Key Environmental Factors

Enterprise environmental factors play a key role in determining human resource roles and responsibilities. The type of organization you work in, the reporting relationships, and the technical skills needed to complete the project work are a few of the factors you should consider when developing the staffing management plan. Here is a list of some of the factors you should consider during this process:

Organizational factors Consider what departments or organization units will have a role in the project, the interactions between and among departments, organizational culture, and the level of formality among these working relationships.

Existing human resources and marketplace conditions The existing base of human resources that are employed, or available to, the organization should be considered when developing the human resource plan. Marketplace conditions will dictate the availability of resources you're acquiring outside the organization and their going rate.

Personnel policies Make certain you have an understanding of the personnel policies in the organization regarding hiring, firing, and tasking employees. Other considerations include holiday schedules, leave time policies, and so on.

Technical factors Consider the types of specialized skills needed to complete the work of the project (for example, programming languages, engineering skills, knowledge of pharmaceuticals) and any technical considerations during handoff from phase to phase or from project completion to production.

Interpersonal factors Interpersonal factors have to do with potential project team members. You should consider their experience, skills, current reporting relationships, cultural considerations, and perceptions regarding their levels of trust and respect for co-workers and superiors.

Location and logistics Consider where the project team is physically located and whether they are all located together or at separate facilities (or cities or countries).

Political factors Political factors involve your stakeholders. Consider the amount of influence the stakeholders have, their interactions and influence with each other, and the power they can exert over the project.

In addition to these factors, you should also consider constraints that pertain to project teams, including the following:

Organizational structures Organizational structures can be constraints. For example, a strong matrix organization provides the project manager with much more authority and power than the weak matrix organization does. Functional organizations typically do not empower their project managers with the proper authority to carry out a project. If you work in a functional organization as I do, it's important to be aware that you'll likely face power struggles with other managers and, in some cases, a flat-out lack of cooperation. Don't tell them I said this, but functional managers tend to be territorial and aren't likely to give up control easily. The best advice I have for you in this case is as follows:

■ Establish open communications early in the project.

■ Include all the functional managers with key roles in important decisions.

■ Get the support of your project sponsor to empower you (as the project manager) with as much authority as possible. It's important that the sponsor makes it clear to the other managers that their cooperation on project activities is expected.

Collective bargaining agreements Collective bargaining agreements are actually contractual obligations of the organization to the employees. Collective bargaining is typically associated with unions and organized employee associations. Other organized employee associations or groups might require specialized reporting relationships as well—especially if they involve contractual obligations. You will not likely be involved in the negotiations of collective bargaining agreements, but if you have an opportunity to voice opinions regarding employee duties or agreements that would be helpful to your project or future projects, by all means take it.

Economic conditions These conditions refer to the availability of funds for the project team to perform training, hire staff, and travel. If funds are severely limited and your project requires frequent trips to other locations, you have an economic constraint on your hands.

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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