Skip navigation
All Places > Clarity PPM > Blog > 2015 > February
2015

You can also take a look at the post following the below link -

http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/289721/Measuring-the-Quality-of-the-Project-Management-Process

 

What does quality project management mean? What does it look like? Can all project management be measured using the same metrics? What might those metrics be?

These are the kinds of questions that ramble around in my mind when trying to wrap my head around understanding the real issues related to measuring the quality of the way a project is managed. Here are some thoughts on the subject--if nothing else, a checklist that might help you with the designing of meaningful metrics for measuring the quality of your organization’s project management process.

As in most explorations, it seems logical to begin with baseline definitions; in this case, the definition of quality and the definition or project management. This might seem a bit remedial to some but, it is important to establish definitional foundation to work from in order to establish a rational framework for the discussion.

What is Quality?
According to the Merriam-Webster, quality is defined as “how good or bad something is” and “a high level of value or excellence”. Perhaps this is where the difficulty arises, as terms like “good”, “bad”, “value” and “excellence” are subjective. Thus, quality must have a context; something to be contrasted against.

For example, would an investment yielding 6% be a quality investment? The answer is obviously “maybe” or “it depends”. A 6% yielding investment might represent an excellent return if comparable (risk level, term, etc.) investments were yielding 3%. Inversely, that same investment might represent a poor value if comparable investments yielded 12%. It is the same 6%, but viewed through two different alternatives.

Is it good or bad to make a product that will last 10 years? If the products will be obsolete in three years and the organization releases new products on that cycle, the cost and the corresponding price related to creating a product that will function for 10 years might be bad--and be uncompetitive as well. The same would be true if the product replacement cycle was 20 years and the product began to fail after 10 years. So defining “good” definitely has an impact as to how an organization defines quality. This is why things like workmanship and precision are not sufficient to define the way an organization or its customers define quality. It is only through the lens of expectation and context to an alternative that the concept of quality can truly take shape.

 

To be an effective measure, quality needs to have a quantitative context--something that the process or the outcome can be measured against. This context needs to be established in advance so that all striving to achieve goodness, high value or excellence can monitor how well they are doing. Often, these measures are dynamic and change, making the achievement of high quality a moving target; thus the old TQM (Total Quality Management) adage: “Quality is a race without a finish line.” Perhaps this is why the TQM movement failed so badly. After all, who wants to play a game you can’t win?

What is Project Management?
PMI defines Project Management as follows:

“The application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It’s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals--and thus, better compete in their markets.”

Once again, subjective terms find their way into the definition of project management--namely “effectively” and efficiently”. Like quality, these terms need context to be meaningful. How do we know that something is efficient or effective? We only can quantify them in terms of an established baseline or alternatives (as compared to what?).

Based on PMI's definition, project management is a process and not an end result. Perhaps this is why efficiently and effectively managing a project does not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome (e.g., the operation was a success but the patient died.). Thus, the second part of the definition that binds the process to the outcome of having projects achieving business goals--specifically those that allow businesses to better compete in their markets. While this additional part of the definition seems very narrow and confining, I believe it is PMI’s way of tying the process to the outcome achieved. Thus, in addition to how projects are…

  1. Initiated
  2. Planned
  3. Executed
  4. Monitored
  5. Controlled
  6. Closed

…project management would have to include how projects are chosen, prioritized and evaluated in terms of overall process and results achieved. These additional elements extend project management beyond the boundaries of any one project to encompass the entire project realm of an organization.

 

What is Quality Project Management?
Now that a set of baseline definitions have been established, the logical next step would be to develop a framework for measuring the level of quality a project management process has or will yield. For the sake of this article, this framework will take the form of a template. The template is presented in a matrix that breaks projects into the following process categories (with simple and abbreviated definitions):

  1. Viability and Alignment Assessment – the process of determining how well the proposed project supports the goals and objectives of the organization and its overall feasibility and potential for success.
  2. Prioritization – the process of determining when the project should be resourced funded and started in context to the overall portfolio of project assets.
  3. Planning – the process of developing the actual project plan including workplans, communication plans, project team, etc. needed to monitor, track and oversee project progress and continued viability.
  4. Initialization – the process of starting the project including obtaining formal authorization to commence, funding, activating the workplan into the project management tracking system, kickoff, etc.
  5. Conduct – the process of performing all the activities and tasks needed to complete the project in accordance with the project plan and subsequent changes to scope.
  6. Closure, Turn-over & Deployment – the process of completing the project and moving the finished effort into production/operation/use.
  7. Process Evaluation – the process of reviewing the previous processes to determine how well they were accomplished in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, compliance to protocols and governance guidelines, project management standards, and alignment with the organization’s culture and values, etc.
  8. Results Monitoring – the process of measuring the outcome of the project once deployed to determine if the goals and objectives of the project (the value it was intended to deliver) were actually achieved.

