Project Manager Competency—Soft Skills is the Hard Part

10:30–10:50 a.m., May 15, 2015

We continue the discussion on PM competency in this session after the coffee break. Here we focus on the soft skills that employees are looking for when hiring new PMs in greater detail. Leading, enabling and empowering is a key competency in project management. Excellent interpersonal or soft skills, are necessary requisites for project success. While young undergraduates will typically be expected to simply manage projects and leverage their technical skills, soon they might be asked to “lead” rather than “manage”. We will describe how such employees must be knowledgeable about leadership styles as it might impact project success. PMs might also be asked to improvise along the way when a project gets challenged. So what is the best practice for improvisation? We wrap up this session with a discussion of “best ethical practices” within the context of PM.


Dr. Steve Leybourne

Dr. Steve LeybourneInternationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on improvised work in project management, Dr. Leybourne’s research activities focus on the use and abuse of improvisational working practices, particularly in project-based work, and the location of project management within the wider academic landscape. He has been a leading manager for several international banking institutions and is secretary of the Organizational Transformation, Change and Development Special Interest Group at the British Academy of Management. Leybourne has published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Change Management, the International Journal of Management Concepts & Philosophy, and the two leading project management journals in the field, the International Journal of Project Management and the Project Management Journal.