Blog Project Management Human Resource Management – Part 2

Human Resource Management – Part 2

In Human Resource Management – 1, we have discussed Plan Human Resource Management & Acquire Project Team. Next we will discuss “Develop Project Team” and “Manage Project Team”.

Develop Project Team

Develop Project Team is the process of improving the competencies, team interaction, and the overall team environment to enhance project performance.

Teamwork is a critical factor for project success, and developing effective project teams is one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager. High team performance can be achieved by using open and effective communication, developing trust among team members, managing conflicts in a constructive manner, and encouraging collaborative problem-solving and decision-making. Objectives of developing a project team include:

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

Inputs

Tools & Techniques

Outputs

  • Human resource management plan
  • Project staff assignment
  • Resource calendar
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Training
  • Team Building Activities
  • Ground rules
  • Colocation
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Personnel assessment tools
  • Team Performance assessments
  • Enterprise environmental factor updates

Inputs

Human resource management plan

The Human resource management plan described in the section contains the human resource plan which has the following information that is used to provide guidance on how project human resources should be identified, staffed, managed, controlled, and eventually released. It identifies training strategies and plans for developing the project team. Rewards, Feedback, additional training and disciplinary actions can be added to the plan as a result of ongoing team performance assessments and other forms of project team management.

Project staff assignment

Team development starts with a list of the project team members. Project staff assignment documents identify the people who are in the team.

Resource calendar

Resource calendars identify times when the project team members can participate in team development activities.

Tools & Techniques

Interpersonal Skills

These are sometimes known as “soft skills,” and are particularly important to team development. The project management team can greatly reduce problems and increase cooperation. Skills such as empathy, influence, creativity, and group facilitation are valuable assets when managing the project team.

Training

Training includes all activities designed to enhance the competencies of the project team members. Training can be formal or informal.

Team Building Activities

Team-building activities can vary from a five-minute agenda item in a status review meeting to an off-site, professionally facilitated experience designed to improve interpersonal relationships. The objective of team-building activities is to help individual team members work together effectively

One theory states that there are five stages of development that teams may go through.

  • Forming:  This phase is where the team meets and learns about the project and what their formal roles and responsibilities are. Team members tend to be independent and not as open in this phase.
  • Storming:  During this phase, the team begins to address the project work, technical decisions, and the project management approach.
  • Norming:In the norming phase, team members begin to work together and adjust work habits and behaviors that support the team.
  • Performing:  Teams that reach the performing stage function as a well-organized unit. They are interdependent and work through issues smoothly and effectively.
  • Adjourning:In the adjourning phase, the team completes the work and moves on from the project.

The duration of a particular stage depends upon team dynamics, team size, and team leadership.

Ground rules

Ground rules establish clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members.

Co-location

Co-location involves placing many or all of the most active project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to perform as a team.

Recognition and rewards

Part of the team development process involves recognizing and rewarding desirable behavior. It is important to recognize that a particular reward given to any individual will only be effective if it satisfies and need which is valued by that individual. Award decisions are made, formally or informally, during the process of managing the project team through project performance appraisals. Cultural differences should be considered when determining recognition and rewards.

Personnel assessment tools

Personnel assessment tool give the project manager and project team insight into areas of strength and weakness. These tools helps project managers assess the team preferences, aspirations, how they process and organize information, how they tend to make decisions, and how they prefer to interact with people.

Example of Personnel Assessments tools are:

  • Attitudinal surveys
  • Specific assessments
  • Structured Interviews
  • Ability Tests
  • Focus Group

These tools can provide improved understanding, trust, commitment, and communications among team members and facilitate more productive team throughout the project.

Outputs

Team Performance assessments

Effective team development strategies and activities are expected to increase the team’s performance, which increases the likelihood of meeting project objectives. Team performance assessment criteria should be determined by all appropriate parties and incorporated in the Develop Project Team inputs.

The evaluation of a team’s effectiveness may include indicators such as:

  • Improvements in skills that allow individuals to perform assignments more effectively,
  • Improvements in competencies that help the team perform better as a team,
  • Reduced staff turnover rate, and
  • Increased team cohesiveness where team members share information and experiences openly and help each other to improve the overall project performance.

Enterprise environmental factor updates

The enterprise environmental factors that may be updated as a result of the Develop Project Team process include, but are not limited to, personnel administration, including updates for employee training records and skill assessments.

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 to the organization’s database.

Inputs

Tools & Techniques

Outputs

  • Human Resource management plan
  • Project staff assignments
  • Team performance assessments
  • Issue log
  • Work performance reports
  • Organizational process assets
  • Observation & Conversation
  • Project performance appraisals
  • Conflict management
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project documents updates
  • Enterprise environmental factor updates
  • Organizational process assets updates

Inputs

Human Resource management plan

As described earlier also The Human resource management plan described in the section contains the human resource plan which has the following information that is used to provide guidance on how project human resources should be identified, staffed, managed, controlled, and eventually released. It includes

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Project Organization
  • Staffing Management plan

Project staff assignments

Project staff assignments provide documentation which includes the list of project team members.

Team performance assessments

The project management team makes ongoing formal or informal assessments of the project team’s performance

Issue log

Issues arise in the course of managing the project team. An issue log can be used to document and monitor who is responsible for resolving specific issues by a target date.

