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The interdisciplinary nature of the skills needed by project managers

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Author(s): Trevor Nesbit | Angela Martin

Journal: Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology
ISSN 2230-4398

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Project Management | Skills | Team Work

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the additional skills that are transferrable across different sectors, that project managers require and that go beyond technical project management skills to enable them to be successful in what is becoming an increasingly interdisciplinary role.The conclusions highlight that the project management role requires a range of non- technical project management skills and characteristics to enable project management to be carried out successfully. These non- technical project management skills and characteristics include the ability to build relationships with stakeholders; possessing formal project management certification; understanding the creation and functioning of project teams; understanding the political environment that the project exists in; the ability to work in a team; possessing leadership and management skills; possessing interpersonal and communication skills and possessing a strategic orientation.The skills and characteristics that are perceived by the cross section of project managers as being the most important are possessing interpersonal and communication skills; possessing leadership and management skills; the ability to work in a team and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders. Interpersonal and communication skills along with the ability to work in a team are not included significantly in job advertisements for project managers, with the requirement to have them potentially being assumed and not needed to be stated.This research provides a basis for a further study involving in-depth interviews with project managers from the information technology sector with the aim of highlighting specific projects where these additional skills have been vital to the success of these projects.Issues surrounding the political environment of the project from the perspective of different genders; the importance interpersonal and communication skills along with team work for lesser experienced project managers; and the importance of project manager certification are also identified as areas for further study.
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