Increased Emphasis on Project Management Soft Skills

There is a fine line between art and science in certain professions. A brilliant surgeon will never reach full potential if he or she has an awful bedside manner. As the project management professional (PMP) credential becomes more and more important, and as more and more project managers obtain the PMP credential, it is no longer enough to master only the science of project management. Earning the PMP credential demonstrates that a project manager understands the “hard skills” of project management: earned value management, development of the work breakdown structure, project schedule, project budget, and risk management plan. However, there is another set of skills a project manager must master to reach his or her full potential: “soft skills,” such as interpersonal communication, leadership, negotiation skills, influencing, and personnel management. Soft skills are much more art than science. Companies that invest in the development of their project managers’ set of soft skills are the ones that have the greatest chance of achieving project success.

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