In today's environment of intense competition, rapidly changing technology, fluid organizations, and highly complex projects, organizations need highly trained project managers if they have any hope of success. Most organizations acknowledge the need for better-trained personnel. Too often, however, training expenditures are approved only for the technical-based competencies. This practice is particularly prevalent in the information technology industry or any industry that is heavily dependent on high-tech competencies.
If selecting the right project to meet an organization's strategic goals is the most important decision senior management makes, then the next most important decision is choosing the right project manager. Just because a person has been a project team member on several projects, or just because the person has been a successful functional manager, doesn't mean she will be a qualified project manager. Project managers require specific skills and knowledge in addition to the general skills and knowledge characteristic of functional managers. The good news is, these skills and this knowledge can be taught. Even so, not everyone will excel as a project manager; only those who are able to apply the skills and knowledge will be successful.
Over the past twenty years, it has become clear that certain characteristics are absolutely crucial for success as a project manager. These same characteristics are sought by organizations when project managers are hired and selected to run their plans.