Project coaching – bridging the gap in soft skills

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  1. What can I say but … Yes! Yes! Yes!

    As a specialist who works with Projects, particularly in technology (PMO – Assurance – Quality – Process – Compliance – Audit … etc.) I “advertise” as someone who “Gets Things Done” … and I do!
    I run successful projects and above all ENABLE OTHERS to do the same. How ? … soft skills.

    What do I see happening in Business ? … and please appreciate that I have to generalize … Project Managers commissioned to deliver “good” projects, yet perceived as steam trains heading in the Client’s direction with change that they neither want nor understand.
    Out of the woodwork come Clients and competitive Departments resisting and undermining in a multitude of ways and for a variety of reasons … result … a perfectly good project de-railed.

    How to turn this around ?
    The success analogy I apply is the Tug Boat which can turn a ship much larger than itself by nudging and persuading … the soft skills of Listening Educating, Facilitating, Negotiating, Coaching etc.

    These competencies CANNOT be learned over night and will not be included in the capabilities of most Project Managers. So how to overcome this difficulty?

    A PMO staffed with resources that possess such competencies can support Project Management and help bring home successful projects .. i.e. tug boats that work around the ship alongside the PM to nudge the ship into its new direction successfully.

    So … does this mean that everyone in a PMO must have these competencies ? … they are extremely rare.
    No … reserve part of the PMO budget to recruit 1 or 2 Coaches (there may be a more appropriate name !!). Employ them to work IN HARNESS WITH (alongside) the PMs to provide the soft skills that enable successful delivery.
    Ah yes I hear you say … the budget won’t stretch … well … better 4 projects brought home successfully than 5 with 1 or more unsuccessful!

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