Project Human Resources Management

Project Human Resource
Mohammad A. Rob
What is Project Human Resource
 Project human resource management includes
the processes required to make the most
effective use of the people involved with a
 This includes all stakeholders - sponsors,
customers, partners, team members, and others
Managing People
 Dealing with people is an ongoing process in a
project. It includes abilities such as:
– Leading, communicating, negotiating, problem
solving, and influencing.
– Delegating, motivating, coaching, and mentoring
– Team building and dealing with conflicts
– Performance appraisal, recruitment, retention, labor
relations, health and safety regulations
 Most of these activities are common to human
resources, but in a project, many of these are of
temporary nature as a project is temporary
Problem Solving and Decision Making
 Problem Solving: Problem solving involves a
combination of problem definition and decision-making.
 Problem definition requires distinguishing between
causes and symptoms. Problems may be internal or
external; or it can be technical, managerial, or
 Decision-making includes analyzing the problem to
identify viable solutions, and then making a choice from
among them. Decision also has time element to them –
the “right” decision may not be the “best” decision if it is
made too early or too late.
Influencing the Organization
 Influence the Organization: Influence means
the ability to “get things done.”
 It requires an understanding of both the formal
and informal structures of all the organizations
involved – the performing organization,
customer, partners, contractors, and others.
 Influencing the organization also requires an
understanding of the mechanics or power and
Human Resources Management
 There are four processes in project human
resources management:
– Human Resource Planning
– Acquiring the Project Team
– Developing the Project Team
– Managing the project Team
Human Resource (HR) Planning
 HR planning involves identifying, documenting,
and assigning project roles, responsibilities, and
reporting relationships
 Input to this process mainly includes staffing
requirements - kind of people and competencies
needed in necessary time frame
 Outputs include:
– project organizational charts
– work definition and assignment process
– responsibility assignment matrixes
– resource histograms
HR Planning
 Project organizational charts: After identifying
important skills and types of people needed to
staff a project, the project manager creates an
organizational chart for the project
 It is a hierarchical chart describing the roles and
reporting structure of the people or people group
in the project
 It includes the project manager, deputy project
manager, sub-project manager or group leaders,
and individual team members such as
programmers, engineers, and analysts
Typical Organizational Chart for a
Large IT Project
Sample Organizational Chart
HR Planning
 Work definition and assignment process: After creating an
organizational chart, the project manger works on to develop work
 The assignment of work leads from the following activities or steps:
– Requirements Finalization: a request for proposal (RFP) from the
sponsor starts the process. It leads to a project charter that recognizes
the project. A scope statement is then created that describes the
project’s products and deliverables
– How the work will be done: Technical approach such as productoriented or phase-approached, in-house development or outsourcing,
– Breaking down the work: The project is then broken down into
manageable elements of work or a work breakdown structure (WBS) is
– Assigning the work: The project manager then creates an
organizational breakdown structure (OBS) which describes the
assignment of work to organizational units according to best fit. A
responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is then created that
describes the people responsible for performing the work described in
the OBS and WBS.
Work Definition and Assignment
Sample Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Sample Responsibility Assignment
Matrix (RAM)
RAM Showing Stakeholder Roles
HR Planning
 Staffing Management Plan:
– In addition to the organizational breakdown structure (OBS)
and responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), another output
of organizational planning is a staffing management plan.
 A staffing management plan describes when and how
people will be added to and taken off the project team
 It includes the type of people (programmers, business
analyst, technical analyst, database analyst, technical
writer) needed and the number of people needed each
 It typically includes a resource histogram, which is a
column chart that shows the number and type of people
needed over time
Sample Resource Histogram for a Large
IT Project
Number of People
Java programmers
Testing specialists
Business analysts
Administrative staff
Technical writers
Database analysts
Acquiring the Project Team
 After developing a staffing management plan, the project
manger works with other people to assign particular
personnel to their work or acquire additional personnel
 Organization should have a good staffing plan, which
includes the number and type of people who are
currently in the organization and the number and type of
people anticipated for the project
 An important component of staffing plans is maintaining
a complete and accurate inventory of employee’s skills
 If necessary for the project, existing personnel needs to
be sent for training
 It is also important to have good procedures in place for
hiring contractors and hiring new employees
Sample Staffing Plan
Effective Staff Management
 Once people are assigned to the project activities, there
are two techniques available to help use project staff
most effectively: resource loading and resource leveling
 Resource loading refers to the amount of individual
resources an existing project schedule requires during
specific time periods
 Resource histograms show resource loading, which
can be very helpful in determining staffing needs or
identifying staffing problems
 Over-allocation means more resources than are
available are assigned to perform work at a given time
Sample Histogram Showing an Over-allocated
Effective Staff Management
 Resource leveling is a technique for resolving resource
conflicts by delaying tasks
 The main purpose of resource leveling is to create a
smoother distribution of resource usage and reduce
