Project Management – The People Skills
All managers have to manage projects at some point but very few would see themselves as a project manager. Sometimes the simple mention of going on a project management course to a non-project manager is enough to send them into a flat spin. Immediately thoughts of having to use tools such as Microsoft Project, PERT charts and Gantt Charts enter the mind and it’s certainly easy to see why this can be a little daunting.
However, you may not carry the title of Project Manager but as you will almost certainly be called upon to manage projects competently during your management career, being able to know and understand at least some of these tools along with other processes, such as work breakdown structure, critical path analysis, fishbone diagrams and flow charting will prove to be vital in your success at managing projects.
That said, once you have mastered the art of each apparatus or mechanism there is one vital area that is often overlooked in the process of managing projects – and that is the people skills required to see the project through to a successful conclusion with as few hiccups as possible. The human element, if you like, is an area often neglected and can kill a project before it gets started or potentially stall its progress leaving the person in charge wondering what went wrong. A quick look at those we are familiar with in business who have achieved great things demonstrate that they are fully conversant with the technical skills to manage projects but more importantly they recognise the need to ensure that any project if it is to be completed within financial and time budgets needs a team of people properly motivated, informed and working in complete concert.
“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.” — Walt Disney
Maguire delivers project management courses to managers at all levels and in almost every case the brief from the client will demand a programme that addresses the key tools and techniques for managing projects. This is great and all courses on project management (especially courses where the audience are non-project managers) will definitely deliver this kind of content. However, guidance is then offered on the other elements of managing projects successfully; and they are people skills. The skills that will help the manager to gain a deeper understanding of how the people management element, particularly around communication, decision making, teamwork and leadership can make or break a project and which will ultimately determine its success. Maguire delivers a specific course to address these elements called: Project Management – The People Skills
The course will ensure that although the basic technical elements are covered and understood by delegates, the content will also focus heavily on the people skills required for successful project management. There is no doubt that understanding the key principles and techniques of project management is essential, however we must appreciate the level of people skills required by the main project manager. This coupled with excellent communication skills as well as a creative and innovative approach really ensures successful project completion. The Maguire course will address those areas in great detail and identify key elements which influence the management of time, tasks as well as people in order to complete a project successfully.
Once you have assembled the team responsible for completing any given project or task, whether they are reporting directly to you or become a report for this project only, it is vital that you pay great attention to the getting everyone involved in the project suitably motivated, working as a team with a single vision with outcomes that are clear to all.