Many projects are tasks with producing highly technical deliverables. With this in mind, should project managers be selected for the role based upon their technical background? Or, is it preferred for project managers to have strong leadership and communications skills—regardless of what deliverables the project produces?
The success of any project is highly determined by the project manager’s ability to coordinate and manage the project team. In this regard, communication and leadership skills are more essential for a project manager than the technical skills. Although technical skills are very important in the success of any project, these skills can be effectively employed and result to success even when possessed by any other project team member. Thus, is not very necessary for a project manager to have technical skills to ensure successful application of these skills in a project. Leadership and communication skills on the other hand play a major role in determining the interaction of the team member and the extent in which team members will be willing to employ their skills and knowledge in the enhancement of the project.
Good communication motivates the team members in their daily operation, making it easy to resolve complex situation that could have resulted to the total failure of a project characterized with poor communication skills. Good leadership on the other hand helps in influencing the followers to ensure that they only do what the leader desires voluntary. Good communication and leadership skills can easily influence the project team to focus on solving all problems that could interfere with the project success, and crossing all the barriers to attain the project goals. In addition, they make problem identification and solution generation much easier in a project. Thus, to ensure successful completion of a project, the process of selecting the best person to act as project manager should focus more on candidates leadership and communication skills other than technical skills (Parsaie, 2002).
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