Soft Skills of Project Management

2785 words (11 pages) Essay in Project Management

23/09/19 Project Management Reference this

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Soft Skills of Project Management:

Introduction

Project Management is both soft skills and hard skills, often referred as art and science. Hard skills are comprising of tools, processes and techniques. Soft skills are managing, working with resources, satisfying customer, gaining trust of customer and delivering high quality projects. In current evolving generation, soft skills are considering as critical for success of the project. Decision making, Risk management, Problem solving, Communication, Time management, Trust building and Leadership are few of the essential soft skills for any project management. Communication skills helps in achieving accurate and concise communication, maintains professionalism, Effective oral communication and Effective listening. Decision making skills identify the problem and analyses, Takes appropriate action, Creative and innovative solutions and Transfers knowledge. Leadership skills are essential to think strategically, to respect knowledge and contributions, to motivate and to build professional relationships. Time management helps planning activities and delivering project within the specified time with effective efficiency. Problem solving skills play vital role when a problem arises. Problems are most common and unexpected issues in any project. The better skill handles problem efficiently. Soft skills contribute to the efficiency of productivity. Soft skills are effective with experience and are learned through hard hurdles in projects. Therefore, Soft skills are extremely important for project management to achieve successful projects.

Decision Making

Decision making is one of the key skills of Project management that can alter the shape of the project. It influences Utilization of Resources, Problems and Challenges, Business Growth, Achieving Objectives, Efficiency, Innovation and motivation directly and indirectly. Decision making is a process of choosing one of the many best possible solutions. According to Project Management Institute, 47% of unsuccessful projects are due to poor decision making. In Software development, making decisions have been often in day to day activities considering resources, processes, tools, techniques confronted by different objectives. Software development is human driven. A human perspective of decision making is assumed as subjective, multidimensional, dynamic and measurable. It is hard for project management to make decisions as people rely on heuristics. Therefore, Decision making skill is an important skill of project management in Software development. Decision making is not just confined to software development. Because, Decisions are made in every industry in day to day activities.

Risk Management

Risk management is one of the important soft skill in project management. The success of the project depends on various technical factors such as in-depth knowledge, enhanced techniques, skills, tools, and different processes. On the other hand, the risk of the project in areas of psychology and the economy is lack of knowledge about the desired project outcome. Risk will impact project goals such as time, cost and quality of the product. Risk management helps to analyze the problems involved in the project. The risk of the project can be predicted using various models, plans and tools such as Topsis Model and Business Plan. Public-Private-Partnership project research based on the theoretical framework and process of risk management, such as risk identification, risk classification, evaluation and risk sharing. The risk management process can be applied using hard and soft approaches. Hard approach concentrates on risk planning, risk identification, risk monitoring and control, risk analysis and response. The Soft approach involves a strategic approach to risks and uncertainties in communication and information.

Time Management

Time management is an essential asset to provide the ability to organize and plan day to day activities. In Project Management, it improves effectiveness and productivity. To complete the Project on time, Project manager needs to manage the time and schedule proper time for completion of each sub module in the project according to the number of available resources. If Project manager fails to manage the time, then the company may run out of time in delivering the product by the deadline phase. While Scheduling the time, one should consider the amount of the project need to be complete, providing enough time for the tester to process the test and giving schedule for fixing of the issues raised on the product in each phase and not to put overload of work for the team members by allotting small amount of time rather in a finish of hurry for completing the Phase which may finally deliver inappropriate product.

Communication

In IT field the professionals need to be active in communication lines to the consumers. It helps the professionals to avoid frustrations, few disappointments which might lead to the failure in result, but if we satisfy the consumer which is his initial goal, then as a Consultant we did our job correctly to help customer throughout the interaction. The main Advantage of communication with the customer is to make him happy. We have few options to make customers happy by auditing. It is a context where the customer gets more assurance about how IT consultants will manage the projects. Auditing is the main key to IT consultants where the communication skills will come into picture & will show how honest we represent the activities to customers. For best IT practices in 2004 Sarbanes-Oxley Act came to picture which does business communications. The ultimate goal is to give 100 % success rate in the team & need to complete projects successfully.

Leadership / Leading Teams

Today’s companies and universities highly depend on the Agile methodology in Time management because it has high accuracy in giving best result of managing the time. As it has sprints which will be either 2 weeks or 3 weeks, everyone would verify how far they reached in the span and try to fix the blocks where they stuck and there will be daily scrums which give better idea that what we accomplished yesterday and what is today’s task and can take other team member ideas as well if we need any help. It is almost like everyone are following these scrums, sprints in their projects.

Time management is a good practice in doing any real time project. While scheduling the Time, there should be time allotted for group discussion among project members because which can direct us in the right direction if we are deviated from what the final product should be, and it will enhance our knowledge by sharing the ideas and grasping important point from the team members. In a team everyone may not be equally talented with their skills in terms of knowledge, few people might be fast in doing the work whereas others may be slow, so it is important to give time to support the slow working people where they are lacking to speed up the process and catch up with the fellow mates.

Leadership in project management has an important role as a leader as team members. The leadership can be acquired by knowing the personality of team members as the approach to them and to finish the project in given time and cost without losing the quality. Leadership quality is to influence, motivate and encourage and give credit to the work of team members. The definition of leadership is evolving as per the individual and team achievements, it’s a process finishing the goals set by planning document. Leadership is can be divided into many parts as the situational leadership role, team member support as a shared leadership role, when it comes to meet the goals as a strategic leadership role and as the project implementation holds the main part the project can be succeeded or it can be garbaged it all stands in the hands of the leader and the process leader and the team follows to achieve the goals and to finish the project with excellent quality. There is a big difference between the leadership and management as the leader is very close to the team as management just gives direction. Project leadership plays the main role in the outcome of the project as a success or failure.

