Are Project Management and People Management All That Different?

I just got back from speaking to a group of Project Managers (PMI folks to be specific) about remote team communication and virtual meetings. I love it. In fact, I will do it any time I can. Yet during Q and A, one of these smart, accomplished, well-meaning people will usually make a statement that makes me crazy. Something like: “Wayne, this is all great information, but it’s for people managers. We’re project managers and that’s different”.

So is Project Management different (or not) than what we normally think of as team, or functional, managing?

Project Managers, and the people who hire them, tend to put more value on their technical expertise than their soft-skills. This makes sense, since people who rise up the PM ranks tend to be excellent individual contributors in highly technical or analytical fields and promotion to leadership seems like the next logical step in their careers or a reward (and a way to stop them from leaving).

There's lots more to this article, read it on Management Issues

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