3 important and 3 very important project manager skills

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At the end of winter, I was invited to read a review lecture to students of Innopolis . The main goal set before me is to give students an understanding of which theoretical jungle to move to if there is a desire to become a manager. In preparation for the meeting, I realized that there are the main things without which there is nothing, but there are profitable ones. Of course, I want to measure professionalism, and what else to take as a measure, if not the number of certificates handed over? But, as in any work, when dealing with people, a lot rests on the ability to interact with them.

3 important skills that the manager may not have ,
and the project will successfully end on time and on budget.
  1. Methodologies


    Usually describe the sequence of actions that will make the project as effective as possible: on time, with the functionality that the customer needs, and with a minimum of body movements. Usually inside lies an ideological layer, such as Agile manifesto or lean practice. Sometimes the methodology covers only part of the process, such as extreme programming, which speaks exclusively about how to effectively create code without affecting the rules of communication with the customer or planning. In any case, this is not a very long, understandable algorithm, how to achieve the goal.

    I myself love and apply:

    • Kanban board in order to plan work with tasks on the service (Trello, by the way, is a charming tool for this);
    • SCRUM for development projects;
    • Prince 2 for structuring work with the customer and finances on the project.

    I think all methodologies are optional. The main thing is to choose what works well for you.
  2. Frameworks


    A completely different story about how to make a project as correct as possible without forgetting anything. Usually this is a large Talmud, which includes a description of all processes conceivable and inconceivable on the project. Compared to the previous paragraph, this is not a short algorithm, but a comprehensive description of all processes, artifacts and approvals that need to be launched in order to conduct a project.

    I’ll briefly tell you which frameworks about what.

    CMMI and PMBok outline development project management processes. CMMI contains a description of the organization's maturity levels: from immature, where processes are not set and the result cannot be reproduced, to very mature, where all moves are recorded and all projects are created based on the described processes and lessons learned from predecessors.

    ITSM and COBIThighlight the processes necessary when building a service: the first from the point of view of those who put the processes, the second from the point of view of the auditor.

    TOGAF - about the processes necessary to manage the company.

    It is usually written in such a language that it is quite difficult to read and implement it without the terrible torment of knowledgeable specialists and serious costs on a company-wide basis.
  3. Techskills


Project evaluation, architecture, coding, testing. How this is done, a qualified manager must understand. But it may not be possible to code, test and invent architecture on the project better than anyone else, the main thing is to select competently savvy technical specialists: a project architect, a project tester, an analyst who can do this well.

Actually, of course, it would be good for a competent IT manager to understand all three topics. But for those people who are just starting their way into management, I would advise you to start not with them.

I participated in projects that ended successfully, despite the fact that no special methodologies were applied in them, but just at that moment no one had heard about frameworks. I knew teams where the cool manager was a graduate of a language university, without any technical background. On the other hand, I saw how projects of specialists with excellent knowledge and experience, which should have become an example of the brilliant use of SCRUM and PMBoK, are failing. This means that there are deeper skills, descriptions of which you will not find in methodologies and frameworks, not to mention the technical literature.

We will talk about them further.

3 very important skills that the project manager must have ,
otherwise everything will be bad with the project, despite the debugged processes and high technologies

In fact, the manager of any project is the tuner of the same process:
  1. Get a job, analyze, plan.
  2. Gather and organize people.
  3. Check the work on time and with the right quality.
  4. Hand over the job.

All we talked about above is thinking about what methods and best practices the team leader will choose to ensure that these 4 points are technically correct.

However, even doing the job absolutely correctly, you can easily ruin the project, because somewhere inside these 4 points there are people (customers, employees, members of neighboring departments) with all their non-linearity.

When working with people, you need finer settings, which, perhaps at first glance, are not so important. It:
  1. Configuring trust relationships
  2. setting goals;
  3. ability to motivate.

Let's look at them in more detail.

  1. Trust relationships

    What are they based on? In fact, solely on your predictability and reliability. Let's say you promised to send a report on Monday. And did not send. Can you then trust your promises? Unlikely.

    Or, say, you, as a manager, promised to impose sanctions on everyone who was late for the rally. But, when Vasya is late for the rally, you gently chide him, without introducing any punishment. Will subordinates believe what you say? Again, unlikely.

    Trusting for me is not that the manager should be good for everyone or trust everyone. They are about personal responsibility and about the fact that people need to be required in relation to themselves to fulfill what is promised:
    • from employees - to make releases on time and send reports on time, since you pay them salaries and bonuses on time;
    • from customers - respond to your letters and make decisions on time;
    • from myself - keep promises.

