6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.5 Manage Team: Tools and Techniques

Managing a team is less about technical skills that deal with manipulating objects and more of what are called “soft skills” of dealing with people’s inner workings, which are more complicated.   They require a dialogue on the part of the project manager with each of the team members and this is why the very tool and technique is “interpersonal and team skills.”

9.5.2 Manage Team:  Tools and Techniques Interpersonal and Team Skills

  • Conflict management–sources of conflict include scare resources, scheduling priorities, and personal work styles.    The conflict can be reduced by team ground rules (that should be included in the team charter), clear definition of roles and responsibilities, and effective planning of communication.
  • Decision making–in the context of this process, this means being able to manage the team members both individually and in their interactions in meetings and ongoing communication so that decision-making is effective.
  • Emotional intelligence-knowing the personality types of the team members helps one in guiding communication in such a way that it will be accepted more readily by them.   It also allows one to reduce tension and to increase cooperation among the team members.
  • Influencing–Especially in a matrix environment, where team members do not directly report to the project manager, it is important to be able to influence the team members so that the project can succeed.
  • Leadership–Leadership is the ability to inspire a team to do well.   It is especially important to communication the vision of the project objectives and inspire the project team to achieve high performance. Project Management Information System (PMIS)

This is the software program, like Microsoft Project, used in managing a project.  It can include software that can manage and coordinate team members across various project activities.

The next post will cover the outputs of this process.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.5 Manage Team: Inputs

In the Tuckman ladder, a model of team development, there are five phases a team goes through on a project.   Each phase must be successfully passed through in order to go to the next:

  • Forming–team members meet each other and learn about their project and their formal roles and responsibilities.
  • Storming–the team addresses the project work, technical decisions on the project, and the project management approach.   This is the point where, if there are differing ideas and perspectives towards these topics, the conflicts must be ironed out in order for the environment to become productive.
  • Norming–the team members build trust with each other as they adjust to each other’s work habits and personalities.
  • Performing–This is where the team functions as a well-organized unit.
  • Adjourning–The team completes the work and moves on.

The process 9.4 Develop Team is really where the first three phases occur of forming, storming, and norming.   The next phase of performing is where the current process 9.4 Manage Team comes in.   (Adjourning is the phase that happens when the project is done.)

Here are the inputs to this process.

9.5.1 Manage Team:  Inputs Project Management Plan

The resource management plan contains guidelines for doing the other processes in the resource management knowledge area.   The ones pertaining to the process 9.5 Manage Team are:

  • Project team resource management–guidance on how project team members should be defined, staffed, managed, and eventually released
  • Recognition plan–which recognition and rewards will be given to team members, and when they will be given Project Documents

  • Issue log–if issues arise in the course of managing the project team, these will be added to the issue log as a result of this process.
  • Lessons learned register–if there are lessons learned with regards to the management of the project team, either in terms of what worked well or what did not work well, these will be added to the lessons learned register as a result of the process.
  • Project team assignments–this identifies the team member roles and responbilities
  • Team charter–this provides guidance on how the team will make decisions, conduct meetings, and resolve conflict. Work Performance Reports

These are reports that contain work performance information regarding schedule control, cost control, quality control, and scope validation.    they are useful for determining future resource requirements, distribution of recognition and awards, and for updating the resource management plan. Team Performance Assessments

The initial team performance assessment is done at the end of the 9.4 Develop Team process.   These assessments are continued during process 9.5 Manage Team.   These assessments are used to

  • Resolve issues
  • Modify communication
  • Address conflicts
  • Improve team interaction Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Human resource management policies  Organizational Process Assets

  • Certificates of appreciation and other forms of recognition/award

Next we will look at the tools and techniques of this process.



6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.4 Develop Team: Outputs

Here are the outputs for the process 9.4 Develop Team.

9.4.3 Develop Team:  Outputs Team Performance Assessments

The project management team needs to assess the performance of the team at the outset and during the course of the project (in the next process 9.5 Manage Team).   The initial assessment will indicate whether there is a need for

  • Improvements in technical skills that help individuals work better to perform their assignments
  • Improvements in competencies that help team members perform better as a team (for example, during meetings)
  • Increased team cohesiveness through sharing of information and experiences

As a result of this assessment, changes may be identified for specific training or resources needed to implement the recommended improvements.  (See change requests paragraph below.)  Change Requests

If, as a result of the team performance assessment (see previous paragraph), changes are recommended for training or additional resources, then the change request is made and processed in process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control. Project Management Plan Updates

As a result of the team performance assessment, changes may be made not just for additional training or resources, but to the resource management plan itself. Project Documents Updates

