Soft Skills as Critical Success Factor

August 18, 2014
Manish Panchmatia
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  • PMP®
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In a recent speech by Narayan Murthy, his statement regarding employability of engineering graduates in India sparked a lot of debate and controversy. Given Narayan Murthy’s stature, his statement does sound an alarm bell for our education system.

It is unfortunate that our education system does not give the right emphasis on need to soft skills required for employability and future success in our chosen careers. By the time we realize this, we are already in the professional world, and a lot of unlearning is needed to learn right soft skills. Unlearning poor soft skills is not an easy task unless taught at an early stage in life.

Education system across the globe has been too focused on academic proficiency in order to secure a job in reputed organizations. Academic scores maybe a launching pad to get a job but would not help beyond that.

Organizations these days are not only demanding good academic scores, but also evaluating career readiness or employability of graduates.  Such a career readiness in later years evolves to hone soft skills that assure success in any chosen line.

For graduates aspiring to become Project Managers (especially in the IT sector, which operates in a globalized IT market), soft skills (or the lack of it) could make all the difference in a successful project delivery. This stands for that career readiness of a graduate could very easily be an indicator of his/her ability to produce the piano skills required of him as Project Manager at a later age. Hiring managers will most likely include career readiness as a criterion for employability to ensure they get the right candidates on-board the organization. This means, they ensure those recruited will develop into successful Managers in a few years.

While technical skills, certifications, etc. are tangible indicators of a Project Manager’s competence, the contribution of soft skills to project delivery is difficult to measure. Projects are getting progressively complex and teams more global in nature than ever earlier. Today’s world demands that Project Managers skillfully balance their role between being a leader and a manager too as the situation demands.

A great deal of research has been performed and published on the need for soft skills in the professional world- yet none of the Project Manager certifications have adequate coverage for soft skills. I hope these certifications will give due importance to soft skills instruction and evaluation.

In my professional life, I have worked with, groomed and mentored many Project Managers. In these years, I have noted a consistent pattern that those with excellent understanding of the processes, but lacked the right level of soft skills always struggled to manage project teams. They nearly always encountered crisis situations and would deflect the blame on the team, stakeholders or the office. In their search for the ideal situation to run projects, most of their energy is drained in handling self-manufactured crisis situation. And, no PM would like to mention this in the lessons learnt document.

So, this Webinar “Soft Skills as Critical Success Factor” highlights (with practical examples) the need for Project Managers possess soft skills and apply the qualities of leader and manager. These qualities need to be applied in the correct balance and under appropriate circumstances for project success. This webinar will be of benefit to both experienced and aspiring Project Management professionals (PMP)®, as also fresh graduates who wish to increase their employability wanting to explore the world of project management in their future years.

You may check out the video of the webinar on the iZenBridge YouTube Channel. You can also participate in our Discussion Forum.