Should Project Managers be subject matter experts?
This question reflects a debate I had with a client recently. Is it more important for a PM to have skills and experience in managing projects, or to have a deep understanding of the business issues that the project addresses?
Perhaps there is a balance to be struck, but in my own organisation (a global manufacturing company) I feel we have veered far to much in favour of the latter. As a consequence, specialist PMs are rarer and/or underrated, and there is an unspoken but widely held view that if you are a capable manager you should be able to manage a project.
Related to (and implicit in) this question: how do you assess the ability of the PM and his team when auditing a project? What criteria do you use?
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