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The basic tools and techniques we have described are particularly suited to clear-cut projects like engineering projects, where they deal with structural complexities reasonably well. However, they assume a rational world that can be broken down and when you go outside this context, complexities are far more likely to rear their head. In particular, people and changes are likely to impinge on almost all project plans in today’s businesses. This means project managers have had to adapt their approaches to deal much more fully with the people dimension and uncertainty/change issues, where the basic tools and outlook are incomplete.
Old-style project managers are less well-suited to these people-responsive and flexible situations, where you need to adapt but still keep the end goal in mind. The principles of change management come very much to the fore, based on some essential competencies:
political understanding is a prime requirement, since it enables you to overcome opposition, inertia or resistance, and to influence groups and opinion leaders diplomatically in the wider environment
emotional intelligence is essential to work skilfully one-to-one, displayed by successfully reading others’ emotional states, coupled with self-awareness and control. It allows a project climate to build up in trusting and skilled way both at the emotional and interpersonal level
business awareness is essential: it allows the
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