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The position of Project Manager is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic roles in organizations across all industries. It can also be the most demanding role. Much of the most important work in your organization gets done via projects. Personal and organizational success therefore rests, in large measure, on project success. The problem is, projects don’t always succeed. Even superbly qualified project teams may find themselves shackled by scope creep, resource depletion, lack of teamwork, or unexpected shifts in project specs.

Strong project leaders steer their project teams clear of such obstacles. They skillfully interact with team members as well as key stakeholders to drive projects to their intended destinations, on time and within budget. Based on our research with over 30 project managers it was determined that among other competencies, influence would help them achieve the following:

  • Ensure their projects enjoy solid support from key stakeholders
  • Build a strong project team.
  • Map and shrewdly navigate the organizational landscape.
  • Resolve conflict and effectively deal with entrenched, competitive, or adversarial stakeholders.
  • Build bridges between technical and business people.
  • Continually assess and improve project team performance.
  • Effectively adjust to unexpected but necessary shifts in project plans.

Project Managers may not always have control over the “cards they are dealt” but they can have control over “how the cards are played”. Combining and applying the right set of competencies supports Project Managers in mastering the human side of project management.

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