Must-Have Soft Skills for Agile Project Managers
While traditional Project Managers require a lot of planning, organizing, and managing resources and tasks to complete a project, Agile Project Management is a self-organizing team. Nobody micromanages them. The agile approach is most practical and is capable of delivering projects with evolving changes. Agile Project Managers usually focus more on facilitation and removing roadblocks for the team.
Soft Skills are essential if you are a budding Agile Project Manager as it will make your approach more effective. It also helps you evolve within your role and possibly, into that of a Scrum Master. As an Agile Project Manager, soft skills will increase the focus on individuals and interactions.
It is crucial to equip yourself with the six top soft skills to perform your tasks more efficiently.
Issue Resolution / Escalation
This will remove the roadblocks you’re encountering along the way to achieve your project’s objective. These can be some factors that are beyond your control. Once you have learned about these issues, it will be easier for you to determine how to get things done effectively. You may use your negotiation skills to arbitrate disputes. Your diplomacy and listening skills are useful in obtaining issue resolution.
You will be helping the team to solve problems on their own. You can unlock team creativity in brainstorming activities. You may also use root cause analysis (Ishikawa Fish Bone Diagrams) or six thinking hats to find where the issue comes from and find the best solution to resolve it.
Everyone needs to be jointly accountable for the work performed. Knowing that every team member is different, building your team in a fun, free, and open environment can help you determine your team capabilities. The communication lines should be honest, and norms or standard behaviors should be shared as you expect the team to meet them.
All team members need coaching about the practicalities within agile. Coaching helps make sure people understand what you are expecting from them. In coaching, you may need to move people from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset, into someone that accepts challenges and criticisms that help them grow. Your questioning and listening skills can help you achieve this.
As an agile project manager, you can add value by initiating change within the organization structure. Agile builds a positive culture and principles that are deep within the organization.
Create the Right Environment
Follow these steps to have a productive, empowered, and supportive culture where team members feel safe to ask questions and share their opinions with the team. An open door approach is vital as it will help the team breathe fresh air in a toxic environment.