  • Lessons learned register–if there are challenges encountered during the process of developing the team, then these lessons learned are added to the register so that approaches that worked well can be continued throughout the project, whereas approaches that did not work well can be avoided.
  • Project schedule–if additional training is indicated as a result of reviewing the team performance assessment (see paragraph, then the activities for that additional training are added to the project schedule.
  • Project team assignments–if as a result of reviewing the team performance assessment, some adjustments are made to the agreed-upon assignments (including changes to people’s roles and responsibilities), then these changes are made in the project team assignment documentation.
  • Resource calendars–if additional resources are identified as needed as a result of the team performance assessment, the schedule of availability for these additional resources is updated to the resource calendar.
  • Team charter–if there are operating guidelines that are identified as being needed to be changed as a result of the team performance assessment, then the team charter may be updated to reflect these changes. Enterprise Environmental Factors Updates

  • Skill assessments
  • Employee development plan reports (for inclusion in human resource records) Organizational Process Assets Updates

  • Personnel assessment
  • Training requirements.

Now that the team has been sufficiently developed to work together effectively, now comes the process of tracking their performance during the course of the project work.  This is the work done in the next process 9.5 Manage Team, which will be the subject of the next post.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.4 Develop Team: Tools and Techniques

One of the processes that makes projects work is that of developing a team:   how you take a group of individuals and turn them from a group that works together for a common purpose.

This post discusses the tools and techniques used to develop your project team.

9.4.2 Develop Team:   Tools and Techniques Colocation

Co-location means placing many or all of the most active project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to perform as a team.   It can be temporary, for example when having a project kickoff meeting or doing planning meetings, or it can be throughout the project.   It’s not just a shared meeting room, but often times places in that room to post schedules and other ways of communicating in order to create a sense of community. Virtual Teams

Whereas co-location depends on face-to-face interaction, virtual teams by necessity depend on virtual interaction in order to communicate.   Co-location and virtual teams are not mutually exclusive; you can have co-location of your main project team with virtual teams consisting of the “satellite” offices that participate in your project.   Because virtual interaction creates challenges, it is important to use communication technology to address issues of team development when using virtual teams (see next paragraph). Communications Technology

It is important to address team development issues in co-located and virtual teams by using communication technology effectively.   This means having clear rules for meetings, being aware of cultural differences, and creating mechanisms to follow up on action items that require coordination of virtual teams.

A shared portal for information sharing, video conferencing, audio conferencing, and e-mail/chat are examples of communications technology that can be used to help develop the team. Interpersonal and Team Skills

The interpersonal and team skills that a project manager needs to develop a project team include the following:

  • Conflict management–it is important to resolve conflicts in a timely manner and in a constructive way that is perceived to be fair in order to achieve a high-performing team.
  • Influencing–if you need to gather relevant and critical information to address important issues and teach agreements, it is important to first create a relationship of trust with others on the team so that they will be forthcoming with that information.
  • Motivation–knowing what motivates team members will empower them to work independently yet also be willing to participate in group decision-making
  • Negotiation–in many cases, making a decision will require consensus-building, and negotiating this requires building trust among the team members.
  • Team building–this consists of conducting activities that enhance the team’s social relations and build an environment where team members can collaborate and cooperate. Recognition and Rewars

Although it is important to create a plan for rewarding team members who exhibit desirable behavior on a project, rewards are effective when they satisfy a need that is valued by that individual.   The differences between individuals should be considered when determining recognition and rewards.    It is not just tangible awards like money that motivate people, but intangible rewards such as recognition that helps to build confidence and self-esteem.  Training

Training includes all activities designed to enhance the competencies of the project team members.   Scheduling for training needs to be considered in the overall project schedule, and the costs for training need to be included in the project budget.  Individual and Team Assessments

Assessment tools for individuals and the entire project team help the project manager gain insight into their areas of strengths and weaknesses, so that those strengths can be recognized and enhanced, while weaknesses are dealt with in the context of feedback, not of failure.   Some assessments can also help identify personality types, which assists a project manager in developing skillful means of communicating with people and motivating them to work together on the project. Meetings

Yes, this is a generic tool and technique for many  project management processes, but meetings are especially important in the team-building process because that is where the “culture” of a project is created and maintained.

The next post covers the outputs of this process.


6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.4 Develop Team: Inputs

In the last process, 9.3 Acquire Resources, the word “resources” covered both the physical resources required to complete the work of the project as well as the human resources, i.e., people, needed to do the work.

I really found it disconcerting to find “human resources” management, as it was described in the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide, to be now referred to as simply “resources” in the 6th Edition.   I hoped this was for sake of efficiency, but was concerned that the elimination of the word “human” was perhaps treating people on the same level as commodities.    Then I realized with this process that people are NOT commodities, because the process of developing a team requires you take people’s interiors–their personalities, as well as their skills–into account.   And that takes a whole set of skills that are different than dealing with the manipulation of objects, which is a lot of what getting a project done entails.   So, even in the 2100, when PMI starts referring to people as “carbon-based production units”, you’ll still need to manage them to get the project done!

