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

9.4.2.1 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.

9.4.2.2 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).

9.4.2.3 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.

9.4.2.4 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.

9.4.2.5 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.

9.4.2.6  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.

9.4.2.7  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.

9.4.2.8 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.

 

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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

9.4.1.1 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

9.4.1.2 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.

9.4.1.3 Enterprise Environmental Factors

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

9.4.1.4 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

9.3.3.1 Physical Resource Assignments

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

9.3.3.2 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

9.3.3.3 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.

9.3.3.4 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.

9.3.3.5 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.

9.3.3.6 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.

9.3.3.7 Enterprise Environmental Factor Updates

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

9.3.3.8 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.

9.3.2.1 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.

9.3.2.2 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.

9.3.2.3 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 9.3.2.2) 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.

9.3.2.4 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.

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


Okay, now that we have estimated the amount of physical and team resources needed to do the activities on the project, it is time to actually acquire them.

Here are the inputs to process 9.3 Acquire Resources.

9.3.1 Acquire Resources:  Inputs

9.3.1.1 Project Management Plan

The components of the project management plan that are inputs to this process include the following:

  • Resource management plan–the output of process 9.1 Plan Resource Management, it includes guidance on how to acquire team and physical resources for the project.
  • Procurement management plan–if there are procurements from other companies which are used as resources on the project, this plan includes information how procurements will be integrated with other project work and stakeholders involved in procuring resources.
  • Cost baseline–this gives the overall budget for the project activities.

9.3.1.2  Project Documents

  • Project schedule–the project schedule shows the activities with their planned start and end dates which helps determine when the resources need to be available and accepted.
  • Resources calendars–these document the time periods each resource needed for the project is available for the project.   This schedule depends on having a good understanding of each resource’s availability and schedule constraints (like vacation time).
  • Resource requirements–these identify the types and the quantities of resources that need to be acquired.
  • Stakeholder register–this may give information on the stakeholders’ needs and/or expectations for specific resources to be used on the project.

9.3.1.3 Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Existing information on organizational resources including availability, competence levels, and prior experience for team resources.
  • Marketplace conditions
  • Organizational structure (affects the negotiations you may need to do in order to acquire resources)

9.3.1.4 Organizational Process Assets

  • Policies, procedures and guidelines for acquiring resource to the project (should be contained in the resource management plan)
  • Historical information and lessons learned repository from previous similar projects

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources: Outputs


This post covers the outputs of the process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources.

9.2.3.1 Resource Requirements

This document identifies the types and quantities of resource required for each work package or activity.    It is distinguished from these two other documents that have the word “resource:

  1. Resource breakdown structure (see paragraph 9.2.3.3 below)–this is a preliminary document that is an output of 9.1 Plan Resource Management which just lists the types of resources required for work on the project in general.   The process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources takes this further in two ways:   it lists not only the types of resources, but also the quantity needed.
  2. Resource calendar–This is a calendar that identifies the working days when each specific resource is available.    This can be done at the level of the project in general, or it can be updated as a result of the process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources to the level of the work package or activity.

So the resource breakdown structure answers the question of “what” when it comes to resources required for the project, the resource requirements adds the answer to the question “how much”, and the resource calendar adds the answer to the question “when”.

9.2.3.2. Basis of Estimates

Just like for the other two estimating processes, 6.4 Estimate Activity Durations and 7.2 Estimate Costs, it is important to keep track of how the estimation came about so that it is clear how the resource estimate was derived.   That can include items like:

  • Methods used to develop the estimate (bottom-up estimating, analogous estimating, parametric estimating, etc.)
  • Resources used to develop the estimate, particularly information from previous similar projects
  • Assumptions associated with the estimate (these will go in the project document called the Assumption Log–see paragraph 9.2.3.4)
  • Known constraints (from other knowledge areas, such as schedule, budget, scope, risk, etc.)
  • Range of estimates (usually expressed in terms of a plus or minus percentage)
  • Confidence level of estimates (for example, a 90% probability of being able to obtain the resources within a given cost estimate)
  • Documentation of identified risks influencing the estimate (these will go in the risk register)

9.2.3.3 Resource Breakdown Structure

This is a preliminary document that is an output of 9.1 Plan Resource Management which just lists the types of resources required for work on the project in general.   The process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources takes this further in two ways:   it lists not only the types of resources, but also the quantity needed.   These two documents will be used to acquire and monitor resources in the upcoming processes, starting with 9.3 Acquire Resources.

9.2.3.4 Project Documents Updates

 

  • Activity attributes–the activity attributes, a description that gives information about each activity, are updated with the resource requirements.
  • Assumption log–updated with assumptions regarding the types and quantities of resources required
  • Lessons learned register–as with a lot of planning processes, the lessons learned register is updated with techniques that were found to be efficient and effective in developing resource estimates

 

 

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources: Tools and Techniques


Like the other estimation processes in the planning process group, 6.4 Estimate Activity Durations and 7.2 Estimate Costs, the process 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources has certain “generic” tools and techniques that are used for planning processes, such as Expert Judgment, Data Analysis Project Management Information System (PMIS), and Meetings.   Then there are tools and techniques which are used specifically for these processes having to do with estimating:   Bottom-Up Estimating, Analogous Estimating, and Parametric Estimating.   Let’s go through all of them.

9.2.2 Estimate Activity Resources:  Tools and Techniques

9.2.2.1 Expert Judgment

Expertise should be sought during this process by those who have specialized knowledge in estimating team and physical resources, or who have done such estimation for similar, previous projects.

9.2.2.2 Bottom-Up Estimating

This estimation technique is bottom-up because it consists of estimation of the resources required for each activity and then aggregating all of these estimates into the level of work packages, control accounts, and then summary project levels.

9.2.2.3 Analogous Estimating

This estimation technique using information regarding resources from a previous similar project.   It is useful as a preliminary estimation when you have only completed the top few levels of the WBS, because you need to have a complete WBS in order to do the more accurate, but time-consuming Bottom-Up Estimating technique (see paragraph 9.2.2.2).

9.2.2.4 Parametric Estimating

This technique also uses information regarding resources from a previous similar project.   The difference is that there is a statistical relationships between historical data and other variables which can be used to apply to the estimation of resources in the current project.   Here’s an example:  if you are trying to complete an estimation of the resources needed to build a house in a subdivision, you can do it by looking at the data on the resources needed to build previous houses in the subdivision.   This would be an example of analogous estimating.    However, if you took all of the data regarding those previously-built houses and calculated how many resources would be required per 100 square feet, then you would have a statistical relationship or a parameter you could then use to calculate the resources required for the current project.

9.2.2.5 Data Analysis

The main data analysis technique used in this process is alternatives analysis.   There may be different options to accomplish a certain activity.   These options may include various levels of resource capability or skills, for example.   Alternatives analysis provides the best solution to perform the project activities within the defined constraints.

9.2.2.6 Project Management Information System (PMIS)

This is the software tool (like Microsoft Project) used to help manage the resources on a project.

9.2.2.7 Meetings

Planning meetings may be held with functional managers to help estimate the resources needed for each activity.   Others at the meeting may include project team members who are responsible for estimation, experts who have knowledge regarding estimation techniques or who have worked on similar projects, and the project sponsor.

The next post will cover the outputs to the process.