  Each of these process categories is then viewed across the following three areas:

  1. Effectiveness – how well the process achieved its intended result
  2. Efficiency – how timely and cost effectively the process was performed
  3. Compliance – how well the process conformed to established protocols, guidelines and standards

  This provides for at least 24 data points upon which the quality of the project management process can be evaluated. While not exhaustive, this checklist provides a good place to start; a place to build from. For each data point, you can identify the attributes appropriate for assessing the quality of the project management process used to complete the associated project process. Each of these attributes should be quantified to make compilation of the data possible. Quantification could take the form of a scoring against target ranges or a binary/pass fail grade, etc. For example, part of the efficiency score for the process of conducting the project might be as follows (again, very simplified):

How well did the project achieve completion by the planned completion date?

  • Completed early – 10 points
  • Completed on time – 5 points
  • Completed late – 2 points
  • Failed to complete – 0 points

 

Here is a version of the template I designed in Excel. Your version will most likely vary as you tailor it to your specific needs.

 

Begin filling out the matrix by creating the criteria you want to use for evaluating each process’s quality for each of the three areas. You might find it easier to frame these criteria in the form of a question followed by potential answers; each answer having an associated score. Next, weight each question in terms of how important each criterion is in context to the other criteria. For instance, what is more important to assessing the quality of the project management process: budget compliance or on-time compliance?

These types of tradeoffs reflect how the organization values what matters most. For example, is the organization risk adverse or does it encourage risk? If the organization is risk adverse, then a process that was risk active would be bad, not good. The opposite could equally apply. Remember, part of defining quality is developing a definition of “good”. By weighting each of the criteria, you can develop an overall quality score for how well a given project was managed.

One last thing to consider when developing your matrix is to identify how and when the data that feeds the answers will be gathered. Will the data be gathered during the course of the process, or at the end? Will there be feedback that flows to the project manager as to how well they are doing in terms of achieving high quality, or will this only be known after the evaluation process is completed (after project turnover)? My bias is to provide feedback as much as possible throughout the project so that course corrections can be rapidly implemented where needed.

How are does your organization measure the quality of the project management process? What has worked, what hasn’t and what lessons have you learned over the years? Your ideas and observations are valued at ProjectManagement.com.

 

Helpful Links

  1. Five Project Management Performance Metrics key to Successful Project Execution – Operational Excellence by Suchitra Mishra
  2. Quality Metrics Template
  3. Manage Quality and Metrics    
  4. Project Metrics by Dr. R. Ocker
  5. Metrics in Project Management by Crystal Lee, PMP    
  6. Measuring and Managing Project Quality - If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it by Stacy Goff
  7. What is Project Management? by PMI

Project Management as a Service: The New Model

Elizabeth Harrin   - December 15, 2014

 

You’ve probably noticed the trend toward things “as a service”. In your company, you might already have infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS) or, more commonly, software as a service (SaaS). They are all ways for businesses to outsource elements of their IT environment to third parties, revolving around the concepts of cloud computing.

But what about project management? Isn’t that a service you offer your internal or external customers?

What is PMaaS?
Let’s start with what project management as a service (PMaaS) isn’t. It doesn’t mean you have to outsource all your project management to a third party who provides you with a scaleable black box solution.

Project management as a service is a shift in the way we think about project management and how we do it. If we accept that project management is about getting new things done through people for other people, then we can start to see that there is a service provider (the project manager and team) and a customer (the person who gets the benefit from the project, normally the sponsor).

To explain more about what I mean, let’s look at how SaaS and PMaaS measure up.

Reducing costs
Many businesses lean toward cloud-based solutions and software as a service because it helps reduce costs; you don’t have to buy and maintain expensive infrastructure. As databases get bigger--with the trend to storing everything in huge repositories to access via Big Data projects--all that server space is a drain on operating expense. In a SaaS model, the vendor funds hosting and infrastructure costs.

Project management as a service can help you reduce costs. By changing your mindset to one where your sponsor is a customer of the project management process, you’ll end up working more effectively with them. It sounds like only a small thing, but I’ve seen this shift in thinking have dramatic results on project teams. They create real partnerships with the sponsor and business unit receiving the deliverable, and that results in fewer change requests and happier stakeholders.

 

Change it up: Make time this week to do two things that will improve working relationships with your project stakeholders with the aim of saving you time or money in the future.

On demand
SaaS models provide an on-demand service. The software is there, and it works. You can hit the ground running as soon as you pay your first bill--sometimes even before that as many online software tools offer a free trial.

Project management typically involves a range of processes and workflows to follow, whether you subscribe to agile delivery or waterfall methodologies. What would happen if you worked through these processes at the customer’s pace instead of your own? Does project initiation really need to take that long? What if you could do it in a two-hour meeting?

