Art of Project management

Is Project Management about Art or Science?

art of project management with blurred floral backgroundLike many fields, project management has a few topics of ‘argument’.  Undoubtedly, one of the biggest is the role that ‘art’ plays in the field.  Many define the art of project management as the soft, or people skills.  A more comprehensive definition, however, includes more ‘technical’ skills which can not be easily codified into PMBOK (Project management book of knowledge). Some examples of these skills are:

  • recognizing an impending issue while it’s still forming (and it’s easy to fix)
  • identifying hidden stakeholders or power-brokers
  • understanding and navigating the informal organizational systems
  • identifying unstated requirements
  • building trust
  • selling the project
  • building realistic schedules
  • knowing when and which tool to use
  • navigating priority & resource constraints…….

To consistently deliver projects that meet the triad of cost, quality, and timing a project manager must utilize both the EQ (emotional quotient) and these artistic ‘technical’ skills.

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