PMP Certification: Project Human Resource Management 101

Note if you are taking the PMP® exam from 26 March 2018 onwards: click here to read the updated PMP® study material based on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.

Cheers, Stefania

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 quick reference guide to its definition and processes
  • Project Human Resource Management WHATs, WHYs, WHENs, and HOWs — by Project Human Resource Management processes

Read on!

Project Human Resource Management 101

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Human Resource Management

  • WHAT Plan Human Resource Management Is. The Plan Human Resource Management process documents which individuals or groups a project manager will need for various project elements, what their roles and responsibilities are, and how they will be trained and kept motivated.
  • WHY Plan Human Resource Management Is Important. The Plan Human Resource Management process covers all the aspects relating to the project team, including the project manager.
  • WHEN Plan Human Resource Management Is Executed. A project manager uses the Plan Human Resource Management process at the beginning of the project, once defined scope and schedule of the project. Then, when any change on the scope and schedule impacts on the project team, the process is performed times and again, iteratively.
  • HOW Plan Human Resource Management Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
  2. Activity resource
  3. Enterprise environmental
  4. Organizational process
  1. Organization charts and
    position descriptions
  2. Networking
  3. Organizational theory
  4. Expert judgment
  5. Meetings
  1. Human resource management plan

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 9, section 9.1, p. 258.

2. Acquire Project Team

  • WHAT Acquire Project Team Is. The Acquire Project Team process involves attaining and assigning human resources to the project to make the project successful.
  • WHY Acquire Project Team Is Important. If a project manager can’t obtain the human resources required, with the right skills, at the right time, this will greatly affect the project success.
  • WHEN Acquire Project Team Is Executed. The Acquire Project Team process is in the Executing group, meaning a project manager only puts the hundreds of resources needed to complete the work (project team) together AFTER the project has been planned by a core group of people (project management team), i.e., after the project has started. All this is possible because the PMBOK assumes a project manager is working on a large project.
  • HOW Acquire Project Team Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Human resource management plan
  2. Enterprise environmental factors
  3. Organizational process assets
  1. Pre-assignment
  2. Negotiation
  3. Acquisition
  4. Virtual teams
  5. Multi-criteria decision
  1. Project staff assignments
  2. Resource calendars
  3. Project management plan

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 9, section 9.2, p. 267.

3. Develop Project Team

  • WHAT Develop Project Team Is. The Develop Project Team process improves project performance by developing the competencies of the individual team members and making it grow into an effective, functioning, and coordinated group.
  • WHY Develop Project Team Is Important. It keeps the team motivated to move toward the project goal.
  • WHEN Develop Project Team Is Executed. A project manager executes the Develop Project Team process throughout the entire executing phase of the project. The sooner it begins, the better.
  • HOW Develop Project Team Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Human resource
    management plan
  2. Project staff assignments
  3. Resource calendars
  1. Interpersonal skills
  2. Training
  3. Team-building activities
  4. Ground rules
  5. Colocation
  6. Recognition and rewards
  7. Personnel assessment
  1. Team performance
  2. Enterprise environmental
    factors updates

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 9, section 9.3, p. 273.

4. Manage Project Team

  • WHAT Manage Project Team Is. Manage Project Team process monitors team and individual performance, resolves conflicts, and optimize team performance to ensure that people perform according to the plan.
  • WHY Manage Project Team Is Important. Compared to the other process groups of project management execution, the human resource management is recognized as the most unpredictable. For example, team members may report directly to a functional manager, conflict may arise, or people may leave the project. Thus, a project manager must address all these factors that could delay or damage the project and challenge the team to a superior performance.
  • WHEN Manage Project Team Is Executed. The Manage Project Team process is done during project executing, together with the Develop Project Team, and performed as long as there is a team on the project.
  • HOW Manage Project Team Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Human resource
    management plan
  2. Project staff assignments
  3. Team performance
  4. Issue log
  5. Work performance
  6. Organizational process
  1. Observation and
  2. Project performance
  3. Conflict management
  4. Interpersonal skills
  1. Change requests
  2. Project management plan
  3. Project documents
  4. Enterprise environmental
    factors updates
  5. Organizational process
    assets updates

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 5th ed., Chapter 9, section 9.3, p. 279.

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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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