Necessary Skills for Software Project Management
Project Management Knowledge Areas (PMBOK) alone is usually not enough to become successful project management – including a software PM. You reasonably need different skills. Coping with project management challenges requires responsiveness, adaptability, analytical and strategic thinking, assertiveness, a stress-resistant, and even a little risk-taking personality. Multitasking abilities, combined with written and listening skills, can make you one of the most proficient software project managers.
When it comes to skills, you need to be aware that there is no specific project management skill. You need to know a little bit about each, depending on the project. Anyway, having general business knowledge is very important. Do not worry; you do not need to be an expert in all technical jobs such as graphics. However, the ability to give precise and explicit tasks to technical experts is crucial.
We come up with a long list if we want to mention all these skills. So, we prioritize and classify the project managers’ essential abilities. In this article, project manager skills are prioritized based on their repetition in related online articles. This means that the first skill (leadership) is discussed in most reports, and the next abilities are mentioned in smaller numbers.
List of six most repeatedly skills for software project management
- Team management
- Risk management
Some of the leadership skills are as follows:
- Respect others’ opinions and views
Many managers can not see the world through the eyes of various organization beneficiaries, such as customers, the board of directors, employees, and legislators.
- Control of emotions and feelings:
Successful managers take deep breaths and control their feelings when they are in a sad or happy situation.
- Conceptual curiosity:
Successful managers want to know more about a new idea, but weak managers often say things like, “Company policy does not allow this,” or “this decision has nothing to do with you.”
- Critical thinking:
Critical thinking is essential to everyone, but it’s more important to people who manage a group of people.
- Systematic thinking:
Weak managers do not have the ability to see the relationship and dependence between different problems and solve them seamlessly; thus, they seek to solve a problem in isolation. Such solutions will usually not be sustainable.
Strong managers often believe that they do not know the answer to all problems and need collective wisdom and consultation. They do not consider themselves wiser and smarter than others.
The ability to convey project-related concepts to people at different levels of the organization is one of the things you need as a software project manager. You need to know the project beneficiaries’ characteristics and convey your message to them based on this knowledge.
For example, some people need to hear the project details, and for others, it is enough to know the generalities of project stages. You may even need to communicate with some people on a personal level to get the message you want by starting to talk about issues other than the project.
However, a project manager’s communication skills are critical to his/her success in the job market.
Project negotiation is the art of reaching an agreement about the project. Successful project managers discuss delivery dates, budgets, resources, project scope, communication, and sometimes even the definition of success. Whereas some other project managers only accept what the senior organization managers ask them to do and make excuses if the project is not met with their expectations.
There are many practical approaches to a successful negotiation that challenge all stakeholder demands and lead to a supported solution by all key parties.
One of the most critical aspects of team management is the “division of labor.” Sometimes we find that some people confuse management with being preoccupied with all the details of a team’s performance. These are the managers you can never see, and they are generally complaining about their hard work. A manager should aim to build a team that will eventually work correctly without a team manager. This is possible by the division of labor and delegation. Sometimes the question arises that if the team manager is not aware of the details, how can he/she take responsibility for the team’s work? The answer is quite clear. The most challenging responsibility of a team manager is to choose the right members for his team.
Managers can plan their strategy based on the four stages of risk management. The following are the steps for effective risk management in an organization:
- Risk identification
- Risk measurement
- Risk response
- Risk monitoring and control
Most of the ways to increase motivation in the project team are about communication. Improving communication between project team members and providing a transparent and unambiguous environment will increase people’s motivation in the project team.
On the other hand, involving project team members in discussions and decisions will enable people to display their characteristics and abilities.