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The Second Most Important Competency for a Project Manager

number 2The most crucial skill for a project manager to have is to be able to communicate efficiently.   However, even if your communications skills have been honed to the point where you are now practicing amateur  mind reading, you must also have good judgment in order to be a successful project manager:

Gaps in communication capabilities are readily apparent ““ verbal and non-verbal feedback is usually a good way to know if one is consistently missing the mark.   Once such deficiencies have been identified and accepted, we can invest in development opportunities to better ourselves.   A greater challenge exists with what I consider to be the second most important competency for project managers ““ judgment.  

The article uses six real world examples of how proper judgement can lead to increased productivity.  The first of these is deciding when to escalate to a sponsor or senior stakeholder.   Sometimes issues need to be passed along.  However, if this happens too frequently, your position as project manager may be at stake.   Proper judgement means knowing when a situation is growing beyond your control.   A project manager must also decide when to use formal tools, determine the best way to engage stakeholders, and when to dissect information given to you by your team or stakeholder.

A project manager must also exercise judgement over the team.   There may be personality clashes that interfere with performance, and a project manager will be faced with multiple sides to one issue.   When a project manager is able to make good judgement calls time and again through a variety of situations, he or she will become more rounded and better suited for completing any project that may be assigned.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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