People Management Skills

People Management Skills

Just as with product skills and project skills, each of the people management skills from the 34 competencies will be covered in this blog. A brief description of each will appear in this section, while sections appearing later in the blog will describe each competency more fully.

Where People Management Skills Are Addressed

We now move to a brief explanation of the people management skills, competencies 23 through 34. Each competency will be introduced here to serve as a roadmap and as a review guide. We want to emphasize the competencies required to select and build a project team, infuse the team members with enthusiasm, encourage them through difficult issues, and help each member plan a career to ensure life after the project. As basic tasks, people skills are essential for the successful completion of every phase in the SLC. For those of us who were not born with the ability to lead, capably negotiate win-win situations, or give presentations, it is comforting to know that each of these skills can be learned.

This introduction will provide a brief description of each of the 12 people skills and discuss how they support the other 22 competencies. The what - what project and product competencies are supported by each of the people skills - and the when - in which phase of the software development life cycle the people skills are applied - are outlined. The why and the how of each of the people skills will be presented in depth in later sections, as referenced in the following figure.

People Skills in Perspective

Often thought of as the softer side of software project management, people management may really be the most important piece of the software-project-support composition: people, process, product (see above figure). True, the organization will soon be out of business if a software product isn't created, but it's equally true that the software won't meet requirements, won't be of high quality, or maybe won't even exist if the project team doesn't pull together toward a common vision and have an effective leader. An organization may have an SEI Level 5 world-class process, but without the proper recruiting, team selection, team building, and care of team members (appraisal, career planning), there won't be a functioning team to follow it. Researchers may have a superior invention, but without interaction, effective presentations, effective meetings, negotiation skills, and change management the product will never get out the door.

Because they are used in every project phase and software development life cycle phase and in the continuous support of quality, it is difficult to cleanly peg each people skill to a specific PMI project process phase, SLC phase, or SQI competency. So we'll explain where numerous skills can be applied and which skills may be particularly important to getting a process or product phase task completed.

For instance, negotiation and managing change may be two people skills required continuously, whereas team selection obviously takes place only near the beginning of a project - generally in the PMI project planning project phase (which corresponds to the concept exploration and/or system exploration software development life cycle phase) as in the following figure;
Selecting a Project Team
Numerous competencies are often required during any given life cycle phase, and one SQI competency may support others. Managing people on a software project needs applying people skills, software engineering and development knowledge, and project management smarts at the same time. As long as each skill is mastered, it becomes natural to use various all together. There will be a section in this blog on mastering each of the people management skills, and it will be assumed that project managers should employ one or more of them every step of the way.


competency, software project management, slc phase
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