5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 9: Process 9.4 Manage Project Team

1.  Introduction

The fourth out of four human resource-related processes is in the executing process group, and it is used to develop after acquiring and developing the team, to manage the team as it performs the project work throughout the course of the project.

2.  Inputs

The inputs come from the outputs of the first process 9.1 in the form of the Human Resource Management Plan, the second process 9.2 in the form of the Project staff assignments, and the third process 9.3 in the form of Team Performance assignments.  The issue log is a project document which is an important input for recording what issues exist, and for recording any resolutions to those issues, and work performance reports help project managers decide who should get recognition and awards for outstanding work.


1. Human Resource  Management Plan This is an output of the process 9.l Plan Human Resource Management.  In particular, the elements of the plan that are used in this process are:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Project organization (who reports to whom, etc.)
  • Staffing management plan (when team members are to work on project)
2. Project staff assignments These are an output of the process 9.2 Acquire Project Team:  they tell who is going to be on the project, and what their roles and responsibilities will be.
3. Team Performance assessments These are an output of the process 9.3 Develop Project Team:  they are the project management team’s assessments of the project team’s performance.
4. Issue log Documents who is responsible for resolving specific issues by a target date.
5. Work performance reports These are an output of the process 4.4 Direct and Manage Project Work.  This information assists in determining recognition and awards for team members, and in planning future human resource needs on the project.
6. Organizational process assets Templates for

  • Certificates of appreciation
  • Newsletters, websites
  • Bonus or other incentives
1. Observation and conversation The project manager needs to monitor not just the work, but the attitudes of project team members as they make progress towards project deliverables.
2. Project performance appraisals Project performance appraisals can be useful towards the following:

  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities
  • Giving constructive feedback to team members
  • Giving recognition for accomplishments by team members
  • Resolving interpersonal issues
3. Conflict management There are five techniques for conflict management:

  • Withdraw/Avoid
  • Smooth/Accommodate
  • Compromise/Reconcile
  • Force/Direct
  • Collaborate/Problem Solve

(NOTE:  will be covered in separate post):

4. Interpersonal skills The following are skills which the project manager can use to analyze situations and skillfully interact with team members:

  • Leadership
  • Influencing
  • Effective decision-making

(NOTE:  will be covered in separate post)

1. Change requests Staffing changes may affect the rest of the project management plan, and need to be processed through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.
2. Project management plan updates Roles and responsibilities may be clarified and updated; any staffing changes will result in changes in the Staffing Management Plan.
3. Project documents updates
  • Issue log (if issues are resolved)
  • Roles and responsibilities (RACI chart)
  • Project staff assignments (if there any staffing changes)
4. EEFs
  • Project performance appraisals may be inputs to organizational performance appraisals
  • Personnel skill updates
5. OPAs
  • Lessons learned
  • Templates
  • Organizational standard processes


3.  Tools & Techniques

Observation and conversation may seem obvious as tools & techniques for managing a project team, but remember that there are two types of experts on a project:  subject matter experts, whom you consult when making a decision, and work experts, whom you consult when asking how things are going.  What are work experts?  The project team members themselves:  since they are doing the work, that’s whom you need to talk to if you want to know how things are going.  And doing the observing and conversing in an informal setting will get you a lot more honest picture of what’s going on rather than just relying on reports and meetings.   Also, they will give you the best information with regards to how to improve the process, because they are the ones doing it day in and day out.

Project performance appraisals are used for either recognition and rewards, or constructive criticism.  The art of constructive criticism deserves a post on its own, but suffice it to say that it is delivered with relationship to objective criteria, it is specific, it suggests ways to improve, and is delivered in a way to make sure the person knows it is nevertheless your subjective opinion, and not the “law of the land.”

Conflict management and interpersonal skills are SO important for project managers to use in managing one’s team that I will devote the next few posts to these.

4.  Outputs

It could be that conflicts may require, in the extreme, staffing changes, or it could be that changing circumstances on the project may necessitate these as well.  In this case, any potential staffing changes should be treated as change requests, and as such, need to be sent through the Perform Integrated Change Control process, especially since they may necessitate a change in the budget, the schedule, or both.

The project management plan, in particular the human resources management plan, may need to be updated as a result of the activities in this process, as well as some of the project documents relating to human resources management, such as the issue log or the responsibilities matrix (or RACI chart).  Another by-product of dealing with issues is not just resolving them for the project, but making sure that any resolutions are shared with the organization at large in the lessons learned for future projects.

As mentioned above, the tool of conflict management is considered very important by PMI considering the amount of discussion given in the PMBOK® Guide.  Therefore, I am devoting the next post to this subject to discuss the various techniques of conflict management.


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