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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

The Most Important Soft-Skill

I can’t give you a definite set of skills required to satisfy my needs when recruiting on different positions. However, if you need some clues there I recommend my old posts about qualities of good developers and qualities of good project managers.

Anyway, I definitely can give you at least one skill which is a must-have in my teams. Ability and will to learn. OK, I gave two but they’re tightly connected. If you don’t learn you won’t qualify. Sorry.

I don’t expect to have perfect people in the team. They can suck in many areas and still be great employees, but at this one there won’t be any exception. From this perspective it can be called the most important soft-skill.

If you are learning you’ll become better, more knowledgeable and more valuable for a team. You’ll grow. If you aren’t learning, well, over time there will be many better than you. Why should others invest in you then?

in: personal development

2 comments… add one

  • Cornelius Fichtner, PMP September 27, 2008, 4:17 pm

    Pawel,

    I believe that you are onto something with this particular soft skill. (And I must congratulate you for pointing it out – I don’t think I have ever seen this in regards to PM soft skills.)

    The one factor that I have always enjoyed about project management was the need for me as the PM to be flexible. When I walked into my office in the morning I knew that something would come up today that I would not be necessarily prepared for but that I would have to take in, analyze and then respond to.

    I strongly believe that if you have the ability to deal with such situations and turn them into something positive for yourself (i.e. learn something from them) then you will also be able to study whatever new areas your next project requires of you.

    Cornelius Fichtner
    The Project Management Podcast

  • Pawel Brodzinski September 29, 2008, 7:04 am

    Someone, I don’t remember who, said that project management is about expecting the unexpected. Definitely for PM learning ability is essential but the same is with each project team member, no matter of their roles.

    Ability to learn is ability to go further. And I don’t really want to work with people who plan to stay where they are forever.

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