PMP Certification: Project Human Resource Management Terms


Project Human Resource Management is the sixth knowledge area of project management.

It gives a project manager tools and interpersonal skills to get the best people for the job and to lead them as a team through a successful project.

Based on chapter 9 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, here you will find:

  • project management graphic of Project Human Resource Management, a usefull reference guide with the best tips to master its core concepts
  • Project Human Resource Management tips — by Project Human Resource Management processes

Read on!

Project Human Resource Management Terms

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Human Resource Management

  • Human Resource Management Plan. A component of the project management plan that describes who will be needed on the project team, when will be needed, and with which skill sets. It is divided into 3 main sections, namely project organization chart, staffing management plan, and roles and responsibilities.
  • Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS). A hierarchical representation of the project organization that illustrates the departments, work units, or teams within an organization and their respective work packages.
  • Project Management Team. The members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities.
  • Project Organization Charts. The constituent of the human resource management plan that records the reporting structure of the resources assigned to the project team.
  • Project Team. The group of people who complete the work on the project.
  • Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS). A hierarchical representation of resources grouped by category for the project.
  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). A grid that shows the project resource assigned to each work package.
  • Roles and Responsibilities. The part of the human resource management plan that lists each role on the project that needs to be filled.
  • Staffing Management Plan. The portion of the human resource management plan that describes when and how project team members will be acquired, how long they will be needed, and the reward system to keep them motivated.

2. Acquire Project Team

  • Acquisition. The external procurement of human resources that occurs when people cannot be ensured internally. It is often left to professionals with experience in advertising and recruitment.
  • Preassignment. A tool that allocates project team members to a project internally and in advance – even before the project formally begins, based on their specific experience or contractual agreements.
  • Project Staff Assignments. It provides documentation of project team members’ names, their roles and responsibilities, and contact details.
  • Resource Calendars. They document when people are available and the times they are scheduled to work on the project.
  • Virtual Team. A team that doesn’t work in the same location but includes teammates from different floors in the building, different cities, or different countries.

3. Develop Project Team

  • Achievement Theory. One of the 5 most popular theories of motivation and organization, developed by David McClelland. People need to be motivated by achievement, power, and sense of affiliation.
  • Colocation. It is the act of physically locating most of the team members in the same office for a period of time, as opposite to a virtual team.
  • Expectancy Theory. One of the 5 most popular theories of motivation and organization, developed by Victor Vroom. Expectation of positive outcomes drives motivation, but this works only if the award is worthwhile and achievable.
  • Hygiene Theory. One of the 5 most popular theories of motivation and organization, developed by Frederick Herzberg. People need a good work environment (pay, benefits, and working conditions) before they can get motivated (“hygiene factors” before “motivation factors”).
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. One of the 5 most popular theories of motivation and organization, developed by Abraham Maslow. People have needs, and they must be satisfied in a hierarchical order.
  • Team Performance Assessment. The formal or informal evaluation of a project team’s effectiveness against the project objectives; performed to focus on areas that should be improved.
  • Theory X and Theory Y. One of the 5 most popular theories of motivation and organization, developed by Douglas McGregor. Theory X managers believe most people do not like work and need constant supervision. Theory Y managers believe people are naturally interested in performing their best and need very little external motivation.

4. Manage Project Team

  • Collaborate (Problem Solving). One of the 5 PMBOK’s conflict resolution techniques, it discusses and shares multiple viewpoints to the conflict and seeks to find some form of compromise between them in order to lead to consensus. It is the best way to resolve a conflict.
  • Compromise (Reconcile). One of the 5 PMBOK’s conflict resolution techniques, it finds solutions that bring some degree of satisfaction to both parties.
  • Conflict Management. The process of dealing with conflict, ultimately resolving it.
  • Conflict. A situation on a project in which team members or stakeholders have different opinions or agenda, mostly due to schedules, project priorities, or resources root causes.
  • Force (Direct). One of the 5 PMBOK’s conflict resolution techniques, it pushes one viewpoint on another person and tries to have that person to adopt it through the use of various forms of power.
  • Project Performance Appraisal. The yearly performance reviews that project managers or functional managers perform on their individual team members.
  • Smooth (Accommodate). One of the 5 PMBOK’s conflict resolution techniques, it downplays the problem and put work ahead of conflict.
  • Withdrawal (Avoid). One of the 5 PMBOK’s conflict resolution techniques, it retreats or postpones a decision on a problem, hoping that the problem will disappear by itself.


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