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Friday, July 15, 2011

Points to Remember: Human Resource Management

In the Develop Human Resource Plan process, you plan out exactly which resources you’ll need, what their roles and responsibilities are, and how you’ll train your team and make sure they stay motivated.

Everything you do with your team—acquiring them, developing them, and managing them—depends on a good Staffing Management Plan.

You develop your project team by keeping them motivated, and you do this all the way through your entire project.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

A Theory X manager will micromanage the team, looking over everyone’s shoulder all the time and making them feel like they aren’t trusted.

It’s much better—and easier—to be a Theory Y manager. If you trust the team to do their jobs, they won’t let you down!

Project managers use their general management skills (“soft skills”) to motivate and lead the team.

In a matrixed organization, the project manager doesn’t have legitimate power, because the team doesn’t directly report to the project manager.

The most effective forms of power are reward power, where the project manager sets up rewards and recognition for the team, and expert power, which means the team respects the project manager’s technical expertise.

Referent power is power that’s based on identifying with or admiring the power-holder.

Punishment power is the least effective form of power. The project manager should never punish a team member in front of peers or managers!

Project managers should be familiar with modern theories of motivation and management.

McGregor’s Theories X and Y state that there are poor Theory X managers who don’t trust their teams, and good Theory Y managers who do.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the theory that says that people can’t achieve “self-actualization” (full potential) or esteem (feeling good and important) until lower needs like safety and security are met.

Herzberg’s Theory says that it’s difficult to motivate people unless hygiene factors like a paycheck and job security are already in place.

Expectancy Theory holds that people only respond to rewards that are tied to goals they feel they have a realistic chance of achieving.

Bruce Tuckman’s five stages of team development are forming (the team still finding their roles), storming (the team forming opinions), norming (adjusting work habits to help the team), performing (working like a well-oiled machine), and adjourning (closing down the project).

Over half of all conflicts in projects are caused by resources, priorities, and schedules. Personality conflicts are actually the least likely cause.

The best way to resolve a conflict is to confront the problem: do your research, figure out what’s behind it, and fix the root cause. When you confront the source of the conflict head-on and work with everyone to find a solution that actually fixes the reason that conflicts happen, then the problem is most likely to go away and never come back!

Never ignore a conflict. That is the worst way of handling a conflict. The equally worse way is Forcing wherein you decide the resolution to a conflict by virtue of your authority as the PM. This may solve the conflict but may cause motivation issues on your team.

The best way to solve a problem is to confront it, which means doing your research, figuring out what’s causing the problem, and fixing it.

Withdrawal happens when someone gives up and walks away from the problem, usually because they’re frustrated or disgusted. If you see a team member doing this, it’s a warning sign that something’s wrong.

Don’t be fooled by questions that make it sound like “confronting” is a bad thing. Confronting is just another word for problem-solving.

Smoothing is minimizing the problem, and it can help cool people off while you figure out how to solve it.

You should only compromise if you can’t confront the problem.

Forcing means making a decision by simply picking one side. It’s a really ineffective way to solve problems.

Points to Remember - Other Topics:

Introduction to Projects & Project Management
Relationship Between Knowledge Areas & Process Groups
Project Integration Management
Project Scope Management
Project Time Management
Project Cost Management
Project Quality Management
Project Communication Management
Project Risk Management
Project Procurement Management
Ethics & Professional Responsibility

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