Okay, enough of my little mini-rant, and on with the discussion of the inputs for this process!

9.4.1 Develop Team:  Inputs Project Management Plan

  • Resource management plan–the output of process 9.1 Plan Resource Management, this is where the procedures and guidelines are for doing all of the other processes in the resource management knowledge area.   Here are the procedures you need to have in place as inputs to this process of developing the team:
    • Roles and responsibilities–listing the roles, authority levels, responsibilities, and competencies of various members of the project team
    • Project organizational charts–this graphically displays the reporting relationships among project team members
    • Training–training strategies for team members
    • Team development–methods for developing the project team from a collection of individuals into a cohesive group working towards the same objectives Project Documents

These are the project documents that will be inputs for this process and will be updated as a result of the process.

  • Lessons learned register–lessons learned with regard to developing the team will be put in this process for use in later phases of the project in order to improve team performance
  • Project schedule–there will need to be definitions of how and when to provide training to the project team added to the project schedule.
  • Project team assignments–this will identify the team roles and member responsibilities for all members of the project team.
  • Resource calendars–normally used to identify availability of team members during the course of the entire project, this process will also add the times when project team members can participate in team development activities.
  • Team charter–the project sponsor can document any team operating guidelines that describes how the team should operate together. Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Human resource management policies (based on regulations or laws) Organizational Process Assets

  • Lessons learned repository and historical information from previous similar projects.



6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.3 Acquire Resources: Outputs

This post covers the outputs for the process 9.3 Acquire Resources.   Remember that in the 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide, “resources” now covers two categories:  both physical resources (material, equipment, supplies, locations) and human resources.

9.3.3 Acquire Resources:  Outputs Physical Resource Assignments

Documentation of the physical resource assignments that will be used during the project. Project Team Assignments

Documentation of team assignments which records the project team members and their roles and responsibilities for the project.   Such documentation may include

  • Project team directory
  • Project organization chart Resource Calendar

A resource calendar identifies the times when each specific resource is available, taking into account the normal business hours for the organization as a whole and the specific schedule of each resource (accounting for vacation days, etc.).   In this way, the project manager will know when and for how long identified resources will be available during the project. Change Requests

If the Acquire Resources process results in a change such as an impact on the schedule, the project manager needs to submit a change request which is then handled in the process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control.    If there are changes to the Resource Management Plan that are needed, then this will also require a change request. Project Management Plan Updates

  • Resource Management plan–any changes to the resource management plan resulting from this process will cause the plan to be updated.
  • Cost baseline–the acquisition of resources for the project may affect the cost baseline. Project Documents Updates

  • Lessons learned register–the lessons learned register during the process of acquiring resources for the project may be updated to reflect experience which may impact how resources are acquired later in the project.
  • Project schedule–the availability of resources (see Resource Calendar) may affect changes to the timing of some of the activities in the project schedule.
  • Resource breakdown structure–any resources acquired during this process will be recorded in the RBS.
  • Resource requirements–this is updated to reflect resources acquired for the project.
  • Risk register–new risks identified during this process relating to the acquisition of resources are recorded in the risk register and managed using the risk management processes.
  • Stakeholder register–this is updated with information on existing stakeholders that may have been gained as a result of this process. Enterprise Environmental Factor Updates

  • Resource availability within the organization will be affected by their utilization as resources on this project. Organizational Process Assets Updates

  • Documentation related to acquiring, assigning and allocating resources.


6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.3 Acquire Resources: Tools and Techniques

This post goes over the tools and techniques for process 9.3 Acquire Resources. Decision Making

The tool used in deciding which resources to use on the project is multicriteria decision analysis, which means creating a list of selection criteria (see sample list on p. 332 of the PMBOK® Guide) to rate or score potential resource, be they internal or external. Interpersonal and Team Skills

The tool used in acquiring resources is negotiation.   The project manager may negotiate with functional managers, project managers of other teams within the organization, or from external organizations and suppliers. Pre-Assignment

One of the overlooked functions of the Project Charter is the opportunity the project sponsor has to pre-assign specific resources that the sponsor would like to see working on specific roles within the project.    This makes the negotiating process easier for the project manager (see paragraph above because the project sponsor is stating preference for certain resources and therefore the request to the functional manager or other project manager has more “clout” than if he or she were just negotiating based on his or her own desire to have a certain resource work on the project. Virtual Teams

In organizations that are spread out in a number of locations, including possibly different countries, virtual teams are an important tool.   However, the reliance on communication technology as opposed to face-to-face meetings means that communication planning becomes increasingly important.    You need to set clear expectations, develop protocols for resolving conflict, understand cultural differences, and share credit in successes.

The next post covers the outputs of this process.