The Local Group Westfalen invited again for a discussion session. The topic was, how the factors ‘People’ and ‘Method’ do influence on project success.
Opinions regarding which of these factors has more influence, were divided among the participants. One of the proposals done, was that 70% of project success comes from the contribution of people and 30% from the methods used on the project.
It was discussed that there are some highlighting competences and abilities related to people, which a project manager must have, as social intelligence, communication skills and the fact of being able to motivate the team. In this context, social intelligence was defined as the ability to establish and maintain good relationship with the people around and to make them to cooperate. On the other hand, motivation was described as the reasons a person has, to act one way or another. Therefore, a project manager able to motivate, knows the techniques and arguments to convince a team to perform tasks in specific ways. Without a doubt, all participants agreed that communication plays on of the most important roles when achieving success in projects. Defining a clear communication structure and effective communication channels greatly affect the probability of project success.
A question raised on the discussion, was whether a project manager with soft skills, has a higher probability to perform successful projects, than a project manager who is an expert on project management methods. Most of the participants strongly agreed on this statement. This topic led us to discuss, if a person can develop or strengthen such abilities and competences or not. Some of the participants affirmed that there are some things that can be learned, but some others come specifically from the personality of a person. At the end, the majority of the participants affirmed that a person can develop or strengthen a competence by having a discipline training on it.
Defining whether people or method is more important when talking about project success, can not be black or white but grey. The right combination is the one who let the soft skills of people complement an adequate structure of phases and activities to carry out a project which meets the expectations of all stakeholders.