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(DEV-1760) Soft Skills are Vital for Good Project Controls

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Primary Author: Christopher W. Carson, CEP DRMP PSP FAACE
Co-Author(s): Patrick C. Kelly, PSP

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Research
Venue: 2014 AACE International Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA

Abstract: The industry is full of recommendations for good technical Project Controls techniques, some written by the authors, but rarely does anyone address the need for exemplary soft skills in the Project Controls Role. Wikipedia defines soft skills as "the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people."

In order to be an effective member of the Project Management team, and it is necessary to be effective if the PM team is to listen to recommendations from Project Controls, it takes good soft skills. Whether its planning projects, capturing update information, addressing risks, discussing corrective actions, or providing claims avoidance support, if the PC expert is not also an expert in soft skills, the value is greatly reduced.

This paper provides some recommendations for those skills, personality testing such as the Meyers-Briggs Personality Profile, that are necessary to supplement the technical skills, and offers ways to both train and test for the necessary soft skills.