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Project Management skills vs technical skills

Which project manager would be more successful? Why?
A) Advanced PM skills + Average technical skills
B) Advanced technical skills + Average PM skills
C) Average technical and PM skills + Advanced soft skills
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I choose A). A PM's job is to lead the project, while the technical staff provide the technical expertise. However, a PM needs some technical knowledge so s/he can communicate with the technical staff.

Although A) seems obvious, with a gun to my head, I'll go for C) because I really believe that soft skills make the difference at the end of the day.

Hi Abolfazi - I'll go for (A) - as key are (Advanced) PM skills to lead the project and have good oversight; where (average) technical skills is certainly addendum, but not necessary must-have for the role.

It also depends of the project nature, as some projects are more technical and benefits keeping (average or even strong) technical skills are excellent fit.

I will go with ( A) option.
According to my knowledge PMI says a balance ( PMI talent triangle)which is:-
- Technical project management skills
- Leadership skills
- Business & strategic management skills.


Interesting question Abolfazi. I agree with John that option C must be the winner given the choices, but I would argue you can’t have strong PM skills truly without strong soft skills. Much of PM skill set is in communication and motivating execution against a set of project deliverables. For any project of any length I don’t know how you do that without strong soft skills. I agree with Eric as well that the PM skill set is paramount and you lean on the technical resources but you must know enough to know what is truly going on in the project.

I have to go with John and Sam, the only option that gives us soft skills is C. Without soft skill a project manager won't do it!!

I agree with A).

A for the win :)

Abolfazl --

I vote: "A) Advanced PM skills + Average technical skills"

I'd also like to ADD that some operational experience as the "customer" (setting the requirements) helps you be more well rounded in understanding BOTH ends of the service/-delivery equation....

The way you put it makes A the best logical answer. The way you should look at a PM is that he has the assertiveness of a leader and this assertiveness comes from

The Project Management skills
A good grip and understanding of the technical scope, technical deliverable and technical quality metrics

It is not required from a PM to make new designs or solutions on a technical project, but to know the product/service he is providing is a MUST
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