Project Resource Management

PMBOK 6 Changes the name of the knowledge area from “Project Human Resource Management” (PMBOK 5) to “Project Resource Management”. Therefore the scope of this knowledge area extends from Human resources to other resources like material, machines, etc. This knowledge also takes care of the process required to plan, acquire. and control the resources that are not human resources.

A project team is a heterogeneous team. Work in the project is completed by human resources, either these resources are part of the organization or the organization is taking services from some vendor and resources are the contractual resource, who are providing services as per the vendor contract. All those human resources which are part of the organization, directly managed by the project manager, and dedicated to the project are managed using the processes of this knowledge area. Those human resources which are not part of the organization or not fully dedicated to the project or contractual resources and works as an external consultant from a vendor are not managed using the processes of this knowledge area.

In a functional organization where project manager’s do not have any direct control over resources or where almost all the work is done through vendors or different department functions, a project manager does not have enough opportunity to implement the processes of this knowledge area, or he is just limited to communicate the resource requirement to HR or procurement department. In non-projectized organizations, a project manager does not have much control over following.

  • What resources will be provided to the project?
  • Motivating the human resources (either vendor or their functional managers takes care of this)
  • Appraisal of work and career path for a team member
  • Influencing the productivity, efficiency, and quality
  • Balancing and prioritizing between different activities of resource

Due to the above reasons in smaller projects, non-projectized organization’s human resource management is either handled by the HR department or procurement department.

But any project manager whether he is part of a non-projectized organization or smaller organization must understand that to get the work done from the human is a challenging task and therefore he needs to understand the following things they must be in place either by his direct efforts or indirect efforts.

  • Map correctly between the skills of an individual, role of an individual, organization designation of an individual, and skill need of the project
  • Understand the motivation of each individual
  • Organization culture, project environment (including customer, vendor, and regulators) and adopt an appropriate leadership style to get the work done
  • Define ground rules for the project team
  • Create a constructively playing and winning team
  • Identify skill gaps and training needs. And ensure training gaps are timely filled
  • Resources are taken on board on the project on time
  • Conflict management between team members

In order to ensure a project manager does everything so that the project team is constructively contributing to the project, PMBOK defines the following 5 processes.

  1. Plan Resource Management
  2. Acquire Resources
  3. Develop Team
  4. Manage Team
  5. Control Resources