Topics included in Competencies & Interpersonal
- Useful external web-links
Other related subjects within the PMKI:
- Personal Ethics
- Leadership & Motivation
- PM Qualifications
- Develop and manage the project
Temporary Subject List - this page is being rebuilt:
- The Project Manager: Competency,
characteristics, and skills:
- Characteristics -
- PP: The
Accidental Project Manager – The Getting of Wisdom.
The phenomenon of accidental project managers is explored,
and ways to help them and their novice colleagues to
increase their chances of project success by describing the
project management skills needed for success.
- PP: The
future of the PM Hero. In the first decade of the 21st
century, the accidental PM change to the PM ‘hero’. A highly
skilled practitioner who could almost singlehandedly create
project success, but in the second decade of the 21st
century this will no longer be enough. Good project
management will become business as usual, and effective PMs
will need to display ‘5th Level Leadership’.
- PP: What
Does a Project Manager Need to Deliver Successful Projects
(In large and complex organisations)? This paper
focuses on those aspects of a Project Manager’s skills and
knowledge that must be invoked for project success in large,
complex organisations by defining Project Management as a
mixture of art and craft and how this connects to concepts
of management and leadership.
- PP: Tapping
the Power Lines (how to connect to this organisational
influence grid). Successful completion of project
deliverables depends on project management of both ‘hard’
skills (time, cost, scope—1st Dimension) and ‘soft’ skills
(relationship management—2nd Dimension) throughout the
project lifecycle to achieve project objectives that fully
address stakeholder expectations.
- PP: Advising
upwards: managing the perceptions and expectations of
senior management stakeholders. Part of the PM’s role
is to understand senior management support is vital for
project success and to do whatever is necessary to
ensure that senior stakeholders understand and fulfil the
requirements of this role. This is about creativity in
relationship management: there is no template or checklist
to follow; this is not the realm of the faint-hearted.
- PP: Advancing
Project Management in Learning Organisations.
Effective project managers are required to have both “hard”
technical skills to help control the iron triangle of time,
cost and functional scope as well as relationship management
skills to work effectively with people and get the best out
of them. This paper argues that project managers also need a
third skill: we refer to it as tapping into the power lines.
This is a skill beyond the management of schedules, budgets
and milestones, beyond leading project teams or managing
suppliers and users, and even beyond what is commonly
regarded as managing a project’s senior stakeholders. The
hypothesis, based on data gathered from three case studies,
is that there is a need for project managers to be skilled
in managing at the third dimension in large organizations;
to understand the need for, have the ability, and be
willing, to “tap into the power grid” of influence that
surrounds all projects, particularly in large organizations.
Without third dimension skills, project managers and their
organizations will find delivering successful project
increasingly more difficult. The second part of this paper
will discuss how project managers might achieve competence
in managing the third dimension both through individual
effort and with the support of the learning organization.
- Blg: What is your personal brand? If
you want a stakeholder to ‘buy into’ your ideas, believe
your communication or take action on your recommendations
they need to recognise you as a credible messenger. Whilst
you can build credibility over time, you only ever get one
chance to make a good first impression and your personal
brand will be a major contributor to the impression created
in the mind of the person you are interacting with.
Social and Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is a basic tool that is the key to
professional success; EQ and SQ are defined.
- Blg: Practical Project Politics. PMI
expects project managers to be politically smart and
recognises that the appropriate and skillful use of politics
and power help the project manger be successful -
organisational politics are explained.
The innate effect of Bias. Deeply
embedded biases affect every decision we make the challenge
is to accept people as they are and then work rationally
within our innate biases; this needs a rational approach to
an irrational problem!
- Competency -
Competency. Effective (ie,
competent) managers need to know what should be done, have
the skills to do the work and be willing to actually do the
work - this paper describes the many aspects of competency.
The Functions of Management. Project
management is a subset of general management, the five
functions of management are discussed in the modern context.
- WP: Understanding Power and Authority. The
effective use of authority is a key part of project
management and an element of leadership. Within
organisations, management authority is defined as the power
or right to give directions, make decisions, and enforce
obedience; but this is rarely an absolute power, influence
and soft skills are also needed.
- DP: GAPPS (2007) A Framework for Performance
Based Competency Standards for Global Level 1 and 2
Project Managers. Global Alliance for Project
Performance Standards (GAPPS) is a volunteer organisation
working to create consistency in global standards.
- DP: APM Competence Framework. Developed by
the Association for Project Management (UK). Project manager
Thinking Hats. A thinking tool for group discussion
and to assist individual thinking.
- Mosaic's list of web links to Competency Frameworks
- Skills -
Problem Solving. The process of
solving problems effectively by generating alternatives and
finding better means is at the heart of effective project
management. This paper outlines the different techniques
that can be applied to solve problems.
Problems, Conflicts and Decisions.
Conflict management, problem solving and decision
making are interrelated and all are focused on achieving the
best possible outcome. This paper describes this
Learning from your Mistakes. You
cannot attempt something new without occasionally making
mistakes and if lessons are learned, years later a
collection of mistakes is what is called experience.
Systems Thinking. Systems thinking is
a problem-independent way of applying principles and methods
related to the successful engineering of systems, to meet
stakeholder requirements ina rigorous way to integrate
people, purpose, process and performance .
Decision Making. Decision making
is a central part of any management role, this paper looks
at the different types of decision and the options for
making a 'good decision'.
- Download the PMI Ethical Decision-Making Framework
Are you a decisive or a divisive decision
maker?? All effective leaders must make
decisions – good ones are decisive, not divisive.
Wiser Group Decision Making. If ‘two
heads are better than one’ why do so many committees make
bad decisions? this article suggests some practical
to Wisdom – Creating and Managing Knowledge. The
processes and documents used to transform raw data into the
knowledge needed for wise decisions from a project controls
- Blg: Fine
Tune your detectors. Good information is essential for
Eliminating the fear factor. W.
