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Is Project Management really People Management??
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Managing project is off course an art, but setting expectations with stakeholder and managing resources can be very challenging, specially with never changing requirements and scope creeps.

Do you think if you can manage the people well, you can manage the project great?
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Gaurav -

The difference is that PMs aren't (usually) managing people but rather leading teams and managing stakeholder expectations.

But yes, if you are exceptional at the soft skills then you will likely be a pretty good PM so long as you have a reasonable handle on domain knowledge and technical PM (hard) skills.

Kiron
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:38 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Agreed. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
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Relating your last question my answer is not at all. You have to think from the systemic view then people is one component inside the whole system. If you ask me, is the critical success factor (just my opinion) but it is not enough.
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:40 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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You are right. People skills are one component and not the only component. I agree. It is critical success factor but not the only factor.
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People management skills are important in any kind of management where people are involved,but it is a very small part of project management and certainly not the only thing that can guarantee success.
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:41 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Yes. Certainly not the only thing. When a PM gets into a leadership role, it might be more relevant in those instances.
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People management skills are the basic skills for any management task. Project management is much beyond that.

I think that to be successful, PM must first understand the project extremely well. PM must be very clear on the objectives and all critical aspects of the project. PM must know what factors may fail or limit the project's effectiveness.This can help develop strategies when something does not align with the definition of Project Success.

Now, a PM is not usually involved directly in the project activities. These activities are performed by the project team. PM has to play a role in motivating the team to deliver to the expectations. A project has several stake holders, whose expectations (often conflicting) are to be satisfied. People management skills are important in this. But I still consider that the most important thing for a PM is to be successful is an in-depth and thorough understanding of the project. This clear understanding should drive all the activities on the project.
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:43 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Agreed. Definitely need to have in-depth knowledge and understanding. Sometimes, people skills help to get that knowledge. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
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No. I've seen people who can earn people's respect and obedience, yet who lack the organizational skills to manage a project well. The ability to manage people is part of project management, but it alone doesn't guarantee a person will be able to successfully manage a project.
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2 replies by Gaurav Kukreja and Gordon Alexander
Mar 20, 2019 1:44 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Agreed. It is a success factor but as you said, not the only factor. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Apr 10, 2019 11:11 AM
Gordon Alexander
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I agree with Erics comments on this
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No. part of project management may have to do with people management. But it is not all of it.
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:44 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Agreed. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
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As others have stated, having people/ soft skills is an asset, and in my opinion a must. It is also not enough, but what I really see in the comments in this and other threads is whether a PM should be viewed as a "manager" or a "leader". Most can "manage" a project/ people, but few can truly "lead" a project/ people. Again, in my opinion, to successfully manage a project/ people one must be a true leader.
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1 reply by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:45 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Totally agree. A successful manager needs to be a good leader, and for being a good leader, people skills help tremendously.
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The skills you have in people management without authority are critical for being a good project manager. You have to influence and engage with stakeholders and build a team of humans. As a leader you have to convey the purpose of a project (the why).

But there is more required, like understanding about the context and integrating parts (what) and also process knowledge (how).

In my experience, the why is most important. I have successfully managed projects without deep knowledge in the what and how, mainly by listening and instilling trust.

On another thought, with AI becoming better and ubiquitous, at one time we might see projects without human involvement. Is leadership void then?
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2 replies by Gaurav Kukreja
Mar 20, 2019 1:47 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Absolutely. Most of the times, to gain knowledge, or to act/plan based on project details, one need to have people skills. It is not the only skill necessary but one of the critical success factors I believe.
Mar 20, 2019 1:51 PM
Gaurav Kukreja
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Even when projects are done with AI, every project needs negotiations and relationship building. I don't think any project can be done without absolute human involvement. the role might be reduces to soft skills but a human PM may always be required. Just my thoughts.
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Mar 19, 2019 6:43 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Gaurav -

The difference is that PMs aren't (usually) managing people but rather leading teams and managing stakeholder expectations.

But yes, if you are exceptional at the soft skills then you will likely be a pretty good PM so long as you have a reasonable handle on domain knowledge and technical PM (hard) skills.

Kiron
Agreed. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
Network:61



Mar 19, 2019 8:39 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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Relating your last question my answer is not at all. You have to think from the systemic view then people is one component inside the whole system. If you ask me, is the critical success factor (just my opinion) but it is not enough.
You are right. People skills are one component and not the only component. I agree. It is critical success factor but not the only factor.
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