Technical skills are important as well as the soft skills. It is probably better to have a combination of these two rather than being focused on one of these over the other. Projects are temporary and conducted by people, that means being able to work with people, encourage people and help them figure things out, and that requires getting past any conflicts or detrimental cognitive bias. The project manager’s goal is to evoke the best from the team members, and encourage them to learn more about the project and perhaps their craft, that is, the specific area to which the team member is contributing to the project and the team (write code or perform testing or managing requirements for example).

Any technical knowledge is better served by asking questions, especially for discovering unspoken assumptions, uncovering potential risks, as well as discovery of communication and interactions between the team members, and to encourage other exploration or thinking from the team. The project manager is not the person to say how things gets done, but the person working with the team to uncover how things fit together in the context of the scope (objective) of the project. The responsibility for the collection and sequence of the actions must originate from those that are doing the work, and where something seems to be amiss, the project manager should ask questions to understand why, and more importantly to get the team to see if this is truly a problem. The team delivers the project, the project manager should be a coach and not a dictator. Their technical skills and experiences should improve their ability to coach the team.