Strengths and weaknesses analysis for the project manager
Only a project manager who knows his own weaknesses can improve his skills. If he also knows that there are many things, he is good at, he will not mind working on his personal weaknesses or accepting them as unchangeable. A good way of finding out what your strengths and weaknesses are to carry out a personal strengths and weaknesses analysis. All the project manager needs is a piece of paper, a pen and a good dose of honesty. This article explains why you, as a project manager, should carry out a strengths and weaknesses analysis and how to do it.
Why is a strengths and weaknesses analysis important?
The project manager influences the success of the project with his personality and working style. Disorder and chaos have no place in a project manager; instead, he is a professional when it comes to self- and project organisation. This includes the ability to make efficient decisions as a manager, but also the ability to manage one's own resources. An honest analysis of strengths and weaknesses helps to set and review goals in a systematic way and to ensure continuous personal development.
What are the advantages of a strengths and weaknesses analysis for the project manager?
Like a project, a project manager has certain resources that he can skilfully use in order to benefit from them. Resources include not only material resources such as money, but also immaterial resources such as personal competencies. The advantages of a personal strengths and weaknesses analysis lie in the recognition of personal resources and their potential for influence. The self-reflection that accompanies the strength and weakness analysis gives you the opportunity to reflect on yourself and find out what you are good at and where there is still a need for optimisation. Based on this, you can develop yourself further, use your strengths in a targeted way and work on your weaknesses. Only those who are aware of their weaknesses can use them and grow from them.
Conducting a Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis as a Project Manager
The purpose of a strengths and weaknesses analysis is to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, evaluate them and derive measures to work on weaknesses that you yourself perceive as negative. The basis of the strengths and weaknesses analysis are your personal resources, which can be divided into material and immaterial resources.
Step 1: Identify your own strengths and weaknesses
You can derive your own strengths and weaknesses from the material and immaterial resources already mentioned. The following list can be an inspiration to you, but it should in no way be seen as judgmental.
The physical constitution, the social environment, the physical condition and the tools or equipment (e.g., money, housing or clothing) belong to the material resources. The various resources are listed in ascending order according to the degree to which they can be changed. The physical constitution can be influenced least by the project manager himself, the social environment and the physical condition more, tools and equipment best.
Time, personality, habitus - i.e., the way a person presents himself, his appearance or attitude - social competence, methodological competence and professional competence are immaterial resources. The project manager can also influence these factors to varying degrees: Time least of all, because it cannot be manipulated, i.e. „stopped“ or „turned back“. Here he can only start with himself by practising sensible time management. Personality is „in the cradle“ of the human being. However, the project manager can work on his habitus and also achieve positive changes. Social competence can be continuously improved - perhaps best under the guidance of experts. Making up for a lack of professional competence should not be a problem - provided you have the appropriate personalcommitment.
Now you can make a list of all your resources, both material and immaterial.
Step 2: Assessment of own strengths and weaknesses
For the respective material and immaterial resources, a simple assessment can be made and justified in two levels, each with a nine-point scale.
The two levels are
- Present level: low (1 - 3 points), medium (4 - 6 points), high (7 - 9 points)
- Influencing ability: low (1 - 3 points), medium (4 - 6 points) or high (7 - 9 points)
Now we have a look at physical fitness, which is a material resource. Let us assume that you do regular endurance training, i.e., six hours a week, and half an hour of stretching every day. You would rate the current expression of this resource (level 1) as 8. Now ask yourself whether you can influence the level of this resource yourself (level 2). You come to the conclusion that time is a limiting factor here, as you are subject to boundary conditions that cannot be influenced, e.g., you cannot consistently carry out your training during longer flights. You rate the influenceability as 6.
The same procedure can be applied to the immaterial resource „project management“. You have already worked as a work package owner in projects and participated in a three-day basic training. You know that there is still a lot of room for improvement, so you rate the previous level as 3.
On the second level, you again ask yourself whether you can influence this resource yourself and realise that time is a limiting factor and during working hours your opportunities to expand your knowledge are limited.
Step 3: Derive measures to improve the weaknesses.
Concrete improvement measures can now be derived from this assessment.
Material resource: physical condition
One action you can derive from your assessment is to take your running equipment and resistance band with you on business trips in the future so that you can do your endurance and strength training outside the gym. This will help you maintain or even improve your fitness.
Immaterial resource: "Project management" expertise
One option is to deepen your knowledge through a web-learning platform
. You can complete the web-based training in your spare time, e.g., at the weekend or after work, and thus expand your project management knowledge independently and outside of your working hours. After completing all training units, you will prove your knowledge in a test and successfully take the Certified Project Manager (IAPM)
certification. This will help you to increase your professional competence in „Project Management“.
Regular review and adjustment of measures
As a project manager, you can use the criteria presented to assess yourself, recognize strengths and potential for improvement, and design measures for your personal development. However, a strengths and weaknesses analysis can also be continuously updated. As a project manager you should keep a personal success diary in order to consciously record successes and thus give them more weight in your own perception. The name „success diary“should of course not prevent you from also writing down failures or mistakes made, reflecting on them and learning from them. If you have learned to see even negative things positively and to see problems as opportunities, you will develop a positive basic attitude and also cope better with difficult situations. And quite incidentally, your self-confidence grows.
Keywords: Project management, Strengths and weaknesses analysis, Tips