The Effect of Soft Skills on Project Management Success in IT Industry

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study has two primary aims. The first is to study on hypothetical basis the effects of soft skills on project success in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The second is to show evidence of the existence of an alleged saturation point, which is basically defined as the best balance that can be reached between soft skills and hard skill that optimize project success. A survey was designed to address several factors which are believed to have significant effects on the project’s success. Soft skills factors and mediating variables are addressed in the survey to measure their effect on project success. Also, a theoretical model has been suggested to prove the validity of the alleged saturation point. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis has been conducted for two case studies to support the finding of the quantitative analysis. The study follows the inductive approach in its qualitative part to produce another model to support the presented theoretical model. The research result showed, in a hypothetical situation, the effects of soft skills on project success. The model produced from qualitative analysis part found to support the presented theoretical model which in its turn is establishing and confirming the validity of the alleged saturation point. Despite the fact that this study is limited to soft skills effects on project success, it does raise important questions about the means of positioning soft skills development in the knowledge of databases and educational settings. This study shifts its understanding of soft skills development orientation from non-quantified measures into quantified ones. This new awareness creates and places the foundation of having soft skills into a formal discipline. Soft skills development strategies can be formed to support current project management hard skills by addressing specific weaknesses. The study reveals the value of soft skills in project management discipline. Also, it illuminates the path for project managers to consider the best mixture that can be applied in different projects. Furthermore, it produces valuable conclusions about how the investment in soft skills will support project success through the concept of saturation points.
soft skills, interpersonal skills, perception, communication, leadership, conflict management, project success, project attributes, project stakeholders