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The Unified Project Management Dictionary

Bottom-up Estimating

Bottom-up Estimating is a method of estimating project duration or cost derived by first estimating the project's elemental tasks at the lower levels of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and then aggregating those estimates at successively higher levels of the WBS.

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You can not be the Project Manager for this project because you do not understand the technology!

My opinion on two very interesting questions that came up while attending the local PMI chapter meeting.

The basis of this editorial is to surmise my opinion on two very interesting questions that came up while attending the local PMI chapter meeting. The first questions deal with project managers having expert judgment in the subject matter of the underlying project he or she is overseeing. The second question raises the fundamental principal on whether a project manager ought to be an expert in the technology he or she is planning on implementing. In retrospect to a project manager having expert judgment, I would have to say this is extremely important and is one of the central pillars which govern most if not all project management endeavors. Nonetheless, I must argue that the severity in judgment does not necessarily have to be that of an expert level, good judgment and experience of making sound decisions based on facts and intelligent information is all that is needed. As to the second question of whether nor not a project manager ought to be a subject matter expert in the technology being implemented in a project, I am going to take the stance that there is no right or wrong answer to this question, opinions on this matter are merely just that, nonetheless a good project manager can leverage his project management skill sets to adapt against such handicaps of not being an expert in all field frame of works with success.

How important is it for a project manager to have expert judgment in the subject matter of the project?

To fully understand why a project manager must have expert judgment, a person has to have a basic understanding of the role and function of a project manager. Overall, A project manager is responsible for the successful planning, controlling, monitoring and executing of the project from the initial stage to the project’s completion phase to which we call closing. A project manager should be a quick learner and must be a well-grounded person who will oversee and manage the application of resources, techniques, tools, and skills to organize, and control numerous processes embodied within the project at stake. The role, style and how a project manager interface with his or her peoples is subjective and will differ between project managers. The role and how a project manager manage is ever progressive and can change based on the needs of the project manager and project. Roles, function and style of a project manager are even dissimilar within organizational enterprises. It is important to understand what role a project manager will play in a certain company or organization. At a minimum a project manager needs to have good judgment, as, this will be crucial to the success of the any project. A project manager must somewhat be intuitive and knowing how to read body language, this is a plus and a pillar within the process we refer to as communication. Most of the successful project managers that I know have a combination of skills, to include an ability to ask deep probing questions, the ability to delineate facts from generalizations and assumptions to foreshadow stagnation in current as well as future processes. Project managers must exercise good judgment in order to facilitate successfully thru obstacles and attempt at all costs to deviate from conflicts that will delineate tasks, cause unacceptable deliverables that are crucial to the success of the project. Exercising good judgment is not solely particular to project management but to all management. There are many tasks and skills that are synonymous between regular managers and project managers. Nonetheless a project manager will be a master in controlling deliverables; works and tasks are not whimsical but are driven with timelines therefore being a expert in time management and exercising tools such as creating a critical path matrix, fast tracking and crashing the schedule will be crucial expert judgment control mechanism to which a PM must be exemplary at to maintain a tentative project schedule.

Must a project manager be an expert in the technology that is being implemented?

Success of a technology driven project is not heavily dependent on the knowledge base of the project manager in that realm or scope of technology being worked on. The argument of whether a project manager has to be expert within the specific technology project being worked on is arbitrary at best; therefore, responses will vary based on the individuals answering. I think that this question can be best answered based on specific scenarios. Is it a benefit to have an expert project manager in line with the work being performed? I say yes; albeit is the ladder a handicap! I say no. The key difference between a technical project manager and one who is not is merely that being technical is an added value and reduces lag time to getting spun up. One thing to consider is that project management does not solely dwell in the sphere for technological work but from many different industries. Another point to consider is that the project manager is not going to fulfill a technical role regardless of his knowledge base; at best a technical project manager will only offer advice hence that the PM will be too busy managing resources in retrospect to facility usage, time, costs and people.

In conclusion, having good judgment is crucial to the success of any project and that being an expert within the field of work is merely an added value, albeit not being an expert isn't a handicap. The following phrase best describes my position; it is said that the very best program project managers use about 20% hard skills and 80% soft skills. Hard skills are those measurable goals which a project manager can track via metric which relates, procedures, processes tools, techniques and comprising of planning, organizing, monitoring and controlling; soft skills are those thing that we cannot physically measure like a project managers attitudes and behaviors and how he or she motivates his workers, instills trust via delegation and lastly how the project manager creates the mood within the work place.


Han, L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://bemycareercoach.com/1704/soft-skills/hard-skills-soft-skills.html

PMI. (2016). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). (6th ed.). Newtown Square, PA. Project Management Institute

Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Paternique Abraham
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2018-10-30]