 Project managers examine the network diagram for
areas of slack or float, and to identify resource conflicts
 Resource leveling aims to minimize period-by-period
variations in resource loading by shifting tasks within
their slack allowances
Resource Leveling Example
Developing the Project Team
 It takes teamwork to successfully complete most
 The main goal is to help people work together more
effectively to improve project performance
 Training can help people understand themselves, each
other, and how to work better in teams
 Team-based reward and recognition systems can
promote teamwork
 Focus on rewarding teams for achieving specific goals
 Allow time for team members to mentor and help each
other to meet project goals and develop human
Developing the Project Team
 Five stages of Team Development by Bruce Tuckman:
– Forming: involves introduction of existing or new team
– Storming: team members communicate and collaborate,
as well as have arguments, conflicts, and mistrusts
– Norming: Team members ultimately develop a common
ground to work together and develop a trust on each
– Performing: Team members work together towards a
common goal of completing the project
– Adjourning: Break-up of the team after successful
completion of the work
General Advice on Team Development
 Focus on meeting project objectives and producing
positive results
 Fix the problem instead of blaming people
 Establish regular, effective meetings
 Nurture team members and encourage them to help
each other
 Limit the team size to three to seven members
 Acknowledge individual and group
 Plan some social activities between the team
members and other stakeholders
Managing the Project Team
 The project manager must lead the team
 Assess team performance
 Decide if any change is needed
 Apply corrective or preventive action
 Update on HR management plan
 Motivate and manage each team member
Managing People
 Leading and managing: Leading and managing go
hand to hand. Managing is primarily concerned with
“consistently producing key results expected by
stakeholders.” Managing involves:
– Establishing direction – developing both a vision of the future
and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that
– Aligning people – communicating the vision by words and deeds
to all those whose cooperation may be needed to achieve the
– Motivating and inspiring – helping people energize themselves
to overcome political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to
Managing People
 Communicating: Communication involves exchange of
information. It has many dimensions such as:
 Written and oral, listening and speaking
 Internal (within the project) and external (to the
customer, the media, the public)
 Formal (reports, briefing) and informal (memos, ad
hoc conversation, etc.)
• Vertical (up and down the organization) and
horizontal (with peers and partner organizations)
Managing People
 Negotiating: Negotiating involves conferring with
others to come to terms with them or reach an
agreement. Negotiation occurs around many issues, at
many times, and at many levels of the project.
 During the course of the project, the project manager is
likely to negotiate for:
 Scope, cost, and schedule
Changes to scope, cost, or schedule
Contract terms and conditions
Keys to Managing People
Psychologists and management theorists
have devoted much research and thought
to the field of managing people at work
Important areas related to project
management include
– motivation
– influence and power
– effectiveness
 Frederick Herzberg wrote several famous books
and articles about worker motivation. He
distinguished between
– motivational factors: achievement, recognition, the
work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth,
which produce job satisfaction
– hygiene factors: cause dissatisfaction if not present,
but do not motivate workers to do more. Examples
include larger salaries, more supervision, and a more
attractive work environment
Influence on Projects:
Thamhain and Wilemon’s Ways
1. Authority: the legitimate hierarchical right to issue orders
2. Assignment: the project manager's perceived ability to influence a
worker's later work assignments
3. Budget: the project manager's perceived ability to authorize others'
use of discretionary funds
4. Promotion: the ability to improve a worker's position
5. Money: the ability to increase a worker's pay and benefits
6. Penalty: the project manager's perceived ability to dispense or
cause punishment
7. Work challenge: the ability to assign work that capitalizes on a
worker's enjoyment of doing a particular task
8. Expertise: the project manager's perceived special knowledge that
others deem important
9. Friendship: the ability to establish friendly personal relationships
between the project manager and others
Ways to Influence that Help and Hurt
Projects are more likely to succeed when
project managers influence with
– his or her expert knowledge
– providing challenging work
Projects are more likely to fail when
project managers rely too heavily on
– using his or her authority
– money
– penalty
Power is the potential ability to influence
behavior to get people to do things they
would not otherwise do
Types of power include:
– Coercive: punishment, threat (fire from job)
– Legitimate: expectation based on position
– Expert: personal knowledge/expertise
– Reward: use incentives (money, promotion)
– Referent: personal charisma
Improving Effectiveness:
Covey’s 7 Habits
 Project managers can apply Covey’s 7 habits to improve
effectiveness on projects
– Be proactive: anticipate problems and changes, hence plan
– Begin with the end in mind: focus on the achievement after
completion of a work
– Put first things first: do things that are important, not urgent
(develop project plan, maintain relationships to stakeholders)
– Think win/win: work together for all-win situation
– Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Listen to others
– Synergize: create a collaborative work environment
– Sharpen the saw: retrain, reenergize, relax to avoid burnout
Software to Assist HR Management
 Software can help in producing resource
allocation matrix (RAM) and resource
 Project management software includes several
features related to human resource
management such as
– viewing resource usage information
– identifying under and over-allocated
– leveling resources
Software to Assist HR Management
Software to Assist HR Management

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