The best project managers can facilitate communication about technical projects to a variety of stakeholders. These stakeholders commonly include technical team members, upper management, and a variety of other support teams. And while one of the most valuable skills of a project manager is being able to understand technical concepts well enough to communicate about them, an often undersold asset is the ability to truly break down these concepts into a
digestible format for non-techie team members.
At this point it is useful to ask, what type of project manager is best suited for breaking down technical information into a digestible format? The answer — of course there will always be outliers and spike skills of a variety of types of managers — is managers who have digested the information themselves. Preferable from a non-technical background. If a manager has found a way to digest technical information without a ton of academic background or experience in the
technicalities, then they have a first hand account of the major sticking points in an understanding of the technical problem. They have also likely compiled useful memory devices, what background information is necessary for an appreciation of the subject at hand, and so on.
Additionally, large portions of this part of a project management role rely on the ability to teach and interpersonal skills. For this reason, many of the best project managers actually come from non-technical careers. Particularly, teachers, case workers, health care providers, and small business owners make for quality project managers. Interested in seeing if your non-technical background is suitable for project management? Check out this aptitude test for project management for more details.