On-demand project management relies on flexing your processes to the needs of your customer. Sometimes they’ll need a lot of project management support to navigate a tricky issue; other times you can get away with being hands-off. And it goes without saying that good customer service means that they have on-demand access to you as the project manager (within reason!).

Change it up: Take one project management process and see how you could take out the latency and make it available “on demand”.

Frequently updated
SaaS applications are updated more regularly than in-house hosted software. You can expect quarterly releases, and often you’ll get feature and stability improvements far more regularly than that. And even better--as the customer, you don’t have to do anything except read the release notes.

When was the last time you revisited how your project management processes work? You probably don’t review them monthly because you don’t have time. The customers that receive project management services from you will have feedback about how well those processes work. Even small non-process things can be tweaked based on customer feedback, such as changing the time of regular team meetings or the format of reports to ones that are more suitable for them. Make changes more manageable by doing them in small, iterative steps like the SaaS vendor.

Change it up: Ask three of your stakeholders what they would do to improve the project management processes from a customer perspective. Then implement the changes.

Scalable
SaaS solutions are scalable. You can add thousands more users with a few clicks (and an extra payment) or scale back when you need less from the software. This is one of the main benefits as I see it as it enables companies to start small, try something out and then roll it out in a measured way, scaling up as the software gains traction in the business.

Project management can be scaled as well, and your customers will thank you for it. On small projects, scrap techniques like earned value that offer more benefit for larger projects. Put the customer at the heart of your project management services. Do they understand why you’ve opted for the heavy processes on this piece of work? If not, explain what value they add and why your project is better as a result of following tried-and-tested approaches even if they seem bulky.

Change it up: Review the paths your projects take. Do they all go down the same route? Introduce parameters for small, medium and large projects and offer scalable process options that keep your project management processes appropriate for the size of the initiative you are working on.

Search for “PMaaS” online and you will find people using this term, but they generally mean outsourcing all your project management needs to a third-party consultancy. That, in my view, isn’t in the spirit of servicing your customers. All you do when you outsource an entire function is to shift the processes and workload, not the mindset (although I’m sure they do a good job).

You can provide project management services to your internal customers. In fact, you do already--although you might not look at it that way. A small shift in your mindset is all it takes to frame your sponsor as your project customer. After that, it’s just a matter of thinking about what good customer service means to you and adapting the way you work to put them at the center of everything you do.

 

====================================================================================================

 

A nice blog by "Elizabeth Harrin"

 

URL:- http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/288782/Project-Management-as-a-Service--The-New-Model

 

====================================================================================================

 

NJ

You can also take a look at the post following the below link -

ProjectManagement.com - Topic Teasers Vol. 51: Why Bother With Earned Value?

 

Earned Value Management is a collection of formulas that--when used collectively--provide a tool for the project manager to do four very important things on a project:

  1. Quantify exactly what they are agreeing to produce with this project, or in the case of working for a contractor, what they will provide within the contract agreement.
  2. Create an early warning system so that they are alerted quickly if the project deviates from the original baseline.
  3. Provide a means of quickly assessing the cause of deviations, their impact on the project and helping the project manager find the best corrective action to get the project back on track.
  4. When there is a deviation from the baseline, which tends to include most every project that is ever attempted, EVM provides a means to forecast the final cost and schedule changes. This allows management to prepare for alterations in the original completion date and budget allocation in time to alert other parts of the organization or plan for the changes.

  While any person who holds a PMP certification has learned the math of calculating EVM, the organization into which they are hired may or may not have a process in place and be taking advantage of the power of this approach. It is fairly painless to collect the information you need to begin. You will need a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) created and then broken down further to the activity level. Estimates for the time needed to complete each activity are collected, ideally from the person who has been assigned to do the work.

Often an automated tool such as Microsoft Project or Primavera is used to make life easier. At this point, it is important to include in the resource sheet the hourly pay of each resource working on the project. Your automated tool now has the calculations for each activity, how much time it will take to complete it and also how much it will cost--at least in human resources expenses--to finish each task. Now you have a project baseline arranged across time on a calendar.

If your organization is unwilling to divulge the salary information for individual team members, you can ask it to calculate an average dollar per hour amount for a certain category of worker. Remember, you are working in comparative calculations, so whether it is true that Alcides earns $80 an hour and Alfred earns only $40 is immaterial. You only need to compare a consistent amount for each person throughout the project timeline.

Here is the missing piece in many work environments: You will need to have a formal change management plan in place and agreed to by management. It should detail what power the project manager has to make changes without upper-level involvement (usually limited to an amount of time or a dollar amount for cost). If further changes are warranted, does the product owner sign off? A change control board consisting of…? You need a list of names. How often does the board meet: Whenever asked to assemble? Every Thursday? On the fourth Monday of each month? What are the cost and schedule variable limits that determine whether you can take action or need board approval?