Leadership styles in project:   

There are different styles in leadership in project management as it comes to apply all things to the project and guiding the team members to get the best out of them to finish a project in time with quality.  There are different approaches to lead the project with different strategies as some of them are according to the author S. Pretorius H. Steyn and S. Bond Benard. Leadership is a process of theories to execute. Leadership is both an individual and organization trait.  Dining in deeper there were so many theories but none of them is limited or exceptional every success strategy is a good approach for executing the leadership qualities in a critical moment of a project that is implementation stage and delivery the project with quality. Quality of the product will be very important as the team meets goals, deliverables and not the quality that project is going to failure and immediate actions that may lead losing jobs.

Leadership and Management differences:

Management and Leadership in an organization look similar but there are differences as the way of approach and their roles to finish the project. Leadership mostly involves in directing, influencing teams closely than management, leaders have emotional bonding towards the teams as managers have less emotional and getting a job done is more important to the management. This looks to the outside world as leadership roles to be soft on the teams but in reality, to implement the theory they follow is very difficult when it compared to management of that organization. Leaders will be having multi-strategies and different approaches to meet the deliveries as managers do not encourage new strategies, they just stick to the pattern that is being followed. In the end, for example, an organization have strong management, but leadership is so vague will cost them a lot of time and money invested in the project as the deliveries don’t meet the customer expectations and quality will be lost. So, that clarifies a successful organization needs to have strong management and skilled leader.

Leadership in Project:

Project managers and leaders in an organization as said earlier need to adopt fast-changing technologies and work environment in any industry, to accomplish this project manager needs to have good technique and tactics to finish the job. Leaders will be playing a major role as it comes to adopt new environment as things changes rapidly, leaders are skilled to adopt the changes and to implement those new changes in a work process they can influence, encourage teams to adopt this to finish the job.

Leadership in a project is often considered to give orders and get the work done, it is very common to team members to follow the rules given by the leader as this can be defined as it is multi-process as getting direction from higher management while collaborating with vendors and team members. Shared leadership is to adopt the change in the implementation stage of the project to acquire Ad hoc changes in the work process and implementing this kind of leadership is to select right team members for the right job conducting daily meetings helping the team with collaboration and other consequences ad the team members facing and to be role model to the team.

Transformational is another type of leadership role is to adopt any big changes to the total work process. This has been theoretically proven as so many leaders already succeeded in their active role. This transformational leader role also includes motivating team members about the consequences that occurred and to get used to the consequences that occurred during the progress of their project progress and to encourage team members to do not disgrace their ability to finish even with the consequences. Personal talking and emotional motivation are required to team members and a team to have a better idea to complete the project in time with future work left over in the project. This has been clearly explained in the article by Barber, E., & Warn, J. (2005). Leadership in project management: from firefighter to firelighter [5].

Through this, we can conclude that the projects can’t be finished in time with quality unless there is a successful leader to lead the teams with all the help of team members and management.

Trust building

Building trust among clients, vendors and stakeholders is like belief on one and it helps every project in long term success and relation between the clients and customer. Trust building will help to achieve goals of the project easily when there is a long relationship collaboration between the team members as that leads to a team success and that will lead to project success. Trust building and collaboration can happen with team events or organization play day kind of events need to be held by the organization and the higher-level management. Trust building can help to project works complete with full belief and quality of the project. The factors that can help trust building at implementation level in teams, organization, system and in management can be happened by conducting weekly meetings and lunch and learns. Trust is explained as state and process to follow to build trust in project and this are not limited anything else.

Dynamic State:

This process helps to create trust in the project between management and team members, if there is any distress or unorganized work, work place violations this process helps to change the tactics or strategic goals of the project process. Dynamic state is very important maintain the trust between the management and team members at implementation and project delivery level to happen this or to build this kind of trust is happens by taking dynamic decisions at the time of situation.

Static State:

There is no chance for static process until there are any uncategorized problems occur. This process is like an initiative to follow as expected to continue this process as long as project is scheduled.

Psychological Trust:

Rose, J., & Schlichter, B. R. tells, “Trust can be described both as a state and a process. In the IS literature, trust is most commonly understood as a psychological state or condition in the individual”.

Trust is a psychological condition as it leads to positive energy over the project and this states that it is universal to any project. We all should agree in this statement as positive energy leads to a positive environment around in work place and that will help team members, leaders project managers to finish their project in time with all allocated resources for that project.

Image Reference: A realist evaluation of community-based participatory research: partnership synergy, trust building and related ripple effects

Trust building in the path way of the partnership building can be explained as follows from the image attached

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is one of basic and key skill for the project management. The creative problem-solving method is a multi-step process such as content finding, acceptance finding and information finding. The content found is to generate creative ideas from team members by providing their mental models. Acceptance finding is a collaborative development of fresh and existing active knowledge from team members that are needed to implement the solution. Information finding is classifying the data gathered and also restating the problem in the light of the richer understanding of it. The creative problem-solving method uses different components for handling the problem. Understanding the problem, solution for the problem, plan of action, track appraisal are the components of this method.

References

  • Rose, J., & Schlichter, B. R. (2013). Decoupling, re‐engaging: Managing trust relationships in implementation projects. Information Systems Journal, 23(1), 5–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2575.2011.00392.x
  • Pretorius, S., Steyn, H., & Bond-Barnard, T. J. (2018). Leadership Styles in Projects: Current Trends and Future Opportunities. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 29(3), 161–172. https://doi.org/10.7166/29-3-2057
  • Barber, E., & Warn, J. (2005). Leadership in project management: from firefighter to firelighter. Management Decision, 43(7/8), 1032–1039. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740510610026

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