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The requirements to a project manager greatly depend on the essence of the project; thus, as projects are mostly unique, the scope of skills needed by a project manager is incredibly wide. “The most important project management skills seem to depend on the uniqueness of the project and the people involved” (Schwalbe 2009, p. 25). The position of project manager often requires to make key decisions and to balance between the demands of various stakeholders. There might appear disagreements in such key areas as time, cost and quality of the project’s outcome, as well as concerning the project’s implementation, legal issues etc. Thus, the most important thing for a project manager is to have diverse skills and to be able to cope with stress and resolve conflict situations. Schwalbe (2009) outlines ten most important skills and competencies for project managers. They include:
Integrity, ethical behavior, consistency
Conflict resolution and conflict management
Problem solving and critical thinking
Ability to understand and balance priorities
Also, the project manager needs to have knowledge in the project’s area; for IT this issue is specifically important because new technologies are constantly emerging, and in order to manage an IT project, it’s necessary to be aware of the core technologies. In general, the project manager should possess competencies in the following areas (Schwalbe 2009, p.22): knowledge in the area of project management itself, knowledge of standards, regulations and technology in the area of the project, understanding of project environment, knowledge and skills in general management area and skills in human relations. Finally, in order to find balance between all stakeholders’ requirements and project limitations, the manager needs to remember that the main focus in management is still on leadership and human management, and use these skills for the purpose of reaching optimal implementation of the project.
Schwalbe, Kathy. Information Technology Project Management. Cengage Learning, 2009.