At the beginning of the project, whether you are using EVM or not, you have estimated the time and cost for the scope of the project and created a baseline. Earned Value Management is nothing more than measuring project performance against the project baseline. We will now begin to think of things like are we ahead of schedule or behind schedule, over budget or under budget? But don’t lose sight of the fact that these are not two isolated factors, since each has a direct impact on the total project cost. What if I’m ahead of schedule (good for me), but my costs are higher than planned (okay, I kept people late and paid overtime)? What if my costs are low (oops!), but I haven’t finished all of the work planned up to this point (how do I catch up)? Earned Value helps us formulate a more scientific plan forward.

Automated software packages can perform Earned Value calculations automatically, so they are very, very desirable. But you can perform these same calculations with a spreadsheet (or even a calculator) if need be. But regardless of how you do the math, it is extremely important that the project manager understand how the data is calculated, where the numbers come from and what has been happening in the project that has led to this current state. Only then can the statistics be interpreted correctly and the most useful action be taken to steer the project back on course.

Just to make things slightly tricky, depending on your age as a project manager (PM age, not birthday age), you may speak a different EVM language. In the 2000 edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), there was one set of names and initializations for the EVM terms, such as BCSW, BCWP and ACWP. But by the 2004 edition, these had been altered to PV, EV and AC.

The American National Standards Institute/Electronic Industries Alliance maintains the EVM standard, ANSI-EIA-748. They have retained the four-letter initializations, as has Microsoft and other electronic application providers. So if you work for a government agency in the United States, use Microsoft Project or other similar products, or work where your system was started pre-2004, you’ll probably use the four letters. If your workplace has implemented an EVM process since 2004 under the guidance of a PM who trained in 2004 or after, use the two letters. But, not to worry: We’ll use both in our discussion so you are prepared in either instance, and the meaning is the same no matter which “language” you choose.

Think about it. Progress and cost are generally not expended in even increments throughout a project. This makes it difficult to see how we are doing. EMV allows for this assessment with uneven spurts of achievement. It also allows you to judge progress as early as 15 to 20% into a project, which is in plenty of time to apply corrective measures if needed. And in all cases, we will look at both our progress in completing the work of the project and our assessment of what we have spent against what we planned to spend, since both are interrelated.

Let’s look at the key EVM terms and how they are used:

  • BCWS: Budgeted Cost for Work Scheduled. This is the number of hours of work to be scheduled or planned to be completed during the project as estimated in your Project Baseline, but we can track it on a weekly or monthly basis. You can also show it in dollars/Euros/pounds if you multiply the hourly rate of the person doing the work by the number of hours that person will work. Since your Gantt Chart breaks things down by days and weeks, you can easily see at the end of Week 1 the total hours of work that were to have been completed this week. It may help to focus on the “S” for “Scheduled” to help you remember the definition.
    This term is also used with the name PV: Planned Value.
  • BCWP: Budgeted Cost for Work Performed. This is the number of hours of work that was actually finished or completed during the week or month time period we are using. The mnemonic device to help you remember what this term means is to focus on the “P” for “Performed”. What was actually done!
    This term is also used with the name EV: Earned Value.
  • ACWP: Actual Cost of Work Performed. This is the number of hours actually worked times the salary amounts for each of the people performing the work. Again, it can be figured weekly or monthly. The idea is that estimates are predictors, but what did it really cost us when the work was actually done.
    This term is also used with the name AC: Actual Cost.
  • CV: Cost Variance. This shows how much over or under the budget the project is at any given point in time. Negative means you are over budget, a positive amount means you are under budget.
  • SV: Schedule Variance.This shows how much ahead or behind the schedule the project is at any given point in time. Negative means you are behind schedule, a positive number means you are ahead of schedule.
  • CPI: Cost Performance Index. This shows the efficiency of the money being spent by the project. For each dollar spent, how many dollars of value are you receiving? Use CPI to project the cost performance for the remainder of the tasks. A CPI of greater than 1.0 indicates that costs were higher than budgeted. A CPI of less than 1.0 indicates that costs were less than budgeted.
  • SPI: Schedule Performance Index. This is a measure of the efficiency of the schedule on a project. Is it on track? Will you meet your goals as planned? Use SPI to project the schedule performance for the remainder of the tasks. A SPI of less than 1.0 indicates that less work was completed than was planned. A SPI of greater than 1.0 indicates that more work was completed than was planned.

