Why every manager needs project management skills

The world is changing faster than ever and so organizations are experiencing more changes more often, with every change having an impact on something.

To effectively implement all but the simplest of changes, managers need to be able to understand and manage projects, no matter what their principle role is. However, before we all start to panic unnecessarily, bear in mind that project management is only the ability to deliver something “off the beaten track”, and just another set of skills that goes with being a manager – or should be.

Perceived complexity

One of the barriers to learning basic project management skills lies in its perceived complexity: unless you choose to become a professional project manager, it may all seem very complex with a daunting set of skills to learn. Open a manual for one of the recognized methodologies, like PRINCE2®, and it may seem impenetrable with numerous steps and a lot of bureaucracy. Managers sometimes just need an “in” to project management that doesn’t involve the complexity of a core methodology. The main thing to remember is that project management is rarely the “all or nothing” implementation of a methodology. It has always been said that PRINCE2 needs to be appropriately implemented but some see this as sticking rigidly to everything in the manual when in fact we don’t always need to cross each “t” and dot each “i”.

Instead of diving in headlong, the skills required to manage most small projects can be found in a dose of common sense and some robust principles. If you have a PRINCE2 manual, seven good principles are right there in section 2, other methods have slightly different principles, but they often boil down to the same things.

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