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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Project Managers Need to Behave

When CIOs were interviewed by ComputerWorld in 2001 regarding what skills a Project Manager should have, the consensus was the following competencies are the most important: Technology, Business, Behavior - not necessarily in that order.

I know that I have lived a sheltered project management life, but I think many project managers haven't sufficiently mastered the "Behavior" competency.   I admit my experience is limited, but I have worked with many project managers, and I believe that we all could improve our skills as they relate to the "Behavior" competency.  We should all be able to agree that in order to motivate people a project manager needs an understanding of human behavior and how to motivate teams.  How many project managers do you know have mastered these skills?  How well do you do in this area?  I can admit that I have room for improvement.

As I said, "Behavior" was listed in the top three of the most important competencies.  I find that to be interesting because other surveys of CIOs find that the number one complaint about project managers is that they are whiners and excuse makers.  How can we change that?  Collectively we must decide as project managers to exhibit the highest ethical and behavioral standards, and take responsibility for our project's results (without whining).  We must be empathic,  good listeners, be trustworthy, and not gossip and participate in destructive office politics.


Craig Brown said...

Interesting advice there Stephen. And I like your proposal to 'own' the project results.

But what do you do when the sponsor/client org is the source of your troubles?

ProjectSteps said...

Craig, when the sponsor/client is the source of trouble you may have a big problem on your hands. There is no easy answer. Use your communication skills and try your best to keep them on "your side".

Also, make sure that they are fully bought into the project scope, and keep working on building a strong relationship with them.