  Let’s use a simple example and move it away from the business world to keep ourselves from overlaying how we do things at work now. You discover you are having guests coming in from out of town next week, but you are going to be out of town on business this week and the house needs some attention. You do some quick calling around to cleaning services and find Sarah, who will come out for $10 an hour. You engage her for a 40-hour week. You budget that you can afford $400 for this cleanup. Since you’re a project manager, you quickly prepare a list of 40 one-hour tasks for her and leave them on the counter as prearranged. However, when you arrive home after your trip, your list of tasks has checkmarks of completion by only some of the items. At the bottom is a note:

“Sarah was sick with the flu, so I’m her brother, Mike, and I came instead to help her out. She didn’t want to let you down. Sorry, but I only got 32 of your tasks done. I’m taking the $400 check to Sarah. Please feel free to call us again.”

What I expected to get for my $400 was 40 tasks completed. I only got 32, only $320 worth of work at $10 an hour.

BCWP (the cost of the work actually performed, the tasks completed, aka What I Got) $320
- $400 BCWS (the cost of the work scheduled aka What I Expected to Get) = -$80. A minus-$80 means I’m short eight hours of work yet to be completed to finish the cleaning. This is my SV: Schedule Variance:

BCWP – BCWS = SV or, EV-PV = SV

Here we’ve done it in dollars, but this could also be done in hours. I expected 40 one-hour tasks to be completed and I only got 32 one-hour tasks done, so I’m short eight one-hour tasks at $10 each. I’m short eight hours of work.

But how did I do financially? I spent the full $400, because Mike was there the full 40 hours. So the BCWP (the cost of the work actually performed, aka What I Got) $320 - $400 (What It Actually Cost Me) = -$80. A -$80 means I’m down, or short, that amount in my budget because I’ve already spent my total $400 and now I’ll need to spend another $80 to get the work completed. This is my CV: Cost Variance:

BCWP – ACWP = CV or, EV-AC = CV

However, since Mike didn’t work as fast as I planned, even if I ask him back for another 10 hours I don’t think he can get my last 10 tasks completed. Last time he couldn’t get one done per hour, so I’d be foolish to think he could this time. But how fast did he work, so I can plan ahead?

If I take What I Got           BCWP or EV   $320
What I Expected To Get   BCWS or PV  $400  = .80 or 80%  SPI: Schedule Performance Index

This is how fast the work on my schedule is being completed. For every dollar I spend, I’m only getting 80% of the work. My schedule estimates were off and those weren’t one-hour tasks, at least with the person I have doing them now. So how do I use this going forward with my project? I have eight one-hour tasks left.

8   hours of work remaining
.80 SPI (rate at which work is being accomplished) = 10 hours  Ten hours more to complete these eight activities on my list. Ten hours more to do at a rate of $10 per hour I must pay the cleaning help means I will need an additional $100 to get my cleaning project finished before the guests arrive.

I can check this out using my cost formulas:

What I Got                          BCWP or EV $320 worth of work
What It Actually Cost Me  ACWP or AC   $400  amount I paid = .80% CPI: Cost Performance Index

For every dollar I spent, I got .80 worth of work.

What I Expected to get (BCWS or PV) $400 
Cost Performance Index                           .80 = $500 It will cost me $500 to complete this project.

This is for just one week. But if this were a real project and I had anticipated 40 hours this week, 50 hours for Week 2, 60 hours for Week 3 and 50 hours for Week 4 for a total of 200 hours, how would I use this information? Plus, we have a budget of $100,000. Rather than having to figure the schedule and cost projections a week at a time and adding them all together as I get further and further into the project, I can use formulas:

  • BAC: Budget at Completion. We did our planning so the organization would know how much to allocate for this project. This shows the dollar amount we anticipate spending on this project ($100,000 in this instance).
  • EAC: Estimate at Completion. Before the project begins, BAC and EAC are the same thing. They are how much money are we planning to spend. As things change within the project, however, they become two different things:

  200 hours                                        200

SPI Schedule Performance Index  .80 = 250 hours. It will take 250 hours to finish. We’ve done 40.

BAC or EAC                        $100,000
CPI Cost Performance Index        .80 = $125,000 It will take an extra 25,000 to finish after the $400.

  • ETC: Estimate to Complete. The expected cost to finish all the remaining work of the project from this point forward; or, $125,000 less the $400 we have already paid out = $124,600.

Knowing these statistics at regular intervals throughout the project will allow you to look at the variances and see if they exceed those set in the original change management plan. Perhaps you can make adjustments; perhaps they need to go before the Change Control Board. But before you do anything, look for root causes for the variances to see whether or not they will occur again. After several weeks/months, do you see trends that could be encouraged or mitigated? Look not just for the variance, but evaluate the impact it will have on the project. If it is minor, perhaps it will even out in the next time period. And use this data to make take early corrective actions to minimize damage to the project schedule and budget.

Good project baselines are wonderful. But they are only the beginning to track and guide successful projects.