Edwards Deming's 14 key principles for management #8 is:
Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for
- Blg: Phronesis – A key attribute for project
managers. Working out the right way to do the right
thing in a post-truth world is a key skill for every project
Personal Time Management. This
White Paper takes a pragmatic look at some of the options
that can help achieve the maximum output from your valuable
Dealing with difficult people.
Effective ways to manage a dysfunctional relationship with a
Understanding ‘Expert Judgement’. Expert judgement is
and important concept; this paper explains what it is and
how to apply it.
- Art: Know when to lose. Pick your battles!
The art of effective dispute management is to make sure any
‘wins’ are worth the cost and more importantly making sure
any losses are manageable.
The Art of Delegation. You cannot do
it all yourself! Effective delegation is the key to success.
- Art: Valuing Soft Skills. Research
demonstrating the importance of soft skills and their
contribution to productivity.
Team development and Trust
- Blg: Developing
your team. You are responsible for building the team
you lead! One of the key stakeholder management roles
fulfilled by effective team leaders and project managers
is helping their team members grow and improve.
- WP: Complexity
Theory & Teams. Complexity theory helps
understand the social behaviours of teams and the networks
of people involved in and around a project.
- WP: The
Art of Delegation. Delegation is when you assign
responsibility to another person to carry out a specific
task, and is one of the most important management skills
- Blg: HPWP
Lessons from Manufacturing (High
Performance Work Practices). Applying HPWP in a project
team environment to create success.
- Art: Practical
Stakeholder Engagement. SCARF the basic
elements of effective stakeholder engagement - achieving
an effective engagement with your team, leading to a
constructive dialogue that helps create project success
does need planning, processes and time.
- Art: Fairs
Fair - Process & Procedural Fairness. Process
fairness is quite distinct from outcome fairness. When you
have to deliver bad news to a person, the processes you
use are at least as important as the decision you have
- WP: Conflict
Management. The ability to deal with conflict
effectively is directly related to overall management
success and is a key aspect of relationship management.
- Art: Why
are they (you) fighting?. Emotions kick in
quicker and are far more powerful than rational thought.
Fight or flight is one of the most basic of survival
strategies andhas to be managed to reduce conflict .
- Art: Eliminating
the fear factor. Drive out fear, so that
everyone may work effectively for the company. If people
are people are fearful of being ‘blamed’, the last thing
they will do is pass on accurate information about an
issue or a problem.
- Art: Perspectives
on time!. People see time differently.
For some, time flows from the future into the present and
on to the past at a steady rate; our plans for tomorrow
become the actions of today and then the memories of times
past. Others see time as a river carrying them forward to
an uncertain future. Understanding these perspectives
helps deal with different attitudes to punctuality.
- WP: Six
Thinking Hats. A thinking tool for group discussion
and to assist individual thinking.
- WP: The
Value of Trust. Trust is a key element in the
effective management of project teams and contracts. High
levels of trust speeds up decisions and lowers costs.
- PP: Trust:
a tale of two constructions. Building and
maintaining trust through understanding stakeholder
relationships. This paper contrasts two projects and the
effect of different contractual arrangements on their
respective supply chains, to show how an attitude of
sharing risk and a focus on building and maintaining
robust relationships can lead to more efficient project
- Blg: Credit,
Trust and Emotions. There is no credit without trust
because there is always asymmetrical information in every
transaction. But how much trust someone is willing to
invest is driven by emotions as much s by logic.
role of a Project Manager
General HR topics including team building and
personality types are covered in the Human Resource Management
page, communication skills in the Communication
page. See also leadership
and other general management skills below.
A project manager is by definitin a manager. The
functions of managment are discussed in WP1094 and
the linked subjects of power and authority in WP1095. Effective managers are
also effective leaders WP1014 discusses
a range of leadership skills.
Effecive project managers are good at prioritisation
and personal time management, See: WP1054
The managers who provide direction and support to
the project manager are discussed in WP1055.
One of the important roles a PM can play,
particularly in Agile projects is that of a servant
leader, WP1014 Leadership discusses
many aspects of leadership, including the servant
Complexity is increasing. The nature of complexity
theory and how to manage within a complex
environment is discussed in WP1058.
Project managers are managers and require a
significant cross section of general management
skills. Some key skills needed by all managers
- Communication; included
in the communication
page a key communication
skill is negotiating, see: WP1024.
- Leadership: WP1014 discusses
a range of leadership skills, WP1001 discusses
the link between ethics and effective leadership.
Trust is one of the most important traits of a
leader, people will not follow someone they do not
trust. The Value of Trust is discussed
in WP1030. Great leaders are great
motivators, some important aspects of motivation
are discussed in WP1048. Leaders are also
busy; WP1054 discusses
personal time management.
viewpoints are normal, managing these conflicts is
a key PM skill discussed in WP1041. The ability to
facilitate effective meetings is a key skill
discussed in WP1067.
Solving: techniques for
effectively identifying and resolving problems are
outlined in WP1013.
Decisions are usually needed to solve a problem. WP1053 defines the
different types of decision a project manager will
face ranging from dilemmas to problems and what
can be expected from a decision.
Thinking: the systems thinking approach
to problem solving is outlined in WP1044.
Complex Decision Making: Many aspects of both
general and project management involve making
complex decisions - this CSIRO paper provides
valuable insights into how people make complex
the paper. WP1053 defines the
different types of decision.
Data gathering: is a key skill; see: WP1068
(Dec. 2008): Learning from your Mistakes
Project Manager Competency Development Framework
2nd Edition is available free of charge to PMI
members as a non-printing PDF For instructions
on downloading the PDF see:
Useful external web-links