will have many tools in her toolbox (knowledge of PMI best practices, Agile methodologies, etc.) but more importantly knows which tools to select and apply in a given situation.
  • Craig, this question is a duplicate, I think this answer is worth putting on the duplicated question. (if is not there yet)
    – Geo
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 1:27

A great PM should be:

  • A problem/impediments resolver

  • Strong communication skills

  • Reliable

  • Confident

  • Leadership

  • Technical skill(?) [not mandatory, depends the project requirements, but should be at minimum able to talk to team and stakeholders technically]

  • Must know how to select the right resources (see The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing (version 3.0))

  • If the item above is meet, than the PM can trust his team to get things done, so the next skill is to keep team motivated by letting they alone to do their job.

  • Choosing the right tool to keep project on-track. (Is this a skill?.. don't know, but a PM must meet this item to do a great job)

  • Finally, I'd like to recommend to go deep on How to be a program manager by Joel Spolsky:

Mostly, becoming a program manager is about learning: learning about technology, learning about people, and learning how to be effective in a political organization. A good program manager combines an engineer’s approach to designing technology with a politician’s ability to build consensus and bring people together.

The paragraph above can also be applied to a Project Manager.

  1. I'd second ashes999 comment above that there are good answers under the question he refers to.
  2. There isn't just one type of project manager or one big definition of what all project managers do. There are some pm's that focus on requirements gathering and leading brainstorming sessions. There are others that are specialists in transitioning projects from development to maintenance, etc.
  3. There are many ways to skin a cat. Just like there is no single set of skills that makes a great CEO there is no single set of skills that make an effective project manager.

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