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18 August 2007

14 Key Management Skills

The PMBOK mainly talks about the technical aspects to planning an doing work on projects. It identifies that general management skills are a key part of the puzzle, but then refers you to the management literature and you are expected to go off and read, study and assimilate that info. In that vein I provide some information on management theory for you.

I have been reading a fascinating book by Cameron and Quinn called Diagnosing and Changing Organisational Culture. If you are a manager of people (and what project manager isn't) or if you are working as a change agent this book is full of useful ideas.

The first that I learned from this book is the competing values framework, which essentially divides organisational culture into four quadrants, based upon two dimensions; internal versus external focus, and degree of control versus flexibility. I'll post more on competing values again.

The book then plots a framework out for identifying what areas need to change and some ideas on how that change should be managed. One of the steps in managing change, for example, is ensuring your middle managers are capable of the changes required and tht they have the management competencies you want in your future business model.

Supporting this idea the authors present a list of 14 management skills the authors consider to be baseline management competencies you need to be successful. The degree to which these skills depends on the needs of the organisation at any time. Here's a list, mapped onto their Competing Values quadrants. It's presented as a teaser of what's in the book.

I am particularly interested in the people side of project management - both on the projct teams and the people who's job you are affecting. There are plenty of new ideas in this book worth learning about. I highly recommend reading it.

Get it here; Diagnosing and Changing Organisational Culture Based on the Competing Values Framework.