5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 9: Process 9.2 Acquire Project Team

1.  Introduction

The second out of four human resource-related processes is in the executing process group, and is where the project manager acquires his or her project team.

2.  Inputs

The input of this process is the Human Resource Management Plan, the output of the previous process 9.1 Plan Human Resource Management.  The other inputs come from the Enterprise Environmental Factors, the background information from the industry and the governmental regulatory framework within which the project takes place, and the Organizational Process Assets, the cumulative experience the organization itself has with regards to Human Resources in the form of policies, guidelines, and standard processes.   of course.

1. Human Resource Management Plan This is the output of process 9.1 Plan Human Resource Management.  The particular elements of the plan that are inputs into this process are:

  • Roles and responsibilities of project team members
  • Project organization charts (indicates number of team members needed)
  • Staffing management plan (indicates the time periods when team members needed)
2. EEFs
  • Existing information on team members
  • Personnel administration policies on outsourcing
  • Organizational structure (projectized, functional, matrix, etc.)
  • Colocation or multiple locations
3. OPAs
  • Organizational standard processes, policies, role descriptions
1. Pre-assignment Project team members may be selected in advance—this may be stipulated even in the project charter.
2. Negotiation Project management team may need to negotiate with the following entities to obtain their team members:

  • Functional managers
  • Other project management teams within the organization
  • External organisations (suppliers, vendors, etc.)
3. Acquisition Hiring consultants or subcontracting work to another organization.
4. Virtual teams Video conferencing makes team members available who do not meet face-to-face.
5. Multi-criteria decision analysis Rating the potential team members by the following criteria:

  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Experience
  • Ability
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Attitude
  • International factors
1. Project staff assignments Documentation of the assignment of people to the project team.
2. Resource calendars Time periods when people are available to work on the project.
3. Project management plan updates If the team members selected do not have all the necessary requirements, the roles and responsibilities may have to be adjusted.


3.  Tools & Techniques

As far as the tools & techniques are considered, certain team members may be stipulated by pre-assignment in advance as having to work on the project, to the point that they are mentioned in the project charter.  This gives additional “negotiating power” to the project manager in the next technique, that of negotiation.  Especially if the organizational structure is a functional rather than projectized one, where the project manager has no direct authority over his or her potential team members outside of the project, the team members need to be “borrowed” from the functional manager, or perhaps from other ongoing projects.  In some cases, if the organization is working closely on design work, for example, with a vendor or supplier, someone from that vendor or supplier may work temporarily at the organization in order to facilitate on-site coordination of the project between the two companies.

What if there is no one qualified and available to do a particular activity or work package on the project?  Then you can try use the technique of acquisition to hire someone temporarily for the purpose of working on the project.  Nowadays, organizations that have different offices around the world can have team members from different countries work on the same project through virtual teams.  PMI is careful to point the additional risks with regards to communications that can occur with virtual teams.  In the same way that different customer requirements need to be balanced to create the technical requirements of the project, there are different factors that need to be balanced to choose the best team members for the project, and multi-criteria decision analysis can be a useful tool in doing this.

4.  Outputs

Once the team has been chosen, the list of those on the project team are contained in the project staff assignment, and the timing of when they are available is contained in the resource calendars for that project.

There may be some adjustments to the Human Resource Management Plan, which is a common feature of project management, where the plan may have to adjust to reality of the project rather than the other way around.

Once this process is over, the project manager will have a collection of team members that will work on the project.  Taking the team members who are plural and turning them into an entity which is singular called a team is what the next process is about, 9.3 Develop Project Team, and that is the subject of the next post.


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