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Project Human Resource Management

What is Project Human Resource Management?

Project Human Resource Management includes the processes that organize, manage, and lead the project team. The project team is comprised of the people with assigned roles and responsibilities for completing the project. The type and number of project team members can change frequently as the project progresses. Project team members may also be referred to as the project’s staff. While the specific roles and responsibilities for the project team members are assigned, the involvement of all team members in project planning and decision making can be beneficial. Early involvement and participation of team members adds their expertise during the planning process and strengthens their commitment to the project.

Project Human Resource Management Processes

Following figure provides an overview of the Project Human Resource Management processes, which are as follows:


1. Develop Human Resource Plan

Develop Human Resource Plan is the process of identifying and documenting project roles, responsibilities, and required skills, reporting relationships, and creating a staffing management plan.). Human resource planning is used to determine and identify human resources with the necessary skills required for project success. The human resource plan documents project roles and responsibilities, project organization charts, and the staffing management plan including the timetable for staff acquisition and release. It may also include identification of training needs, team-building strategies, plans for recognition and rewards programs, compliance considerations, safety issues, and the impact of the staffing management plan on the organization.

Important consideration should be given to the availability of, or competition for, scarce or limited human resources. Project roles can be designated for persons or groups. Those persons or groups can be from inside or outside the organization performing the project. Other projects may be competing for resources with the same competencies or skill sets. Given these factors, project costs, schedules, risks, quality, and other areas may be significantly affected. Effective human resource planning should consider and plan for these factors and develop human resource options.

2. Acquire Project Team

Acquire Project Team is the process of confirming human resource availability and obtaining the team necessary to complete project assignments. The project management team may or may not have direct control over team member selection because of collective bargaining agreements, use of subcontractor personnel, matrix project environment, internal or external reporting relationships, or other various reasons. It is important that the following factors are considered during the process of acquiring the project team:

• The project manager or project management team should effectively negotiate and influence others who are in a position to provide the required human resources for the project.

• Failure to acquire the necessary human resources for the project may affect project schedules, budgets, customer satisfaction, quality, and risks. It could decrease the probability of success and ultimately result in project cancellation.

• If the human resources are not available due to constraints, economic factors, or previous assignments to other projects, the project manager or project team may be required to assign alternative resources, perhaps with lower competencies, provided there is no violation of legal, regulatory, mandatory, or other specific criteria.

These factors should be considered and planned for in the planning stages of the project. The project manager or project management team will be required to reflect the impact of any unavailability of required human resources in the project schedule, project budget, project risks, project quality, training plans, and the other project management plans as required.

3. Develop Project Team

Develop Project Team is the process of improving the competencies, team interaction, and the overall team environment to enhance project performance. Project managers should acquire skills to identify, build, maintain, motivate, lead, and inspire project teams to achieve high team performance and to meet the project’s objectives.

Today project managers operate in a global environment and work on projects characterized by cultural diversity. Team members often have diverse industry experience, multiple languages, and sometimes operate
in the “team language’’ that is a different language or norm than their native one. The project management team should capitalize on cultural differences, focus on developing and sustaining the project team throughout the project life cycle, and promote working together interdependently in a climate of mutual trust. Developing the project team improves the people skills, technical competencies, and overall team environment and project performance. It requires clear, timely, effective, and efficient communication between team members throughout the life of the project. Objectives of developing a project team include, but are not limited to:

• Improve knowledge and skills of team members in order to increase their ability to complete project deliverables, while lowering costs, reducing schedules, and improving quality;

• Improve feelings of trust and agreement among team members in order to raise morale, lower conflict, and increase team work; and

• Create a dynamic and cohesive team culture to improve both individual and team productivity, team spirit, and cooperation, and to allow cross-training and mentoring between team members to share knowledge and expertise.

4. Manage Project Team

Manage Project Team is the process of tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues, and managing changes to optimize project performance.The project management team observes team behavior, manages conflict, resolves issues, and appraises team member performance. As a result of managing the project team, change requests are submitted, the human resource plan is updated, issues are resolved, input is provided for performance appraisals, and lessons learned are added to the organization’s database.

Managing the project team requires a variety of management skills for fostering teamwork and integrating the efforts of team members to create high-performance teams. Team management involves a combination of skills with special emphasis on communication, conflict management, negotiation, and leadership. Project managers should provide challenging assignments to team members and provide recognition for high performance.

Best Practice for Project Human Resource Management

1. Observation and Conversation
Observation and conversation are used to stay in touch with the work and attitudes of project team members. The project management team monitors progress toward project deliverables, accomplishments that are a source of pride for team members, and interpersonal issues.

2. Project Performance Appraisals
Objectives for conducting performance appraisals during the course of a project can include clarification of roles and responsibilities, constructive feedback to team members, discovery of unknown or unresolved issues, development of individual training plans, and the establishment of
specific goals for future time periods.

The need for formal or informal project performance appraisals depends on the length of the project, complexity of the project, organizational policy, labor contract requirements, and the amount and quality of regular communication.

3. Conflict Management

Conflict is inevitable in a project environment. Sources of conflict include scarce resources, scheduling priorities, and personal work styles. Team ground rules, group norms, and solid project management practices like communication planning and role definition, reduce the amount of conflict.

There are six general techniques for resolving conflict. As each one has its place and use, these are not given in any particular order:

• Withdrawing/Avoiding. Retreating from an actual or potential conflict situation.

• smoothing/Accommodating. Emphasizing areas of agreement rather than areas of difference.

• Compromising. Searching for solutions that bring some degree of satisfaction to all parties.

• Forcing. Pushing one’s viewpoint at the expense of others; offers only win-lose solutions.

• Collaborating. Incorporating multiple viewpoints and insights from differing perspectives; leads to consensus and commitment.

• Confronting/Problem solving. Treating conflict as a problem to be solved by examining alternatives; requires a give-and-take attitude and open dialogue.

4. Issue Log
Issues arise in the course of managing the project team. A written log documents and helps monitor who is responsible for resolving specific issues by a target date. Issue resolution addresses obstacles that can block the team from achieving its goals.

5. Interpersonal skills
Project managers use a combination of technical, human, and conceptual skills to analyze situations and interact appropriately with team members. Using appropriate interpersonal skills aids project managers in capitalizing on the strengths of all team members. Some of the interpersonal skills the project managers use most often includes: leadership, influencing, and effective decision making.


Human resource is the most important resouce for project, project managers should pay enough attention on it to make sure of the project’s success.

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