Technical Project Management
If you look at online job postings for project managers, or read project management websites or journals, you will start to wonder about how important it is that the project manager is technically competent. By technical, this can mean many things. It can mean anything from being a subject matter expert, to being able to write code, or to actually including himself as not only the project manager, but someone responsible for actual deliverables.
There are pros and cons to this, but it’s questionable if the value gained by having a technical project manager with technical skills outweighs not only the value lost, but also the added risk that this brings to the project.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about expertise in project management, or even expertise in the business domain. Both of them are very important to have, even for a technical project manager. Without a good handle on how to run projects, and a good handle on the business drivers, a project manager becomes nothing more than a facilitator. The role of a project facilitator is rarely a high-level value-add-on, and one that most of us wish to avoid.