Project Managers – technical competence

Originally posted on the ProjExc Project Excellence Blog on 20-May-08

ProjExc often help their clients to source project managers. One of the early obstacles in identifying the ideal candidate profile is agreeing the need for “technical” knowledge. This can be technical knowledge of the product or experiential knowledge of the market place.
There isn’t a definitive answer.

One camp believes that unless you have a thorough understanding of the product/market there is no way that you can successfully manage a project in that space. The other camp says all that is needed to successfully manage a project is solid project management skills, tools and processes, while technical knowledge will create a natural draw to work in the project rather than on ensuring its success.

As with most things in life, ProjExc are proponents of balance. Generally, solid project management competence is the key. Planning and issue resolution can be helped by a little “technical” knowledge (sufficient to know when one is having the wool pulled over one’s eyes).

ProjExc would love to know your views on this. Contact them by email, via their website, call them on, or post your thoughts on their blog.