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Friday, December 16, 2011

Chapter 22: Human Resource Management as part of Project Execution

Aim: To understand the following Human Resource Management related processes
• Acquire project team
• Develop project team
• Manage project team

Acquire Project Team:

No project can be completed without people. During Project Execution, the Project Manager actually acquires the project team by using the procedures defined during planning. Note, however, that the project manager might not have direct control over what resources are assigned to the project. The following aspects will be considered when the Manager is staffing for his project:
• Availability - Does the person’s schedule allow them to work in our project?
• Ability - Does the person have the proper skill set required for our project?
• Experience - Will the project require an individual with significant experience?
• Interest - Will the person want to work on the project?
• Cost - How much will the person cost? This is applicable while hiring Contractors and even when hiring internal resources.

The table shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the acquire project team process.

Acquire Project Team
Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs

Project management plan
Enterprise environmental factors
Organizational process assets

Negotiation Acquisition
Virtual teams

Project staff assignments
Resource calendars
Project management plan updates
A number of tools can be used in acquiring human resources. They are:

1. Pre-Assignment - Assignments made prior to beginning of execution. They might be named in the proposal, contract, or charter; or assigned because of a specific skill.
2. Negotiation - The project manager/team negotiates with functional managers or other managers for the resources they want. Organizational politics might be a factor in obtaining the desired resources.
3. Acquisition - Outside resources, such as consultants or contractors, are brought in through the acquisition process.
4. Virtual Teams - A team that is not located in the same place and relies on electronic tools (email, conference calls, and so forth) for communication. With decreasing communications costs and improved reliability, virtual teams have become more prevalent. This can also include off-shoring, where some of the project work is done in a separate country.

Exam Watch:
The use of virtual teams requires additional work during the communication planning process to ensure all the communication needs of the virtual team are met.

To know more about the Acquire Project Team process Click Here

Develop Project Team

Acquiring a team does not get the project completed. You need to develop them in order to be successful in your quest for project completion. Team development has two facets; increasing the competency of the team and improving the interaction among team members. Although team development should occur throughout the project, it is most effective when conducted early on in the project life cycle.

Exam Watch:
Teamwork is a critical factor for project success, and developing effective project teams is one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager

The table below shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the develop project team process.

Develop Project Team
Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs

Project staff assignments
Project management plan
Resource calendars

Interpersonal skills
Team-building activities
Ground rules
Recognition and rewards

Team performance assessments
Enterprise environmental factors updates
PMI lists a number of tools for team development, including general management skills, training, teambuilding activities, ground rules, co-location, and recognition and rewards:
• Interpersonal skills - These skills are sometimes referred to as soft skills and include empathy, creativity, influence, and group facilitation skills.
• Training - This is used for increasing competency. It might be formal or informal and can include classroom training, computer-based training, and coaching/mentoring.
• Team-building activities - This is any activity used to improve team cohesiveness. Teambuilding can encompass anything from a short activity at the beginning of a meeting to an offsite event. Even team participation in a project activity such as risk identification can serve to build team cohesiveness. Most teams progress through five stages of development:
o Forming - This is the phase in which the team meets and first learns about the project and their roles. Team members are still independent and not yet team oriented.
o Storming - The team begins to consider the project work and make decisions. Collaboration is important in this phase.
o Norming - Team members begin to adjust to one another, work together more closely and build trust.
o Performing - The team is well formed and works together well.
o Adjourning - The team completes project work and migrates to post-project work.
• Ground rules - These dictate the expected behavior of the team. Having the team develop the ground rules can serve as a teambuilding activity.
• Co-location - This is the opposite of virtual teams. PMI uses the team war room to describe a room where the team activities take place. Critical projects might use co-location to improve communication among team members.
• Recognition and rewards - These are used to motivate the team and reinforce positive behavior. The approach should be developed during planning and take into account the culture of team members, the type of behavior to be rewarded, and the budget.

Power is an important concept within the team environment. Although the project manager is in charge, he might not have legitimate power over all team members. Other team members must also rely on some power in order to accomplish their tasks.

The different types of Power available for the Project Manager are:
1. Legitimate – Power based on position/title
2. Referent – Power transferred from someone with legitimate power
3. Expert – Power based on knowledge
4. Reward – Power based on the ability to give rewards
5. Coercive – Power based on force or intimidation (Punishment)

Referent power is important for project managers. Often their authority does not equal their responsibilities on the project. This is especially true in a matrix environment when they don’t have direct authority over team members. A project manager should be able to integrate and apply a specific power as situations demand.

To know more about the Develop Project Team process Click Here

Manage Project Team

Once the project team members have been assembled and developed, they are ready for action. As the team begins the actual work of the project the focus shifts to the day-to-day management of the team. PMI addresses the task of managing the project team in the manage project team process. This is where you supervise your team and help them be a cohesive unit.

The table below shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the manage project team process.

Manage Project Team
Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs

Project staff assignments
Project management plan
Team performance assessments
Performance reports
Organizational process assets

Observation and conversation
Project performance appraisals
Conflict management
Issue log
Interpersonal skills

Enterprise environmental factors updates
Organizational process assets updates
Change requests
Project management plan updates
As mentioned previously, recognition and rewards are used to motivate the team. Motivation also occurs in managing the project team in the areas of interpersonal skills and conflict management. Knowledge of motivation theories is often tested in the PMP exam.

There are a lot of Motivational Theories about what motivates our team and how as a manager we can utilize them to effectively manage them.

Some of the Key Theories are:

1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - People have a hierarchy of needs, described as a pyramid. When one level is satisfied, they move onto the higher level needs. The base is physical needs (food, shelter), and then progress through safety and security, social needs (love, friendship), esteem, and finally self-actualization. On a project team, a worker would very likely be motivated by esteem, which can be self-esteem for mastery of a task or the esteem that comes from recognition by others for accomplishments.
2. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory - There are motivators and hygiene factors. Hygiene factors (pay, adequate supplies) prevent dissatisfaction but otherwise don’t motivate. Motivation comes from factors such as learning new skills or being promoted. A project manager must ensure hygiene factors are present and create the motivators as part of the assignment.
3. Expectancy Theory - People are motivated by the expectation of being rewarded for their work. In addition, if a team is told they are high performing, they will act that way, with the corollary for low performance also being true.
4. McClelland’s Achievement Theory - The three motivators for people are power, affiliation, and achievement. A person might not have one of these factors, and therefore is not motivated in his job.
5. McGregor’s X & Y Theory - Theory X states people are lazy and need autocratic leadership. Theory Y states people are generally hard workers and do not require constant supervision.

Team Formation

The theories outlined above focus primarily on development of individuals. PMI also discusses how the team forms as a cohesive unit. A leading theory in team development was developed by Bruce Tuckman. His theory states that teams go through stages: forming, storming, norming, and performing. He later added a fifth stage, adjourning.

The 5 stages are:
1. Forming - Initial stage when team is first brought together. Team goals and individual roles are unclear. High dependence on the project manager for direction.
2. Storming - Team members attempt to establish themselves within the team. Cliques might form. Still some uncertainty in goals.
3. Norming - Roles are accepted. Consensus exists. There might be social interactions outside the project.
4. Performing - Very clear focus. Little direction is needed from the project manager.
5. Adjourning - Break up of the team after completion of the project. Feelings of insecurity might exist.

To know more about the Manage Team process Click Here

Prev: Chapter 21

Next: Chapter 23

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