Adapted from a paper originally presented to the PMSA Conference, May 2006, Midrand, South Africa.
It is copyright to H. Friedlander© 2006.
Published here January 2007.

Introduction | Case #1 - Diversification | In the Literature
Project Manager Selection | The Author's View | Micromanaging | Case #2 - Due Diligence
Case #3 - Office Move | Case #4 - National Grid | Conclusion | Postscript


This paper has dealt with the question as to whether it is sufficient for a project manager to have good project management skills or whether the project manager should also have technology content knowledge. Some references indicate that project management skills are sufficient and cases are presented to support that position. Others indicate the reverse.

On balance, it is my opinion that project management skills alone are not sufficient. A project manager with sufficient knowledge of the technology in addition to being a good project manager will have the edge over someone who does not. The counter argument that such a project manager may end up micromanaging was addressed. I believe that micromanaging is a common issue faced by any person supervising staff and is not just peculiar to the project manager's line of work.

You may conclude that a project manager does not need to be a subject matter expert, but some understanding of the technology is desirable. Given this stipulation, a competent project manager can probably run projects across different industries but the preference would be to assign a project manager with prior experience in the particular field.

Case #4 - National Grid  Case #4 - National Grid

Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page