What Leadership Skills are Required for Project Management?

skillsLet’s face it, a fair number of people put in leadership positions simply lack the necessary skills to…well…lead.  In that case, what leadership skills are required for project management?  An article from Pradip Dwevedi of the Turning Point offers a set of five leadership skills that are required for successful project management:

  • Technical Skills
  • Motivating Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Functional Skills
  • Decision Making Skills

Clearly, having a firm understanding of the subject matter of your project is crucial.  However, Dwevedi notes that technical skills are also a must:

Having the subject matter knowledge for your project does not certify that you are a good quality project managers.  As project manager you need a solid understanding of the organization and its products, services, goals and industry, as well as understanding of the factors that influence implementation of tasks.  What are the links among these?  That [sic] also needs to know and understand as a project manager along with an understanding of technical and problem solving abilities.  Altogether, these skills will allow you as a project manager to plan properly and intuitively to ensure the better project results.

Motivating skills and communication skills are both also extremely important.  You have to be able to put your employees in the mood to do the best possible job.  You also have to be sure that there is an open environment of communications so that, if any problems arise, people can come to you.  Your employees will be more willing to alert you if something is wrong if they truly care about the end goal.  Also, if they feel they can talk to you, they will be able to notify you about positive and negative milestones in the project as soon as they happen.

Functional skills are also a must.  A good project manager must be able to see the bigger picture when setting goals, milestones, and defining the overall project scope.  Finally, the use of superior decision making skills will make all project points simpler.  One of the worst things a project manager can be is indecisive.   When the leader possesses these five skills,  the team and project will find success more easily.

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