It can be well stated that technical skills or people skills are more important to the team manager in a software development project. The job of the project manager is to look at the activities of the people or team and motivate them to complete the job on time or in accordance with job requirements and schedules. However, the help of technical skills or people skills does the real job in a software firm or in the business of software and programming and this is more important than the team manager in a software development project
The job of the project manager needs to have more knowledge and experience of how to handle his team than others and at the same time must also be an adept in the business and technical area of his project. However, a manager is not an expert on the subject and it is extremely unlikely that if a technically skilled individual were having a software-related problem, the manager would be able to solve it. This is because a manager is experienced in the context of management of staff and other administrative activities but the actual job in a software development project is done by the technical skills or people skills.
A project manager manages the various processes that are associated with a project. However, this does not imply that he has to do all the work himself and it is not desirable of a manager to possess technical skills. This is not the domain of a manager. He has to manage a team of people who help him to work on the project. In case something goes wrong with the project, the project manager is very answerable to it.
Thus, he is responsible for successfully controlling and managing the work of the project, communications, risk management and scope change management of his team. However, the bottom line remains the same and it is obvious that the technical skills or people skills in case of software development process remains the fundamental aspect of operation and the manager is only responsible to compile the job and communicating with the technical people to maintain a proper balance among the skilled technicians.
Thus, people skills and technical skills are more important for a project than a project manager is, as without the people skills and technical skills there would not be any need for a project manager at all for the company. Thus, the project manager is dependent of the people skills and technical skills in case of software development process whereas the people skills and technical skills in case of software development process is dependent on the project manager only in terms of co-ordination and communication systems.
The technical knowledge required by a project manager for managing his projects depends on its size and their working environment. A project manager thus should manage team members who are technically skilled in their own disciplines rather than the project manager himself. Projects will always have technical problems and as it progresses, the complexity of the project will increase. Therefore, in those times the project manager should communicate with his team and handle them properly by using his people skills. He should keep his technical staff involved, interested in the project, and give them the chance to grow and develop in their particular area of interest or else the employees will soon be looking for another job.
Normally good technical skills help engineers get a good job where they can demonstrate their level of proficiency. However, one of the ways to advance and work in the higher levels of an organization is by developing good people skills. The success of the project managers is mainly due to their people skills and a small amount of their technical knowledge too. The project managers need people skills to handle their group members especially in times of trouble. Therefore, they should have knowledge about the different types of personalities that his group members have.
However, technical skills are the most important factor for any software developer. Proper technical skills are required when we apply for our first job, as we climb up the ladders of a company these skills are very important. However, once we start getting promotions people management skills become more and more important for the job. The project managers have to be more focused on certain people skills, like leadership, negotiation, delegation, resolution and conflict.
For an organization to be successful, its teams need to be inspired and guided by project managers who must be approachable, accountable and respected by his team but at the same time knowledgeable. He not only has to manage the project and successfully deliver a product but also manage quality, time, cost and scope of the project along with customer approval.
However, the fact remains that a technical person may acquire the skills of a manager in the middle of a career but it is highly unlikely that a manager would ever master the skills of a technical person. Thus, it can be safely stated that a technical person may possess the skills and abilities of a manager but a manager may not acquire the skills of a technical person. Thus, it is obvious that technical skills or people skills in case of software development process remain the fundamental aspect of operation. (Reiling, 2008)
Reiling, J; 2008; Management and People Skills in Project Management; Articlebase. Web.
Spiegel, Eric; 2003; Project Manager Skills For Tough Times; Datamation. Web.