    In the project, such relations also imply clearly defined rules of work. I'm not talking about bureaucracy. For example, if the team of our company works with tickets, we must have instructions for working with them, open and understandable for employees and customers. Not because we cannot work without it, but because the agreements between all parties must be transparent.

    And on the day when the upset client comes running to scold the employee for not closing the ticket on time, you will open the instruction and say: “We are responsible for our words and the ticket was closed for, say, 2 days. 2 days according to our instructions with you - this is on time. I see that you are not happy. Let's discuss the instructions if 2 days is a lot. " At this moment, strangely enough, the client becomes happy: he sees that the situation can be controlled, it is enough to create and fix the agreement.

    Who should I trust with? I now cited the example of subordinates and clients. However, both your boss and your colleagues should all know you as a person whose word you can trust.


    What is it for?

    1. If there is trust in your work on the part of the bosses , they will add responsibility sooner or later. I'm talking about career growth.
    2. If there is trust between you and the customer , the project will grow, which means that the team and your weight in the company will increase.
    3. If there is trust in the team, you just work with her , promise on her behalf and make the promise, which again leads to the joy of the customer and management.
    4. If there is trust from neighboring managers , your initiatives in the company will work and your requests will be answered.
  2. Statement of tasks

    The basic rules of statement of tasks are as follows:

    • by SMART. There is no need for long discussions, I think theories are many years old.
    • by the process or by the result, depending on who is in front of you: a beginner or a proven shot. The process for beginners to explain step by step how to do it. As a result, it is enough to outline what should be done, entrusting the technical details to the professional. In any case, it’s not out of place to identify the reconciliation points with the course — the dates when you will meet in order to understand that everything is going according to plan.
    • in the language of the interlocutor. Each person has a favorite set of words that very clearly reflects his thought processes. Someone, talking about the project, speaks in colors about how they went (the process) towards a common goal, someone notes what they managed to achieve (the result). Someone focuses on a cool team, someone is more important than technology. Some people repeat “watch!” All the time, while others often use “listen!”. It’s really easier for a person to understand you if you use his words.
    • double-check understanding. Unfortunately, what you said and what the person understood are two big differences. The rule for important or voluminous tasks is to ask the person to retell what they heard, or even better to send you a letter describing the task. Then, if he misunderstood something, you will have a chance to correct it right away.
    • accept the result. It seems to be an obvious thing, but it happens that they set the task for you, and then they seem to forget to accept it. Doing something so unimportant that your boss can easily forget about it, demotivates worse than ever. So it’s important not to forget.

    In order for a person to have a desire to complete a task, it is necessary to make sure that this task is of interest to him. It is imperative to understand who, where, in your team is growing, in order to know what approximately tasks may interest him. And of course, you can submit the same idea in very different ways, which brings us to the next point, without which, when working with a team, motivation is nowhere.
  3. The ability to motivate

    The theme of motivation is fashionable and hyped, you can find enough courses on the net at Stratoplan and Gandapas. Many books have been written about motivation. My favorites are in the list below.

    In my opinion, motivation is a thing very similar to sales, oddly enough it sounds. Most people strive for something. If a person does not strive for anything, it is worth poking him with a wand - suddenly he died. If he is not dead, not deeply depressed and mentally healthy, he wants something from life. Your task, like in sales, is to talk with a person and find out his needs and aspirations, to understand how your “product” (project, task) can close these needs and ultimately “sell”. That is, to give him the work that he will do with joy and good. Or let go, realizing that you do not have a “product” for this “client” right now.

    Like a good salesman, a good manager is more likely to be one who knows how to listen and hear than one who speaks long and fluently. For me, one of the main tools for working with motivation is quarterly conversations, about which I wrote an article earlier .

It can be seen that the skills described above flow from one to another. And this, of course, is not their full range. You also need to be able to be a leader, negotiate, make decisions correctly, resolve conflicts - all this comes as the manager grows older. I chose the three that, in my opinion, are the most necessary.

The article is not about the need to know the methodologies or process frameworks. It is about what you need to know if you want to manage people at all, and what else you need to know if you want to be considered a professional IT manager.

Literature about motivation :

  1. Glory to Pankratov. Black book manager.
  2. How to graze cats. A guide for programmers supervising other programmers.
  3. Lee Yackoka. Career manager.

Posted by: Fkleto4ku

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