5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Memorizing the Processes (Step 3: HR Knowledge Area)


 

 

1.   Introduction

After memorizing the 5 process groups (step #1) and the 10 knowledge areas (step #2), the next step in mastering the memorization of the processes is figuring out where the 47 project management processes fit in the matrix made by those process groups and knowledge areas.    The best way to do that is to first memorize the names and order of the processes by knowledge area.    In previous posts, I have covered the knowledge areas of Integration (chapter 4 of the PMBOK® Guide), Scope (Chapter 5), Time (chapter 6), Cost (chapter 7), and Quality (chapter 8).   This post will cover the processes involved in the Human Resources Management knowledge area, which is covered by chapter 9 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Here are the 47 processes of project management; the chart indicates how many are in each knowledge area and process group.

Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Integration 6

1

1

1

2

1

Scope 6

4

2

Time 7

6

1

Cost 4

3

1

Quality 3

1

1

1

Human Resources 4

1

3

Communications 3

1

1

1

Risk 6

5

1

Procurements 4

1

1

1

1

Stakeholder 4      1

1

1

1

 47

2

24

8

11

2

2.  Human Resources Management knowledge area

Here’s the portion of the above matrix of 47 processes that lists the processes in the Human Resources Management knowledge area, which is covered in chapter 9 of the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge Area Total # of Processes Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Human Resources

4

1  3

There are two unusual things about the HR Knowledge Area with respect to how the processes fit into the 5 process groups, that make it different from all the other knowledge areas.    First of all, there are a total of 3 processes in the Executing Process Group; all other knowledge areas that even have a process in the Executing Process Group have only 1 process in that group.    Secondly, it is the only knowledge area not to have any processes at all in the Monitoring & Controlling Process group.    The way I told our study group to memorize this last point is to make the observation that the monitoring & controlling involved in all the other processes has to be done by people (who are part of human resources), and that is why there is no monitoring & controlling process for human resources itself.    (This may not be the official PMI version of why they decided to apportion the processes in this way, but it is a simply a story that helps you memorize this fact.)

Here’s a chart which gives the names of the four processes and a brief process description.

Process

Group

Process

Number

Process
Name
Process Description
Planning 9.1 Plan Human Resource Management Process of documenting project roles, responsibilities, required skills, reporting relationships, and creating a staffing management plan.
Executing 9.2 Acquire Project Team Process of confirming the availability of resources, and obtaining the members of the team.
Executing 9.3 Develop Project Team Process of improving competencies, team member interaction, and the overall team environment.
Executing 9.4 Manage Project Team Process of tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues, and managing team changes.

9.1 Plan Human Resource Management

The first planning process for all the knowledge areas, consists of creating the framework for all of the other processes in that knowledge area.    The Human Resources knowledge area is no exception; the Plan Human Resources Management process has as its aim

  • the listing of all the roles on the project,
  • documenting what the responsibilities of the people in those project roles will be,
  • what skills the people in those roles will have to have,
  • what the reporting relationships of these various roles will be to each other, and finally
  • at what point in the project these various people will have to perform their roles (the staffing management plan)

All of this comes together in the output for this process, the Human Resources Management Plan.

9.2 Acquire Project Team

When you need people for your team, you need to a) check with the human resources department for their availability and then b) obtain the people necessary for your team as outlined in the Human Resources Management Plan.  This is why this process is in the executing process group.    The project manager does not have direct control over these people, the human resources department and management do; that is why the project manager must negotiate for these resources and influence those decision-makers into letting those people work for the project for the specified duration.

9.3 Develop Project Team

Here is the process that takes the “team members” and turns them into a team that works together.    In some cases, you will have to improve the competencies of some of the team members in the area of technical skills in order to get them “up to speed” in order to perform their roles.    But in all cases, you will have to use people skills in order to bring the team members together (Forming stage), and get them from being a group of individuals who have potential conflicts with each other (Storming stage), to the point where they are adjusting to each other (Norming stage), and focusing on the work that must be done (Performing stage).    This is the true core of being a project manager, to manage the individual team  members of your project to work together as a larger whole, the project team.

9.4 Manage Project Team

Once the team has passed to the Performing stages as described in the last process, you then need to track the performance of team members and give them feedback, always with the idea of improving their performance on the project.   You may have to resolve conflict between team members that occurs during the course of the project (as opposed to the initial conflicts during the Storming phase of developing the project team).

This sounds very much like monitoring and controlling your team members, but for some reason, the Project Management Institute puts this process in the Executing Process Group.

At least in terms of memorization, after the initial planning process, the names of the 3 processes in the Executing Process Group, 9.2 Acquire Project Team, 9.3 Develop Project Team, and 9.4 Manage Project Team should be obvious from their description.   They all end in “Project Team”, and it makes sense that you would first “Acquire”, then “Develop”, and then “Manage” that team.

3.   Conclusion

The Human Resources Management knowledge area has 4 processes, one of which is in planning and creates the Human Resources Management Plan, and the other 3 of which are in the Executing Process Group, and consist of acquiring the team members, forming them into a team and putting them to work on the project, and making adjustments to the team as the project progresses.

The next post will cover the next Knowledge Area, that of Communications Management, covered in chapter 10 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: