#Projektmanagement – Soft Skills fördern Teamplay

The term “soft skills” – also “soft abilities” – have been known since the 1990s. They describe personal traits and skills of each individual team member. These are the personality traits that a person possesses. Similar to hard skills – which are learned exclusively through technical and job-related measures – soft skills, which describe a person’s character, also contribute to the successful completion of a project. Here, skills are subdivided once again – both social and personal soft skills exist. When used correctly, they can steer careers.

To support team members and the management of a project, various soft skills are important because they help to secure cooperation within a team. The goal is to achieve successful completion of the project. Companies should be aware that successful project management requires skills such as leadership, while at the same time they need to be motivated, creative, proactive and have good communication skills. Project managers should also be equipped with a business and entrepreneurial mindset.

Soft skills are not innate, but it is possible to learn them. The character of the person determines how well the soft skills are trained. Another aspect is the changing times, especially as soft skills change. In a project involving several people, the requirements change over time. Soft skills include

  1. Teamwork and communication skills
  2. Creative thinking and mobility
  3. Adaptability and flexibility
  4. Sensitivity and empathy
  5. Leadership skills and the ability to manage conflict

In the future, soft skills that are considered normal today will evolve into so-called meta skills, which describe other qualities. These include business skills such as entrepreneurial spirit, but also personal responsibility and adaptability. Already in the near future it will become more important to be able to achieve their goals through project management. Over time, personal skills keep adapting to new project management requirements.

Project management methods

Experts consider project management as a process of integrating the application of knowledge, existing skills, but also existing tools and techniques. The goal is to divide the process of the project into several phases and meet the requirements that arise in this framework. The process of project management is divided into different phases, which have been gradually built on each other and ensure that the project is successfully implemented. First comes the initiation, then the planning, the execution, the monitoring and finally the completion. In recent years, the software industry in particular has experimented with various methods of project management, with a total of three being used particularly frequently:

The classical method

If the classical project management is used for a project, it is worked on from beginning to end with this approach – it builds thus on each other. In this context, the approach is planned from start to finish, aiming for a detailed end state. In addition to the goal, it is also determined how the procedure should be planned. This includes a time build-in with a buffer, so that even if there are time delays, completion can be expected on time. The use of classic project management thus offers a high degree of planning security.

But in which cases should classic project management be used? In order to be successful, the associated building blocks – such as personnel, costs, deadlines or results – must be defined at an early stage. It should be applied primarily for secure project management. It provides a high degree of planning certainty and the classic method is ideally suited in cases where those involved are aware of all the advantages associated with this type of planning. To determine the best method, it is necessary to review existing alternatives.

The hybrid method

Hybrid project management is the interaction of classic and agile project management. Such hybrid forms of project management are primarily suitable for particularly complex problems. For the delimitation of different characteristics and the challenges the hybrid project management is suitable by far best. The approach for the hybrid project management combines the advantages of the classical and agile project management and combines the techniques of both approaches of this methodology.

Overall, hybrid hybrids put together the best aspects and offer users many benefits from both sides. In the case of complex or difficult projects, it is no longer sufficient in most cases to use individual approaches or methods of one or the other type completely independently. This is where the strength comes in, because it is no longer considered sufficient to look at just one method. However, it also shows that people have always worked hybrid.

The agile method

Agile project management is one of the most widely used modern forms of project management. There are now various principles that characterize the agile method. In this context, agile methods are considered as frameworks and are similar in the basic works. However, recent research has determined that agile project management has many advantages over the classic method. However, it is an important prerequisite that the important points – such as communication, plan design or defining project goals – are carried out.

If the project management is to be carried out in an agile way, both the effort and the time must be fixed, while the scope is variable. The process is carried out step by step and is constantly improved. Those who have a high impact on the project have a permanent impact. During the project, those in charge receive the results of the research on a permanent basis. In this process, the team controls and manages itself, communication among them is fast and through short channels.

It has already been shown that technical project management falls short of its claims, even if there is a concentrated technical knowledge of the team members. Today, it is clear that having only hard skills is no longer a guarantee for the success of a project. The use of soft skills has become necessary, because social, methodical and personal skills play an increasingly important role in the successful implementation of a project. Soft skills change from person to person, so those who want to implement a project together as a team should make it up of colleagues. For project managers, the most important thing is that the leader has a high level of competence in problem solving and develop innovative ideas.

Agile project management – the “trend of the future

The agile project management aims to clarify various techniques, with the still abstract values and principles as a manifesto into practice. Under the agile project management is about procedures that use with high tolerance limits in terms of quality, scope, time and cost. In addition, significant cooperation on the part of the client is necessary so that the task can be successfully solved. The focus in an agile project management is always on the desired goal to perform the project management according to the own settings.

Especially in the software development agile methods are carried out. In the following described working methods belong to it and ensure that the cooperation in the team can run smoothly:

– SCRUM – English for “hustle”.

This model of project management is simply structured and based on continuous communication during collaboration. Therefore, this application is not used because the project to be carried out cannot be planned in advance in most cases.

– Kanban or visualization of the workflow

Kanban is an agile method that belongs to change management. The process that is built up is dismantled step by step. In each of the small steps, small changes are made, so that the risk of the actions are also reduced.

The main difference between Kanban and SCRUM is in the product development. While in SCRUM the products are developed step by step, the method of Kanban focuses on the continuous (further) development of products.

Agility in organizations is considered to be the non plus ultra

The ever advancing digitalization as well as business models – the new products, services as well as various competitors – mostly influences the competition. Increasing dynamics and complexity overwhelm many organizations, especially when they are successfully running their business with one or even several models. In order for them to develop their full potential, it is necessary in any case that they are used where they can develop their effectiveness.