The Complete Guide To Human Resource Management

Human resource management knowledge area has the processes to deal with setting up the project team and leading them throughout, for the successful closure of the project.

To execute the project efficiently, the project manager needs the best possible team. So as a project manager you need to plan carefully to get appropriate project resources, train them as needed for the project, finally manage them throughout the project so they stay motivated all the time.

In any type of organization, human resource management knowledge area processes are of great help to project manager to deal with issues pertaining to human resources.

In the matrix organizations, since the project team reports to functional manager, it is even more important for the project manager to clearly understand the human resource management processes.

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management Processes

There are 4 processes in human resource management knowledge area. They are

#Serial NoProcessProcess Group
1Plan human resource managementPlanning
2Acquire project teamExecuting
3Develop project teamExecuting
4Manage project teamExecuting

Plan Human Resource Management

Eventually project team will not form automatically on Day1 of the project. So as a project manager you need to carefully plan for the right resources.

When you say plan for the right resources, what does it mean?

It means,

  • what resources are required for the project,
  • when each of those resource you need them on your project
  • what skills you would need for each of them to efficiently work on the project.
  • And finally, what are their roles and responsibilities in the project

So, Plan human resource management process will plan on how to perform the rest of the human resources management processes. That is how to onboard the project team, how to develop them and finally how to manage them.

Below are the ITTO s for plan human resource management process.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Project management plan
  • Activity resource requirements
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Organization charts and position descriptions
  • Networking
  • Organizational theory
  • Expert judgment
  • Meetings
  • Project organization chart
  • Staffing Management Plan
  • Roles and responsibilities

Inputs

Project management plan

Project management plan is an input to all the planning processes. This mean that other subsidiary plans may be used in development the plan for a specific knowledge area. In this case it is human resource management subsidiary plan.

Activity resource requirements

Activity resource requirements are what resource required to complete activities in the project. A high level version of activity resource requirements are developed as part of time management planning processes. In the plan human resource management plan, this activity resource requirements will be detailed more to have granular level information.

Enterprise environmental factors

Enterprise environmental factors are common inputs to many project management processes. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on enterprise environmental factors.

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets are detailed as part of common ITTOs blog post. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

Tools & Techniques

Organization charts and position descriptions

Organization charts and position descriptions tells everyone how the team is structured in the organization. There are primarily 3 formats to represent it.

Hierarchical – Hierarchical format is very useful to show the organization chart with positions in tree format.

Matrix – One of the popular matrix format of showing is the RACI matrix, which shows organization roles and responsibilities.

Text oriented – Text oriented formats shows the detailed text description of each role in the organization.

Networking

Connecting and communicating with others in you network to understand and deal with political and other factors that may influence the project.

Organizational theory

In any organization individuals and group of individuals (teams) behave differently to different situations. As a project manager you need to understand how these different set of team and individuals behave to fine tune your decisions.

Expert judgment

Taking experts opinion to plan the human resources required for the project. Expert judgement is a common ITTO to most of the project management processes. Refer to common ITTO s for detailed explanation about expert judgment.

Meetings

Meetings to discuss and agree on the human resource management plan. Meeting is also one of the common ITTOs. Refer to common ITTO s for detailed explanation about expert judgment.

Outputs

Human Resource Management Plan

The Human resource management plan is the only output of the process plan human resource management. Human resource management plan has primarily three elements.

  • Project organization chart
  • Staffing Management Plan
  • Roles and responsibilities

Project organization chart

Project Organization Chart

Eventually project organization chart provides information on the relationship between different people or roles in your project. Also remember project team members may be internal or external to the organization.  For example, you project may require external contractors to work with.

Staffing Management Plan

Staffing management plan is the primary element in the human resource management plan. It has the following contents.

Resource histogram

First resource time plan will be prepared as follows.

Resource Time Plan

With the help of above data, a resource histogram will be prepared which will look like the one below.

Resource Histogram

Tells you how many resource required for the project and when. Also provides the high level utilization plan of the team.

Transition Plan

Include training needs and knowledge transfer if any required for the team members, to be ready for the project.

People management

In a very high level, what plan you have as a project manager to manage, motivate and get the work done with team members. For example what rewards and recognition programs you have as project manager to motivate the team members.

