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Wikipedia states ‘Life skills are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life.’ [1]

The World Health Organization defines life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.” [2]

As we go through our daily lives we are presented with a range of scenarios whereby having knowledge of project management would be beneficial. For example, making a cup of tea (simplistic I know), through to moving house, finding a new job or building something (a house, a car, etc).

All of these tasks require understating that there is an order in how things need to be undertaken, and parts are required at certain stages, and that you may need to enlist the help of a range of people, and to coordinate their activities.

Many people may not recognise or consider it as such, but these are all projects, they all involve an element of requirements gathering, planning, timescales, delivery, stakeholder engagement and management – even making a cup of tea.

My view is that we should all (everyone, not just professional project managers) be utilising some form of project management, and that this should be a life skill.

Now I am not saying that everyone should be fully fledged project management practioners, but a good grasp of some basics wouldn’t go amiss – it is another tool in the belt. Some of us may take this life skill to the extreme, develop it further and make it into our career, whilst others might unknowingly use it occasionally. Now where’s my tea…

[1] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_skills (Last accessed 13/09/10)
[2] – http://portal.unesco.org/education/en//ev.php-URL_ID=36637&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html (Last accessed 13/09/10)