Project Manager: Skills, know-how and know-how... a trade!

Project Manager: Skills, know-how and know-how... a trade!

I know that in some companies we would like everyone to be a project manager. However being a project manager is having special project management skills and a leader's know-how.


Specific skills

To be a project manager, and despite the ideas received, there is no need to be an expert on the project...

On the contrary, it may be preferable not to be competent in the areas that concern the project to keep its position as project manager and let the members of the team be experts in the field they represent.

By looking for a Formula One driver, you are not going to look for an engineer or the one who designed or built the engine. You choose the most skillful driver. The latter can have notions and knowledge of mechanics, but it remains secondary to his expertise and experience of driving: his sense of flying, his reflexes and his ability to read a trajectory according to the road and the Weather conditions.

Likewise the project manager is above all the one who masters the project management and who knows how to steer the project according to the context and the environment of the project.

Some of the necessary skills include

  • Establish and manage a schedule
  • Identify and manage risks
  • Build and follow a budget
  • Conduct effective sessions
  • Monitor and report on the progress of the project
  • Communicate
  • ...



So many of these skills require the mastery of tools, which are learned in a project management course, they are not enough...



A know-how

I have often shared in my entourage that project management is "80% communication"...

I would add that being a project manager is a particular skill.

Anticipate risks, understand the expectations and priorities of different stakeholders, communicate adequately at different levels... The project manager is both strategic and pragmatic. He knows how to adapt his posture according to his interlocutor.


To be a project manager, it is also to show influence, at the level of project management, teams, clients (internal and external), partners of the project...


The teams are rarely hierarchically attached to them and team members often have to manage multiple tasks... Your project is not necessarily their priority. He must be able to inspire and mobilize throughout the journey. In moments of doubts, difficulties, he will be able to weld the team and concentrate on the construction of solutions.


With respect to management, the project will be able to generate expectations and even present strategic issues. With the sponsor, the duo will have to give visibility to be reassuring, or on the contrary alert when a critical decision is expected.


Pathfinder, conductor, coach... many quality to be enrich the role of project leader!



The next time you name one of your collaborators as a project manager or embark on the adventure of a project, give it to them, give yourself the means to have these particular skills and the know-how of leader.

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