Human Resources Management

The major advantage of the functional organization over those listed is that the organization is quite stable. Project organizations are created and disbanded as the need for them arises. Functional organizations are also able to have high levels of expertise in specific skill areas. These organizations also resist change.

Managing is primarily concerned with ''consistently producing key results expected by stakeholders,'' while leading involves:

• Establishing direction—developing both a vision of the future and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.

• Aligning people—communicating the vision by words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed to achieve the vision.

• Motivating and inspiring—helping people energize themselves to overcome political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change.

The matrix organization allows for multifunctional teams to be formed as the need arises with different projects being contracted for by the company.

The pure project organization is best used in cases where the project is very large and some distance from the home office. The project manager has a high level of authority.

A weak matrix organization is one where the project managers have less authority over their projects than in the strong matrix or balanced matrix organizations. In many organizations these managers are not called project managers but project expediters or coordinators.

When the project management team is able to influence or direct staff assignments, it must consider the characteristics of the potentially available staff. Considerations include, but are not limited to:

• Previous experience—have the individuals or groups done similar or related work before? Have they done it well?

• Personal interests—are the individuals or groups interested in working on this project?

• Personal characteristics—are the individuals or groups likely to work well together as a team?

• Availability—will the most desirable individuals or groups be available in the necessary time frames?

Since the project manager is responsible for a temporary multifunctional team of people who are brought together for the purpose of one project it is most important that the project manager perform the function of integration.

The project office is an organization for supporting many project teams. This organization may support the project teams with common services that each of the teams needs, such as training, software, tools, and methodologies.

Human resource administrative activities are seldom a direct responsibility of the project management team. Many organizations have a variety of policies, guidelines, and procedures that can help the project management team with various aspects of organizational planning. For example, an organization that views managers as ''coaches'' is likely to have documentation on how the role of ''coach'' is to be performed.

The project management office is the place where the project teams and the project managers reside. It should not be confused with the project office, which is a support organization for the project teams and the project managers. The manager of the project management office has the project managers report to him or her.

Of the four conflict resolution techniques listed, problem solving is the most long lasting. In problem solving more additional facts are gathered until it becomes clear that there is one solution to the problem that is the best solution. The others listed do not provide permanent solutions, as the persons in conflict will later disagree again.

Weak matrices maintain many of the characteristics of a functional organization, and the project manager role is more that of a coordinator or expediter than that of a manager. In similar fashion, strong matrices have many of the characteristics of the projectized organization—full-time project managers with considerable authority and full-time project administrative staff.

Particular attention should be paid to how project team members (individuals or groups) will be released when they are no longer needed on the project. Appropriate reassignment procedures may:

• Reduce costs by reducing or eliminating the tendency to ''make work'' to fill the time between this assignment and the next.

• Improve morale by reducing or eliminating uncertainty about future employment opportunities.

The project life cycle defines the beginning and the end of the project. Depending on the project life cycle definition, the beginning and ending parts of the project may or may not be included in this project. For example, transition at the end of the project to some ongoing effort may be part of the project or the ongoing effort.

Projects must often have their own reward and recognition systems since the systems of the performing organization may be not appropriate. For example, the willingness to work overtime in order to meet an aggressive schedule objective should be rewarded or recognized; needing to work overtime as the result of poor planning should not be.

Good listening is an important skill for any manager. One of the ways that you can become a skilled listener is by repeating some of the things that are said. Summarizing gives yourself and others a repeat of important points and makes the speaker feel more relaxed and in a friendly atmosphere.

The outputs from team development are performance improvements and input to performance appraisals.

Creative problem solving is when an innovative approach to the problem is used. The problem was solved not by improving service but by making the area where the customers wait more friendly and enjoyable.

The project management team must identify the stakeholders, determine what their needs and expectations are, and then manage and influence those expectations to ensure a successful project. Key stakeholders on every project include:

• Performing organization—the enterprise whose employees are most directly involved in doing the work of the project.

• Sponsor—the individual or group within the performing organization who provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project.

• The structure of the performing organization often constrains the availability of resources or terms under which they become available to the project. Therefore, commitment of top levels of management is important to every aspect of the project.

