Project Management

The Most Undervalued Project Management Skill

Anyone familiar with project management knows that it all boils down to one skill – administration. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett argues that a capable project manager can not only tackle the responsibilities of designating and tracking tasks to completion, they should also be able to formulate original solutions.

Avoiding a Shipping Debacle

Shacklett uses several examples of cargo shipping projects to illustrate her point. Perhaps the most interesting example involves the shipment of power-generating equipment to a rural community in the heart of India by an Indian power utility. The route involved shipment by barge down the Ganges river, and then by partial land route. When project managers were confronted with several unexpected obstacles (unreliable riverside jetties, substandard roadways, intermittent terrorist enclaves), they responded with innovative solutions (self-made causeways, blasting through hills to make roads, and security forces for protection).

No Amount of Planning

The moral of the story is that crisis can bring about the appropriate innovation, but that you need not face crisis to do so. In fact, no amount of planning can prepare the PM for their greatest challenges. Only effective communication, collaborative problem-solving, and their ability to “think outside the box” can save them from project catastrophe. These qualities, in turn, should be sought after by those hiring PMs (in addition to administrative qualifications).

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