Project Management

Five Competencies of a Strategic Project Manager

Every project needs to be planned well and strategized too, for the organization to reap its benefits. An ordinary project is quite different from a strategic project and both require different skillsets, especially that of the project manager, says Elizabeth Harrin in an article published at Strategy Execution.

Let’s look at the 5 important competencies that a project manager in a strategic project must have:

Effective Communication

As a strategic project manager, you need to refine your already existing communication skills like negotiating, influencing and conflict resolution. Since you have more interactions with the higher management effective communication will help get the support required to achieve the project results.

Having a Business Acumen

Being a strategic project manager, it is crucial for you to develop business skills that help you add value to the project rather than just completing what you are asked for. You need to have a holistic approach to understand the benefits of the project to the organization. You need to understand and propagate the project vision and its implication on the larger organization.

Being the Coach

Strategic projects need the right people doing the right work and you will need to identify that. You need to coach your team members, identify their strengths and make them confident enough to handle the project efficiently.


As a strategic project manager, you need to understand the long-term financial implications of the project. It will be helpful if you know how budgets are created and managed outside a project. You could also educate the team by decoding the financial reporting information.


You need to step up in situations where there is a leadership vacuum or the higher management overseeing the project is not available.  Take charge and run the show even if it is for a short while. This can improve your leadership skill to manage organizational change.

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