The project team kick-off meeting is the first meeting of the project team. It should aim to do all of the items mentioned.

Co-location involves placing all, or almost all, of the most active project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to perform as a team. Co-location is widely used on larger projects and can also be effective for smaller projects (e.g., with a "war room'' where the team congregates or leaves in-process work items).

Groups of people will generally take longer to solve a problem, but the quality of the solution will be superior to the individual solutions that are reached.

The projectized organization has a very strong project manager because there is little chance for the home company organization to be able to correctly judge and make decisions for the project. The project manager has nearly autonomous authority.

From the Guide to the PMBOK, project human resource management includes the processes required to make the most effective use of the people involved with the project. The following are major processes:

• Organizational planning—identifying, documenting, and assigning project roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships.

• Staff acquisition—getting the human resources needed assigned to and working on the project.

• Team development—developing individual and group skills to enhance project performance.

Team development on a project is often complicated when individual team members are accountable to both a functional manager and to the project manager. Effective management of this dual reporting relationship is often a critical success factor for the project and is generally the responsibility of the project manager.

In a projectized organization, team members are often co-located. Most of the organization's resources are involved in project work exclusively for this project, and project managers have a great deal of independence and authority. In functional organizations the project manager may not exist and therefore little attention is paid to individual projects. In the weak matrix organization the project manager is given little authority to get things done and is primarily concerned with communication problems with managers who direct the work of people for the project.

In a strong matrix organization the project manager manages the people and usually co-locates them at the project's location. This would be the best organization for the situation.

According to McGregor, managers are of two types, theory X and theory Y. Theory X managers believe their subordinates to be lazy and irresponsible and will not work unless forced to by fear. Theory Y managers think that their people are creative and imaginative and want to do good things if only they are given the means to do them.

The functional manager in a balanced matrix organization should be the person responsible for the training of the people within his or her organization. It is appropriate for this manager to have this responsibility since this manager knows the skills of the people in the functional department and knows what training is appropriate for them.

In management by objectives the supervisor and the employee jointly set the objectives for the employee over the next time period. The objectives do not necessarily have to be quantifiable, and the supervisor should not set the objectives for the employee.

In matrix organizations the functional manager is responsible for skills improvement and training since the functional manager is the best person to evaluate skills and development improvement for the employee. The project manager is more expert in the project work and not necessarily the skills of each person on the multifunctional team.

The system that controls the starting of activity on a project is the work authorization system. It should be used when it is economical. On large complicated projects the cost of having a formal work authorization system may be justified by adding more control. On small projects this may not be worthwhile.

These are the process groups that make up the project management processes.

The staffing plan is like the Gantt chart in looks. It has a bar for each person on a time scale, showing the length of time and the dates that each person will be working on which specific projects.

A project team directory is like a telephone book of the project team. It shows where people can be found. This is helpful in matrix organizations because teams are being formed and disbanded often, and when they disband, people frequently change their physical locations.

One of the major responsibilities of the functional manager in a matrix organization is to see that the right people are in the right place at the right time. Project managers tend to ask for the best person for their projects when a lesser skilled person might do the work just as well.

In reward systems it is important that there be a clear connection between the reward and the reason that it is being given. Rewards that are distributed to as many people as possible lose their motivational effect. To have motivational value, rewards need not be valuable in terms of monetary worth. Rewards that are approved by all team members generally end up being popularity contests.

When projects are many and resources are few the resources must be shared between projects in a sensible way. The matrix management method of organizing allows the sharing of resources and concentrated focus on different projects.

The disadvantage of using a functional form of organization is that there is considerable difficulty for customers to recognize who in the company represents them. This is because as the project progresses through the organization of a functionally organized company, the person responsible for the project changes.

Usually communications in a functional organization are good. This is because the organization is relatively stable and communications are well established.

There is no project manager in a functional organization, so there is little problem of conflict between project managers and functional managers. If there are project managers, they will have little influence in a functional organization.

It is important in reward systems that there be a strong connection between something being done that is considered outstanding performance and the reward. Reward systems must be explicitly fair to all participants.

A project team organization chart is essential to communicating to others and within the project team where different individuals are working. Of course, this should be kept up to date.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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