A Guide to the People Aspect of Project Management

A Guide to the People Aspect of Project Management
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Project Planning

Project planning is an indispensable step at the start of any project. During this stage, the project manager and owners get together to define in clear and precise terms the elements of the project, or activities and work required to complete each project activity, and its timeline. The planning process starts at the time the project is conceived and picks up steam after the project scope is finalized and the extent of resources available made clear by the project owners.

Of all the resources required to execute projects, human resources is the most critical. All other resources such as land, money, materials, machinery, and others are passive. Human resources are the dynamic resources, and the success of the project depends largely on the availability and the quality of the human resources and how efficiently the workforce uses other resources for project execution.

The human resource element in project planning pertains to determining the quantity and quality of people required for project execution, determining how to recruit or arrange for the required workforce, and strategies for allocating and managing the available workforce. These topics make a crucial inclusion in the guide to the people aspect of project management. Find out more:

Project Preperation

A Guide to the People Aspect of Project Management

The project preparation phase is a part of the larger project execution phase, involving gathering all the required resources and setting up the project to be executed. The project planning phase lends clarity on the project scope, the available resources, and a schedule of activities that map out how to achieve the stated objectives using the available resources.

The pressing people-related issues in this preparation stage are ensuing the selected employees fit, forming and developing teams, managing culture, equipping the team by training and other interventions, defining roles and responsibilities, and more. The following collection of Bright Hub articles provides up-to-date insights on these crucial project management issues.

Project Execution

A Guide to the People Aspect of Project Management

Project execution is the heart of project management–and the most crucial part. All planning comes to naught if execution does not take place or is done improperly. Here again, the people element plays the most crucial role. Successful project execution depends on the cooperation, commitment, and enthusiasm of the workforce to perform as required, and the ability of the project managers to manage the workforce well, to extract the best out of the available resources.

The presence of remote and virtual teams, the emergence of the knowledge worker, the dominance of the behavioral approach of management all preset the latest and the most pressing people-related challenge to project execution. Of crucial significance is managing change. All projects are, in a sense, a change from one state to another, and success depends on managing and overcoming resistance to change.

The following links introduce you to Bright Hub’s vast collection of articles on these topics.

Leadership and Motivation

A Guide to the People Aspect of Project Management

Leadership is the process of social influence involving one person and the motivation or the desire or willingness to do something. The two concepts are related. Very often, the leadership style has a direct bearing on employee motivation. The leader seeks to enlist the support of the workforce toward the successful completion of the task on hand; he uses the human resources available on hand optimally. Success, however, depends on how eager the workforce remains to oblige, and this in turn depends on exhibiting the most appropriate leadership skills.

Review the various leadership styles and motivational theories, plus their pros, cons and best practices related to execution of each leadership style, how each leadership style has an impact on project management, and how good leadership motivates employees to perform.

HR Administration

Any guide to the people aspect in project management is incomplete without generic HR topics. Regardless of the nature of the project, managing the workforce remains a critical staff activity. Many project managers tend to ignore or underestimate such activities as they do not fall under the core project specifications or add directly to the bottom line. This is a cardinal mistake. Neglecting this important staff activity can lead to a dysfunctional workforce, leading to hold-ups, delays, poor quality of execution, and uncordial work atmosphere as well as other problems.

The major human resource support activities relevant to project management are conducting the recruitment and training process, managing and measuring performance, compensation and rewards, managing leaves, enforcing discipline, and ensuring legal compliance. The following articles shed more insight, and highlight how to perform such support functions well. Such tasks remain relevant throughout the project life cycle.

We look forward to hear your say on these matters as well. Leave a comment on any of the above articles to start a discussion. Again, the field of project management is ever evolving and wide. Drop in a comment if you do not find what you are looking for, and we will respond soon.