So you want to be a Project Manager?

So you want to be a Project Manager? Let me start by reflecting on a conversation I had recently, it went something like this...

"...but if it all goes wrong, it will be the Project Manager's fault."

"Absolutely! And if it all goes right, everyone will take credit for it."

This is one of the challenges of being a project manager, when you are doing your job well, if often goes un-noticed. Doing the job well means that everyone involved will feel that they are part of the success. The skills you need are a mix of technical competencies and soft-skills. Good project managers are well organised, empathetic and a good communicator.

There are 3 areas of competencies that you should look to understand and develop to become or improve as a project manager.

  1. Technical
  2. Behavioural
  3. Contextual

These help you to understand what is expected of you as a Project Manager, but will also help the organisations you work with to understand the value a Project Manager brings. Employees should expect opportunities to develop these skills, but equally, taking ownership of your own skills and development is important.

Get to know the competency areas and regularly check your own progress against them. It is well worth spending a few minutes to understand where you are with each of them with an honest reflection of your progress in the field.

Competencies to develop and build your project management skills.

1. Technical

Technical Competencies include the following:

Project Financial Management including budgets and reporting

Project Planning

Manage scope, time, cost and quality

Manage risks and issues

People management and leadership

Benefits Management

2. Behavioural

Behavioural Competencies include the following:

Communication and consultation

Conflict and crisis management

Flexibility and creativity



Organisational effectiveness

Problem solving and decision making

Professionalism and ethics




3. Contextual

Contextual Competencies include the following:

Health and Safety environment

Legal or regulatory environment

Business systems or process specific environments

Financial environment

Part of wider Programme or Portfolio of projects

Recommended Reading - Project Management

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