Work performance reports

Work Performance reports provide documentation about the current project states compared to project forecasts. Performance areas that can help with project team management include results from schedule control, quality control, and scope verification.

Organizational process assets

The organizational process assets that can influence the Manage Project Team process include, but are not limited to:

  • Certificates of appreciation,
  • Newsletters,
  • Websites,
  • Bonus structures,
  • Corporate apparel, and
  • Other organizational perquisites

Tools & Techniques

Observation & Conversation

Observation and conversation are used to stay in touch with the work and attitudes of project team members.

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.

Conflict management

Conflicts inevitable in a project environment, Source 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.

Successful conflict management results in greater productivity and positive working relationships. When managed properly, differences of opinion can lead to increased creativity and better decision making. If the differences become a negative factor, project team members are initially responsible for their resolution. If conflict escalates, the project manager should help facilitate a satisfactory resolution. Conflict should be addressed early and usually in private, using a direct, collaborative approach. If disruptive conflict continues, formal procedures may be used, including disciplinary actions.

When handling conflict in a team environment, project managers should recognize the following characteristics of conflict and the conflict management process:

  • Conflict is natural and forces a search for alternatives,
  • Conflict is a team issue,
  • Openness resolves conflict,
  • Conflict resolution should focus on issues, not personalities, and
  • Conflict resolution should focus on the present, not the past.

The success of project managers in managing their project teams often depends a great deal on their ability to resolve conflict.

Factors that influence conflict resolution methods include:

  • Relative importance  and intensity of the conflict,
  • Time pressure for resolving the conflict,
  • Position taken by players involved, and
  • Motivation to resolve conflict on a long-term or a short-term basis.

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:  Publishing 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.

Interpersonal Skills

Project managers use a combination of technical, human, and conceptual skills to analyze situations and interact appropriately with team members.

Some of the interpersonal skills the project managers use most often are briefly covered below.

  • Leadership:  Successful projects require strong leadership skills. Leadership is important through all of the project life cycle. It is especially important to communicate the vision and inspire the project team to achieve high performance.
  • Influencing: Since project managers often have little or no direct authority over their team members in a matrix environment, their ability to influence stakeholders on a timely basis is critical to project success. Key influencing skills include:
    • Ability to be persuasive and clearly articulate points and positions,
    • High levels of active and effective listening skills,
    • Consideration of the various perspectives in any situation, and
    • Gathering relevant and critical information to address important issues and reach agreements while maintaining mutual trust.
  • Effective decision making.:This involves the ability to negotiate and influence the organization and the project management team. Some guidelines for decision making include:
    • Focus on goals to be served,
    • Follow a decision-making process,
    • Study the environmental factors,
    • Develop personal qualities of the team members,
    • Stimulate team creativity, and
    • Manage opportunity and risk.

Outputs

Change requests

Staffing changes, whether by choice or by uncontrollable events, can affect the rest of the project management plan. When staffing issues disrupt the project management plan, such as causing the schedule to be extended or the budget to be exceeded, a change request can processed through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.

Project management plan updates

Elements of the project management plan that may be updated include, but are not limited to, the staffing management plan.

Project documents updates

Project documents that may indirectly be updated

  • Issue Log
  • Role Description
  • Project Staff Assignment

Enterprise environmental factor updates

Enterprise environmental factors that may require updates as a result of the Manage Project Team process include, but are not limited to:

  • Input to organizational performance appraisals, and
  • Personnel skill updates.

Organizational process assets updates

Organizational process assets that may require updates as a result of the Manage Project Team process include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical information and lessons learned documentation,
  • Templates and
  • Organizational standard processes

Questions & Answers

  1. All of the following are forms of power derived from the project manager’s position EXCEPT:
    • A. Formal.
    • B. Reward.
    • C. Penalty.
    • D. Expert.

    Correct Answer: D

  2. The highest point of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is called:
    • A. Physiological satisfaction.
    • B. Attainment of survival.
    • C. Need for association.
    • D. Esteem.

    Correct Answer: D

  3. The halo effect refers to the tendency to:
    • A. Promote from within.
    • B. Hire the best.
    • C. Move people into project management because they are good in their technical fields.
    • D. Move people into project management because they have had project management training.

    Correct Answer: C

  4. The sponsor’s role on a project is BEST described as:
    • A. Helping to plan activities.
    • B. Helping to prevent unnecessary changes to project objectives.
    • C. Identifying unnecessary project constraints.
    • D. Helping to put the project management plan together.

    Correct Answer: B

  5. Which of the following conflict resolution techniques will generate the MOST lasting solution?
    • Forcing.
    • B. Smoothing.
    • C. Compromise.
    • D. Problem Solving.

    Correct Answer: D

  6. The MOST common causes of conflict on a project are schedules, project priorities, and:
    • A. Personality.
    • B. Resources.
    • C. Cost.
    • D. Management.

    Correct Answer: B

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About Mark Oswald

Mark is an experienced software engineer and technology blogger. He has over five years of experience in writing in different technological domains. Writing is his passion and he contributes regularly to the Whizlabs blog to share his knowledge.
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