A recent article in CIO magazine emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence to IT project managers. The article refers to a recent report from Forrester Analyst Mary Gerush titled, "Define, Hire and Develop Your Next Generation Project Managers". As a result of her research, Analyst Gerush published a list of the top 10 Capabilities of Next Generation Project Managers.
I am not sure exactly what Ms. Gerush meant by "Next Generation Project Managers" or how helpful I find that distinction. In my experience, these key capabilties apply to all project managers, current and Next Generation.
Strikingly, emotional intelligence dominates the list of 10 capabilities needed by these Next Generation Project Managers. Not only was Emotional Intelligence listed as the #1 capability, the next three were all part of the Framework for Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. For more background on emotional intelligence for project managers, read these previous posts.
#1 - Emotional Intelligence: The ability to pick up on events and interactions (both verbal and non-verbal) and to process those inputs in the context of the project plan. (Note: These are addressed in the framework in the domains of Self-awareness and Social Awareness.)
#2 - Adaptive Communication: The ability to articulate one's ideas--whether orally or in writing--to a range of individuals, groups and cultures using the most effective communication techniques for each group. (Note: This is addressed in the framework under the domain of Team Leadership.)
#3 - People Skills: The ability to quickly build and maintain positive relationships with team-members and stakeholders. (Note: This is addressed in the framework under the domain of Relationship Management.)
#4 - Management Skills: The ability to serve, motivate and focus a team and to foster collaboration among team members. (Note: This is addressed in the framework under the domain of Team Leadership.)
If you want to immediately make an impact on your own capabilities in these 4 areas, you can read through the previous posts on this site and boost your understanding of emotional intelligence and how to apply it to project management.
Here are the rest of the 10 capabilities of Next Generation Project Managers as defined in the article at CIO Magazine:
#5 - Flexibility: The willingness and ability to change one's approach to project management and/or course of action in response to business needs.
#6 - Business Savvy: Knowledge of the organization's business, strategy and industry. Ability to understand a strategy and align tactical work around that strategy.
#7 - Analytical Skills: The ability to think through problems and decisions.
#8 - Customer Focus: The ability to understand the end-user or end customer's needs and the drive to ensure that projects meet those needs.
#9 - Results-Orientation: The ability to get things done efficiently and effectively.
#10 - Character: The project manager should have an appealing personality and a strong moral and ethical character.
You can order a copy of the report from Forrester here: Define, Hire and Develop Your Next Generation Project Managers. Just be prepared to shell out $499. As an alternative, you could buy my book (Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers) at Amazon.com for $13.57 and save yourself $485. That seems pretty intelligent to me. But then again, I think I might be a Last Generation Project Manager.