Any project undertaken, requires a set of resources that have specialized skills and sufficient experience in executing those skills.

This knowledge area ensures that the project has sufficient amount of resources – with the right skill and required experience. This ensures that the PM is able to oversee a successful project completion.

“This knowledge area ensures that the project has sufficient amount of resources” – expanding a bit on this statement, the term “resources” can be used for labor or equipment/material kind of resources. When planning for the required resources, we plan for – what type of resource and how many resources of that type.

The Human Resources (HR) Management knowledge area consists of 4 process groups across 2 project phases –

Project Management involves managing the people (resources), who would perform the specified tasks. It’s not just about acquiring a pool of resources. It’s about leading those resources effectively and managing them in a manner to get the best out of them, and do the best you can for them to keep them motivated and well aligned to the goal the project is undertaken for.

The human resources required should be allocated to the project as early as possible. This ensures their involvement in the planning process, and assures their commitment to the project.

The first process in Human Resources (HR) Management is Plan Human Resource Management

In this process, the project roles, responsibilities, required skills and reporting relationships are identified and documented, giving birth to the staffing management plan. The staffing management plan includes the staff acquisition and release dates.

The Human Resource Management Plan also includes
- any training needs required for the team / team members,
- what would be the team-building strategies,
- what would be the basis of any recognition programs,
- compliance considerations safety issues that would be identified

Each resource on the project must be attached to a role. This helps eradicate any unambiguity during task assignment and ensures that the resources have a clear understanding of their task(s) in-hand.

A key point to remember when preparing the Human Resource Management Plan is the availability of the required resources, as the same resources might be working on some other project(s) too.

Organization Charts

Function-based

 

Matrix-based

 

Roles / Responsibility Definition

A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), also known as RACI matrix describes the roles required in completing the deliverables for a project -
R             Responsible                     Resource(s) who would perform the actual task
A             Accountable                      Resource(s) who would be deemed answerable
C             Consulted                         Resource(s) whose opinion can/would be sought
I               Informed                            Resource(s) to be provided information

 

The second process in Human Resources (HR) Management is Acquire Project Team

This process confirms the human resource availability and obtains the resources required to complete project activities.

Acquiring the required personnel is often a tricky part as it would involve negotiation with the party/parties responsible for providing the required number of personnel and skill-set.

This risk of unavailability of required personnel should be thought-through during the early planning stages of the project. In case the required resources are unavailable for the time required on the project, procurement management would come into picture and external resources would be procured taking into account the organization policies.

Pre-assignmentis where the resource(s) know(s) well in-advance that they are expected to work on the project for the required amount of time. This scenario occurs in either of the 3 cases -
- specific resource(s) promised as part of a proposal
- the project is dependent on the expertise of certain personnel
- staffing assignments are included in the project charter

Negotiations often occur when the project manager needs to negotiate with other managers to get the required resources. The ability to influence plays a vital role in negotiating for staffing assignments.

When the required resources – number / skill-set are not available internally, then services from outside providers are acquired temporarily to, to work on the project. These may include acquiring contract employees, consultants, etc.

The PMBOK describes virtual teams as -
a group of people with a shared goal who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face. The availability of communication technology such as e-mail, audio conferencing, social media, web-based meetings and video conferencing has made virtual teams feasible

 

Using the above mentioned tools and techniques, project staff assignments are done by assigning the resources to the roles defined on the project. These assignments should be well documented in various forms, as required – e.g. a project team directory, names of resources against the tasks in the project management plan, etc.

 

Resource Calendars as an output document the time that each resource works on the project. It is important that resource calendars be updated with the vacation time as well as the time the resource would be occupied with other project.

 

The third process in Human Resources (HR) Management is Develop Project Team

This process deals with improving competencies, team member interaction, and overall team environment to enhance project performance. The key benefit is of this process is that it helps “enhance team performance”.

Team Building Activities play a crucial role as they should be designed to help team members work as a single cohesive unit.

Links to a couple of nice articles I flipped thro’ are mentioned below –

Inspire Your Multigenerational Team
http://www.projectmanagement.com/blog/Voices-on-Project-Management/8477/

Five Ways to Empower the Team to Perform at their Best
http://www.projectmanagement.com/blog/Strategic-Project-Management/5153/

Establishing a Culture of Acknowledgment
http://www.projectmanagement.com/blog/Voices-on-Project-Management/8772/

How Successful Leaders Improve Their Team's Performance
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-successful-leaders-improve-their-teams-performance/

Improving Team Performance: Strategies that Work!
http://www.executivebrief.com/article/improving-team-performance-strategies-work/

 

One of the well-known studies in this area is Bruce Tuckman’s model of group development:

 

Rewards and Recognition are a vital part of the team building process. Team members feel motivated if they are valued by the organization which they have worked for.

