Interpersonal skills for portfolio, program, and project managers

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The programme manager employs similar influencing skills but has to temper these efforts based upon the level of interaction they are able to achieve with their project managers and stakeholders. Given the more strategic nature of programme management, the ability to influence can be more dependent upon job title and the reputation of the individuals involved. The range of stakeholders that need to be influenced on a programme is large.

A programme manager needs to ensure that stakeholders are engaged at the appropriate level.

Interpersonal Skills Portfolio Program by Ginger Levin - AbeBooks

Whilst a particular stakeholder may only be concerned with one project, the relevant project manager may be of insufficient status to exert the necessary influence. Where a stakeholder is affected by multiple projects, it may be best for influence to be applied at programme level to ensure that different projects do not attempt to influence in different directions. A defining aspect of programmes is that they implement organisational change and impact the operation of business-as-usual activity. This is an area where the use of influencing skills is important.

Organisations cannot be effectively changed through authority alone. Influencing is a primary skill in establishing change that is durable and long lasting. Programmes will have business change managers, who will be responsible for influencing the many stakeholders who need to actively embrace change in order to achieve the required benefits. The strategic nature of portfolio management inevitably requires the involvement and support of executive teams and management boards throughout the organisation.

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They must establish corporate visibility and create the right environment to enable the benefits from portfolio management to be realised across the business. Strong influencing skills will be required to facilitate decision-making and action in all phases of the portfolio life cycle. A portfolio is the most visible aspect of P3 management to the outside world. If the host organisation wishes to influence shareholders, public opinion, customers, etc. Forgotten your password? Posted: Sep 1, AM. Great insights! I like the idea of avoiding violent communication. I loved the blooper!

Posted: Sep 1, PM. Thank you. Posted: Sep 11, AM. Inter personal skills are essential for success in projects. Posted: Jun 19, AM. Mover Maya has connected with ProjectManagement. Vendor Offers ProjectManagement. But it is not enough to identify the stakeholders and prepare a strategy. Project managers must actively engage stakeholders throughout the project as planned and manage communications with them to see if they are interested in other aspects of the project.

This active management of stakeholder expectations, as noted in the PMBOK r Guide PMI a , can increase the likelihood of project success because the stakeholders will feel a sense of ownership in the project. Milosevic recommends that project managers prepare a stakeholder matrix, listing stakeholders and the factors that are keys to success for the project. Table presents an example. To prepare this matrix, the project manager can use tools such as brainstorming all team members discuss ideas freely , the nominal group technique all team members speak without interruption or criticism , and Delphi analysis experts participate anonymously, assisted by a facilitator, to help the group reach consensus and to prevent one person from dominating the discussion.

At the program level, PMI c devotes a knowledge area to stakeholder management. At the program level, the emphasis is broader; in most cases, programs, which have a larger scope and longer duration, involve far more stakeholders and interdependencies than projects.

Interpersonal Skills for Portfolio, Program, and Project Managers

PMI also notes the importance of stakeholder management to successfully implementing changes in an organization. Both program and project managers must recognize that stakeholder management is a key success factor. It cannot be addressed in a document prepared at the beginning of the life cycle. It is an iterative and ongoing process. New stakeholders will become interested in or gain influence over the program or project, while others may no longer have an interest in the program or project at certain points.

The key stakeholder management skills required of program and project managers include:. A high level of personal confidence. Program and project managers must be able to effectively work with stakeholders who hold various positions in the organization, customers, and the public. An ability to adapt their style of communication when interacting with stakeholders, given their personalities and specific interests and influence on the program or project. A willingness to embrace change and diverse points of view, which will help the program or project manager develop mutually agreeable solutions to problems or issues that may arise.

Another key challenge for program and project managers is the lack of clarity of the structure of the organization. Program and project teams, whether they work virtually or are co-located, come together for a certain period of time and then disband. Especially in a virtual environment, team members may be subject matter experts that only join the program or project team for certain specific tasks. Further, it is rare for people to work on only a single program or project, unless they are a member of its core team and assigned to it for much of its duration.

The organizational structure of programs and projects is, therefore, nebulous. A weak matrix or project-coordinator—type structure in which the project manager does not have much authority is typical for smaller projects, while for larger programs and projects, working within a strong matrix, and, sometimes, using a projectized approach, is more common and gives program or project managers a higher degree of authority.

As noted by PMI c , different types of organizational structures may be used for the project and nonproject work that composes a program.


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Both the nebulous organizational structures and the different levels of authority mean program and project managers must have sophisticated people skills, including:. Personal comfort in operating with a dual focus such as applying technical skills while also operating as a generalist. The ability to change direction quickly if needed and to lead the change within the team. Personal confidence that enables the program or project manager to undertake a significant endeavor without knowing in advance all the issues, risks, and other problems that may arise. Program and project managers can develop skills such as tolerance for ambiguity, strong self-confidence, and comfort with relinquishing control by:.

Seeking open and honest feedback from peers and others in the organization regarding the effectiveness of their work. Taking classes and workshops in other fields to get exposure to new ideas and new ways of working. The functional manager also benefits more from greater consistency of resources than does the program or project manager.

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“People Skills” Aren’t Just for PMs: Mastering Interpersonal Relationship

Because the functional manager has a long-term working relationship with those in his or her department, he or she is aware of the technical and interpersonal strengths and weaknesses of each employee and may have worked with individuals on developing their prospective career paths. This relationship enables the functional or operational manager to:. Avoid problems by assigning people to tasks they are likely to perform successfully. Also, because the working relationship at the functional or operational level is ongoing, a manager can develop the human resources of the unit.

He or she may:.


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Create and monitor ongoing personal development plans for each employee to enhance his or her technical and interpersonal skills, thus improving the talent pool.

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