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There are several psychological approaches that the project manager can use during the recruitment and staffing process. Consider the following:

• Line managers often receive no visibility or credit for a job well done. Be willing to introduce line managers to the customer.

• Be sure to show people how they can benefit by working for you or on your project.

• Any promises made during recruitment should be documented. The functional organization will remember them long after your project terminates.

• As strange as it may seem, the project manager should encourage conflicts to take place during recruiting and staffing. These conflicts should be brought to the surface and resolved. It is better for conflicts to be resolved during the initial planning stages than to have major confrontations later.

It is unfortunate that recruiting and retaining good personnel are more difficult in a project organizational structure than in a purely traditional one. Clayton Reeser identifies nine potential problems that can exist in project organizations8:

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization suffer more anxieties about possible loss of employment than members of functional organizations.

• Individuals temporarily assigned to matrix organizations are more frustrated by authority ambiguity than permanent members of functional organizations.

8. Clayton Reeser, "Some Potential Human Problems of the Project Form of Organization," Academy of Management Journal, Vol. XII, 1969, pp. 462-466.

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization that are nearing their phase-out are more frustrated by what they perceive to be "make work" assignments than members of functional organizations.

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization feel more frustrated because of lack of formal procedures and role definitions than members of functional organizations.

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization worry more about being set back in their careers than members of functional organizations.

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization feel less loyal to their organization than members of functional organizations.

• Personnel connected with project forms of organization have more anxieties in feeling that there is no one concerned about their personal development than members of functional organizations.

• Permanent members of project forms of organization are more frustrated by multiple levels of management than members of functional organizations.

• Frustrations caused by conflict are perceived more seriously by personnel connected with project forms of organization than members of functional organizations.

Grinnell and Apple have identified four additional major problems associated with staffing9:

• People trained in single line-of-command organizations find it hard to serve more than one boss.

• People may give lip service to teamwork, but not really know how to develop and maintain a good working team.

• Project and functional managers sometimes tend to compete rather than cooperate with each other.

• Individuals must learn to do more "managing" of themselves.

Thus far we have discussed staffing the project. Unfortunately, there are also situations in which employees must be terminated from the project because of:

• Nonacceptance of rules, policies, and procedures

• Nonacceptance of established formal authority

• Professionalism being more important to them than company loyalty

• Focusing on technical aspects at the expense of the budget and schedule

• Incompetence

There are three possible solutions for working with incompetent personnel. First, the project manager can provide an on-the-spot appraisal of the employee. This includes

9. S. K. Grinnell and H. P. Apple, "When Two Bosses Are Better Than One," Machine Design, January 1975, pp. 84-87.

identification of weaknesses, corrective action to be taken, and threat of punishment if the situation continues. A second solution is reassignment of the employee to less critical activities. This solution is usually not preferred by project managers. The third and most frequent solution is the removal of the employee.

Although project managers can get project office people (who report to the project manager) removed directly, the removal of a line employee is an indirect process and must be accomplished through the line manager. The removal of the line employee should be made to look like a transfer; otherwise the project manager will be branded as an individual who fires people.

Executives must be ready to cope with the staffing problems that can occur in a project environment. C. Ray Gullett has summarized these major problems10:

• Staffing levels are more variable in a project environment.

• Performance evaluation is more complex and more subject to error in a matrix form of organization.

• Wage and salary grades are more difficult to maintain under a matrix form of organization. Job descriptions are often of less value.

• Training and development are more complex and at the same time more necessary under a project form of organization.

• Morale problems are potentially greater in a matrix organization.

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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