Links to some useful articles in this regard are below –

Recognition and Reward System in the Project Management
http://blog.simplilearn.com/project-management/recognition-and-reward-system-in-the-project-management

Project Team Rewards - Rewarding and Motivating your Project Team
http://team-rewards.de/files/Project_Team_Rewards---eBook_Medium_Quality_%28c%29.pdf?bcsi_scan_ac85d4f4ee253e53=0&bcsi_scan_filename=Project_Team_Rewards---eBook_Medium_Quality_%28c%29.pdf

Reward & Recognition
http://hr.fiu.edu/index.php?name=reward_recognition

Employee Recognition and Reward When Times Are Tough
https://hbr.org/2008/02/employee-recognition-and-rewar-1.html

 

The fourth process in Human Resources (HR) Management is Manage Project Team

 

This process deals with monitoring team performance, providing feedback, resolving issues and managing team changes to optimize project performance.

Managing human resources is a complex area as resources can be unpredictable at times. Human resources can give rise to an expected / unexpected conflict, their morale can flicker – due to personal or professional reasons, and some may even choose to leave the project in a haste.

This may have an adverse effect on project:

-          Schedule,
-          Cost, or
-          Quality

Taking into account the above points, a PM should be well equipped with the below skills:

-          Communication
-          Conflict management
-          Negotiation
-          Leadership

A nice discussion on communication that I went through on linked in –

Why Communication is so important in global project management? How to communicate with a global team? What type of communication style suit best to deal with them?
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Why-Communication-is-so-important-2775.S.234138663

A bonus -

Effective Project Communication is Critical to Success
http://www.projectmanagement.com/blog/Strategic-Project-Management/5493/

 

Observations and Conversations help the PM stay abreast about the work ethics and attitudes of the team members. It’s sort of an informal tool that allows the PM’s engagement with the team - observing team behavior, progress towards deliverables, managing conflicts, resolving issues, etc. Human sensitivity quotient is typically expressed in a non-verbal behavior. It is important for the PM to be engaged with the team members and thus, gauge any behavioral traits expressed from any issues that might arise.

Project Performance Appraisals are the one-one meetings with the individual team members with an objective listen to them and provide individual feedback on their project performance.

 

No project, no matter how well planned it is, can do without conflict management in picture, where there are strict deadlines to be achieved within a pre-defined set of timelines.
Conflicts may arise at any point of time during the project life-cycle. The PM can follow one of the below mentioned routes to tackle conflicts -

The PMBOK specifies leadership, influencing and effective decision-making skills as essential tools in this process.

A nice article I came across while writing on this topic –

Interpersonal Skills More Important as You Climb the Career Ladder
http://www.pmi.org/Learning/professional-development/Career-Central/Interpersonal-Skills-More-Important-as-You-Climb-the-Career-Ladder.aspx

 

Projects are undertaken for a strategic objective in an organization. Projects are done by “the people” – the team members of the project. For a project to be successful, the team needs to be well-aligned to the strategic objective of the project and the organization, as a whole. The best way is to involve the team and support them well !

I hope you found some nice information in this article. Please feel free to share your views or thoughts on this article. Any feedback is highly appreciated !

 

Author: Navdeep Joshi (NJ), PMP

 

 

Questions on Project Human Resource Management

1. The best way for the project team members to respond to cultural differences is –

a. Concentrate on one culture only, and make every one follow it

b. Ignore the cultural differences

c. Capitalize on the cultural differences

       d. None of the above

c. Capitalize on the cultural differences


2. In which team building stage do teams function as a well-organized unit? Also, in this stage, they are independent and work through any issues smoothly and effectively.

a. Storming

b. Norming

c. Forming

d. Performing

d. Performing

3. The ___________ is responsible for developing an effective project team.

a. The project manager

b. The project team

c. The sponsor

d. None of the above

a. The project manager


4.       The objective behind developing a project team is all of the following except :

a. maintaining control over resources involved so that chances of anyone going off point can be minimized and the required deliverables are achieved

b. improving trust and agreement so as to raise the team morale

c. improving knowledge and skills of team members to increase their competency to complete project deliverables successfully

d. improving individual and team culture by creating a dynamic and cohesive team culture

a. maintaining control over resources involved so that chances of anyone going off point can be minimized and the required deliverables are achieved


