The key ingredients to IT Project management are people, processes, and technology. Technology is a tool, while processes provide a structure and path for managing and carrying out the project. The success of a project, however, is often determined by the various project stakeholders, as well as who is (or who is not) on the project team.
In this chapter, we will discuss the human side of project management. According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the area of project human resource management entails: (1) organizational planning, (2) staff acquisition, and (3) team development.
Organizational planning focuses on the roles, responsibilities, and relationships among the project stakeholders. These individuals or groups can be internal or external to the project. Moreover, organizational planning involves creating a project structure that will support the project processes and stakeholders so that the project is carried out efficiently and effectively.
Staff acquisition includes staffing the project with the best available human resources. Effective staffing involves having policies, procedures, and practices to guide the recruitment of appropriately skilled and experienced staff. Moreover, it may include negotiating for staff from other functional areas within the organization. Team development involves creating an environment to develop and support the individual team members and the team itself.
This chapter will expand upon these three PMBOK concepts and integrate several relatively recent concepts for understanding the human side of IT project management. In the next section, we will focus on project and organizational planning. Three primary organizational structures—the functional, project, and matrix— will be described. In addition, the various opportunities and challenges for projects conducted under each structure will be discussed. As a project manager or project team member, it is important to understand an organization's structure since this will determine authorities, roles, responsibilities, communication channels, and availability of resources.
While the formal organizational structure defines official roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships, informal relationships will exist as well. It is important to understand why these informal structures and relationships exist and how they can influence the relationships among the different project stakeholders. In addition, understanding both the formal and informal organizations will help you to understand not only who makes certain decisions, but also why certain decisions are made.
We will also focus on the various roles of the project manager. In general, one of the greatest responsibilities of the project manager is the selection and recruitment of the project team. Once the project team is in place, the project manager must also ensure that the project team members work together to achieve the project's MOV. Therefore, the language and discipline of real teams versus workgroups will be introduced. These concepts will provide the basis for understanding the dynamics of the project team.
Once the project team is in place, it is important that the project team learn from each other and from past project experiences. Thus, the idea of learning cycles will be introduced as a tool for team learning and for capturing lessons learned that can be documented, stored, and retrieved using a knowledge management system.
In the last section of this chapter, we will focus on the project environment. In addition to staffing the project, the project manager must create an environment to support the project team. If necessary, this includes appropriating a suitable place for the team to work and ensuring that the team has the proper tools and supplies needed to accomplish their work.
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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.