6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.6 Control Resources: Tools and Techniques

This process is where the resources that were assigned to the project in the Resource Management Plan are periodically monitored and, if necessary, controlled or changed to respond to the realities on the project.   This may require changing the Resource Management Plan itself if it proves to be unrealistic.

As with the process 9.3 Acquire Resources, this process deals with both material and human resources.   That is why “Interpersonal and Team Skills” is one of the tools and techniques, because it deals with people.   The other tools and techniques (Data Analysis, Problem Solving, and the Project Management Information System or PMIS) are used with both types of resources.

9.6.2 Control Resources:  Tools and Techniques Data Analysis

Here are the techniques used in this process that deal with data analysis:

  • Alternatives analysis–if an activity needs to be done, alternates can be analyzed to decide which resources to use in order get that activity done as a part of process 9.3 Acquire Resources.   In this process, if there is a variance in resource utilization (i.e., if resources get used in different amounts than called for in the plan), then alternatives can be analyzed to figure out to correct that variance.   This may include such measures as paying additional for overtime for additional human resources or late delivery charges for additional physical resources.
  • Cost-benefit analysis–if a corrective action is called for in order to correct a variance with regards to resources, then this analysis can determine the best action to take with respect to cost.
  • Performance reviews–this is not a review of the performance of team members; this is a review of the performance of the project, in this case how resources are being utilized.
  • Trend analysis–as opposed to corrective action, which takes care of problems that currently exist on the project, trend analysis can determine whether preventive action needs to be taken that prevent problems from occurring if current trends prevail. Problem Solving

When it comes to problems with resource utilization, it is important to analyze the cause of the problem, and then data analysis techniques like alternatives analysis can come up with potential solutions.   It is important to use a methodological approach (like Six Sigma, for example) so that you can demonstrate the effectiveness of any solution that is implemented.   If the follow up shows that the problem is not resolved, then you may have to go back to the proverbial drawing board and come up with another solution.  Take a look at p. 356 of the PMBOK Guide to see a complete list of the methodological steps recommended by PMI. Interpersonal and Team Skills

When it comes to utilizing resources, the following interpersonal and team skills are useful in this process:

  • Negotiation–if additional physical resources are needed, the project manager may need negotiation skills in order to obtain these resources from the organization.
  • Influencing–influencing functional managers and/or stakeholders may be required in order to obtain additional team resources for the project. Project Management Information System (PMIS)

A Project Management Information System or PMIS, such as Microsoft Project, can be used to manage resources in terms of the type and amount of resources and to manage the schedule of when they will be utilized on the project and when, in the case of team resources, when they will be released on the project.

The next post will discuss the outputs of this process.


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