5. Which of the following is exercised in managing and leading the project team?

a. exhibiting professional and ethical behavior

b. neither of these

c. influencing the project team

d. Both – a and c

d. Both – a and c


6. The objective of these activities is to help individual team members work together more effectively :

a. Individual development

b. Personnel training

c. Team building

d. Interpersonal skills training

c. Team building


7.       Interpersonal skills are also referred to as ___________

                         a. forced skills

                         b. hard skills

                         c. soft skills

                        d. none of the above

c. soft skills     


8.       Interpersonal skills are also referred to as ___________

                       a. at the end of the project

                       b. at specific points throughout the project

                       c. as an ongoing initiative throughout the life of the project

                       d. at the start of the project

c. as an ongoing initiative throughout the life of the project    


9.       A conflict resolution technique that involves searching for solutions that bring some degree of satisfaction to all parties is referred to as ___________

                     a. Smoothing

                     b. Confronting

                     c. Forcing

                     d. Collaboration

a. Smoothing  


10.   Which of the following is not a characteristic of conflict and the conflict management process?

                    a. Conflict is natural and forces a search for alternatives

                    b. Openness resolves conflict

                    c. Conflict resolution should focus on issues, not personalities

                    d. Conflict resolution should focus on personalities, not issues

d. Conflict resolution should focus on personalities, not issues


11.   The process of improving the competencies, team interaction and the overall team environment to enhance project performance is referred to as _____________

                   a. Develop Human Resources Plan

                   b. Develop Project Team

                   c. Acquire Project Team

                   d. Manage Project Team

b. Develop Project Team

Getting to know David Morton


profile-image-display.png


Job Title: Solution Architect

 

Based out of: Manchester, UK

 

What do you enjoy about your work: It keeps my brain busy, plus they keep paying me every month, which is nice.

 

About your family: I’m a third-generation IT consultant and I’ve been doing this for >20 years now; my grandfather transferred out of the coal-mines into one of the first IT departments in the country (and he used to say it was only the second computer in the whole country) to run the payroll for the national coal industry. I ended up many years later working for a time at the same site that he had worked at – and I was something like the ninth member of my fairly immediate family to work at that particular site, that site was even where my parents met.

 

Favorite 3 movies of all time: Fight Club / Goodfellas / Blade Runner

 

Favorite book: The Confusion (Neal Stephenson)


Favorite hobbies: Roller Coasters, Photography, Travel

 

Interesting fact about yourself: I will travel far and wide to play on as many different roller coasters as possible (and take photos of them).

Dear Community Member,

 

With so much going on in the CA Project and Portfolio Management Community I have consolidated recent activities in case you missed anything.

 

Join Office Hours for CA PPM, February 12 @ 1 PM ET

Have a question about CA PPM? Connect with CA Technologies technical experts to get answers via Office Hours for CA PPM. Our team is here to help you get more out of your technology. Join us for one hour Thursday, February 12th @ 1 PM ET.

NOTE - No audio is provided and all Q&A happens via online chat, making it a truly ‘fun’ event.

Click HERE: https://catechnologies.webex.com/catechnologies/onstage/g.php?d=271379748&t=a  to register, add to calendar and join the day of.

*Please note that there is no audio. This is for you to submit your questions only and our experts will respond using WebEx.


Miss the CA Project and Portfolio Management Community Webcast on January 27th @ 12 PM ET? Check out one of the Recordings below!

Topic:

“CA PPM™ functionality continues to evolve as Project Management theory and practice matures. The Project Management Institute’s “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)™” is one of the key drivers of this evolution. The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, based on the PMBOK, is becoming the required credential in many of the Project Management and Program Management Office organizations using CA PPM.

This presentation examines the 47 “Project Management Processes” described in the 5th edition of the PMBOK, and identifies how CA PPM features can be used to support each of them. This analysis will be particularly useful in showing a PMP who has not previously used CA PPM where the value is!"

WebEx

YouTube

CA Clarity Community Winter 2015 Webcast V3.pptx


In case you missed this training check out Free Training: Keeping Projects on Time and Within Budget with CA PPM v13


CA PPM Featured Member for January - Georgy Joseph

profile-image-display.png

Thank you Georgy for all your contributions to the community!


Tuesday Tips, Tips and other Helpful Information -

 

REVISED EOS for CA PPM 13.0 & 13.1 (product formerly known as CA Clarity PPM)

MSP, OWB, or Clarity Gantt?

CA PPM Tuesday Tip: How to Rebrand Notification Email

CA Clarity PPM 14.x Financial Management ILT/VL training available on the Education Portal

CA PPM Tuesday Tip: Reports won’t show FTE correctly approximately five years into the Past and Future

CA PPM Tuesday Tip: How to Configure the Project, Tasks, Assignment List View

Now Available! CA Clarity PPM 13.x ILT/VL Training Scheduled for Quarter 1, 2015

CA PPM Tech Tip: How should the main PPM jobs be scheduled?

CA PPM ILT/VL courses scheduled for 2015 Q1

Localize Action Items

 

That's it for now folks but I'm sure there will be a lot more soon! Take a moment to get on the discussion in CA Clarity and make your voice heard!

 

Regards,

 

Chris_Hackett
Community Manager, IT Business Management