Release plan

When the project will release the resources. This is important for the functional managers (in matrix or functional organizations) also as he or she can plan in advance for these resources.

Roles and responsibilities

RACI Matrix

RACI stand for “Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed” and  is a common form of showing roles and responsibilities in a project.

This is typically a matrix form where roles or person names or team names are shown in the columns and functions or activities are shown in the rows. Then matrix will be filled with below information depending on the roles and responsibilities in the project.

R – Responsible

A – Accountable

C – Consulted

I –  Informed

(Optionally there is S – Supported also seen in the RASCI matrix)

Acquire project team

Once the planning is completed, and actual work is about to start you need to bring the project team members on boarded with to work on the activities of the project. This is what Acquire project team process all about.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Human Resource Management plan
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Negotiation
  • Virtual teams
  • Pre-assignment
  • Acquisition
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Project staff assignments
  • Resource calendars
  • Project management plan updates

Inputs

Human resource management plan

In every knowledge area the subsidiary plan always be the input to the remaining processes. Because the subsidiary plan mentions how to perform the rest of the processes.

Enterprise environmental factors

Enterprise environmental factors are common inputs to many project management processes. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on enterprise environmental factors.

Organizational process assets

Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

Tools & Techniques

Negotiation

The project manager has to negotiate with HR and other stakeholders to get (or hire) the right team to work on the project. Furthermore in matrix organization project managers negotiation skills are at most important to deal with functional managers.

Virtual teams

Virtual teams are group of members who work from different location and will not have face to face interactions directly. Instead they use technology to collaborate as much as possible and work on project activities together.

Pre-assignment

If any of the resources are already identified and preassigned to project, this also should be considered when you acquire the project team.

Acquisition

Sometimes, you may need to go outside the organization to get contractors or consultants to work on your project.

Multi-criteria decision analysis

When you hire or get a resource to the team, cost benefit analysis is not the only parameter. Instead there would be many parameters based on which you would make decisions on to get the resources to the team.

Outputs

Project Staff Assignments

Acquiring a team member and clearly make him understand what are his assigned roles and responsibilities in the project.

Resource calendars

Resource calendars will document when(schedule) the resources required to work on the project activities.

Project management plan updates

Projects are progressively elaborated.  So as human resource management processes progress, more and more updates on the information to be updated in the human resource management plan.

Develop project team

Eventually the project manager needs to use his leadership and interpersonal skills to keep the team motivated.

The project manager needs to develop the team members by making sure there is no skill or knowledge gaps for the team to perform their activities successfully.

Also he needs monitor and work on any corrective activities to ensure the team members have a better working environment to interact with each other.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Human Resource Management plan
  • Project staff assignments
  • Resource calendars
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Training
  • Team building activities
  • Ground Rules
  • Co-location
  • Recognition and Rewards
  • Personal assessment tools
  • Team performance assessments
  • Enterprise environmental Factor updates

Inputs

Human resource management plan

In every knowledge area the subsidiary plan always be the input to the remaining processes. Because the subsidiary plan mentions how to perform the rest of the processes.

Project Staff Assignments

Project staff assignments are the output of Acquire project team process. This will contain the list of the project team members and their roles and responsibilities.

Resource calendars

Resource calendars also are outputs of acquire project team process. This will have information on the resources, when they would need for project activities.

Tools & Techniques

Interpersonal skills

Eventually interpersonal skills are at most important for the project manager to deal with common human resources related issues. These are soft skills the project manager uses to create better work environment to the team.

Please read through my detailed blog post on interpersonal skills that the project manager must have.

Training

As a project manager you need to identify the skill gaps or knowledge related gaps within your team members and fulfill the training needs so that your team is ready to perform the activities on the project.

Team building activities

Eventually team building activities help the team members to work together and also build the trust within the team.

There is a popular theory from Tuckman that describes about 5 stages of team development, and how the project manager is involved with the team during these 5 stages of team development.

Ground Rules

A preventive technique to save the team from potential conflict and issues. As a project manager you need to ensure everyone in the team follows to these fundamentals rules to avoid any issues in future and help in establishing a healthy work environment.

Colocation

This is exactly opposite to the virtual teams. When you have all the teams in one location, and they can collaborate face to face to increase the communication.

For example, lot of us understand the concept of WAR room, in extremely tough situations all the team sit together in a single room, so that they can interact with each other easily to work a common objective.

Recognition and Rewards

Indeed rewards and recognition is one of the best way to keep your team motivated. As part of the tools & techniques, there are two concepts that you are expected to be familiar for the PMP Exam are

Personal assessment tools

Eventually personal assessment tools are used to find out your team working style how they behave and work with each other.

For example surveys , focus groups and feedbacks are there to bring awareness within the team to improvise the behavior and ways of work within the team.

Outputs

Team performance assessments

As the project manager you need to assess on

  • how the team skills levels are
  • how the performance of the team is
  • motivation levels of the team
  • and finally how the team is performing on the project activities.

Enterprise environmental Factor updates

As the project team learns new skills these needs to be updated at the organization level so that this information is useful for the future projects.

Manage project team

As project continues, you would see some team members leaving the project, conflicting with each other due to various reasons, demotivate, etc.

Indeed these factors increase the risks to the project.

As a project manager you need to stay on top of all these factors to manage the project successfully.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Human Resource Management plan
  • Project staff assignments
  • Team performance assessments
  • Issue Log
  • Work performance reports
  • Conflict Management
  • Project performance appraisal
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Observation and conversation
  • Change requests
  • Updates to Enterprise environmental factors
  • Project management plan updates
  • Updates to Project documents
  • Updates to organizational process assets

Inputs

Human resource management plan

The subsidiary plan always is an input to the remaining processes in every knowledge area. Because the subsidiary plan mentions how to perform the rest of the processes.

Project Staff Assignments

Project staff assignments are the output of Acquire project team process. This will contain the list of the project team members and their roles and responsibilities.

Team performance assessments

Team performance assessments are the output of develop project team process. This would contain the assessment of how the team skills, performance levels, and motivation levels are with respect to the project.

Issue Log

An issue a potential threat to the progress of the project. Every issue that arises has to be logged in to the issue log and also assign an owner or responsible person to resolve the issue.

Work performance reports

Work performance reports are prepared to see the project progress and deviation to the plan. Stakeholders use this work performance reports to make certain decisions on the project pertaining to any corrective actions.

Tools & Techniques

Conflict Management

As the project progress, you may encounter situation where team members are conflicting with each other. Reasons may be silly or complex, as a project manager you would need to use the best conflict management techniques to resolve the conflicts in the team and thereby save the project from potential threat. Conflicts not handled properly can sometimes completely ruin the project.

Project performance appraisal

Project performance appraisal is where the project manager meets each team member to share feedback on how they are performing in the project, and any improvements and also discuss with team members on what do they think about it.

Lot of organization have good tools to perform this particular function and you might have seen the terms 180 degree feedback or 360 degree feedback quite often.

Interpersonal skills

Eventually interpersonal skills are at most important for the project manager to deal with common human resources related issues. These are soft skills the project manager uses to create better work environment to the team.

Please read through my detailed blog post on interpersonal skills that the project manager must have.

Observation and conversation

This technique tells how closely you as project manager is interacting with your team and understand their concerns on the project.

Outputs

Change requests

Change requests may occur while the project team working on the activities. They could be because you may require more or less resource than you planned. You need to document the change requests and send it to the perform integrated change control for the further action on the change requests.

Updates to Enterprise environmental factors

As the project team learns new skills these needs to be updated at the organization level so that this information is useful for the future projects.

Project management plan Updates

Any changes to the plan, while managing the project would require updates to the project management plan.

Project documents Updates

This is also a common ITTO. Please refer to common ITTO blog post for more details…

Updates to organizational process assets

All the learnings and findings from human resource management will be updated to Organization process assets for future use in the projects.

Conclusion

Finally we have seen all the human resource management processes in this blog post. That includes from the scratch on planning on human resource requirements, how to on-board the team, develop the team so that they are ready for the project and finally managing the project team so that the team stays motivated and focused all the time.

We also have seen sever tools & techniques and concepts such as

Hope  you have enjoyed reading this blog post. Let me know your feedback or if you have any query. If so please drop a comment below.

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