Practice Exams:

PMI PMP Project Management Professional – Introducing Project Resource Management Part 4

  1. Rewarding the Project Team

It’s important to reward project team members within the boundaries or constraints that you’re allowed to. As the project manager, people want to feel appreciated and valued, so it’s important for the project manager to reward the project team. Sometimes just saying thank you is all that you need, or telling people that they’re doing a great, great job and to keep it up, that is so valuable. I know often as a project manager, I really remembered when stakeholders said thank you to me or they were happy with the work that I did. In fact, I still have a couple of thank you cards from people pinned up in my office, and those have been from years ago, but it really makes a difference. So it’s important to reward the eam and to make this team feel valued.

Our goal is to promote good performance and behavior, to have a formal and achievable approach, though, to rewarding the team. So we need to establish what the requirements are for the reward. And you have to have the power to give people the rewards. The team then wants the power to be able to achieve the reward that we don’t make it so astronomical or impossible to get the reward. So if you want to make a goal that is a stretch goal, it’s just beyond the comfort level, but it’s still feasible to do. For example, the project manager is rewarded for completing a project by a given date. So in order to have that reward, though, she needs the power to schedule resources and to make decisions. If she can’t schedule the resources, that goal is kind of a false goal. It’s not achievable. So the same with our project team.

When we set goals, we need to make it achievable for the project team members. We only want to reward good work that we don’t tell people, all right, you know, you were late, but I really want you to have this reward. No, we reward good work that we stay true to our word and what the conditions for the reward are. So we should not be rewarded or reward team members for completing a crucial assignment on schedule if that work is sloppy and a poor quality. So we reward only good work. You’ll probably see a question along those lines on an upcoming exam. Rewarding the project team is important because people feel motivated when they are rewarded, when they’re valued.

Money is always a good asset to reward people with, assuming that you’re allowed to intangible. Rewards, though, can often be more effective. As I mentioned, saying thank you or some public recognition. Team members are motivated by an opportunity to grow, so learning opportunities to try new skills and some variety in their work. And then you want to give the team and the team members recognition throughout the project life cycle, not just at the end. You want to do it throughout, so they feel valued and proud of what they’re doing and then they will act accordingly in the next phase. And of course, this isn’t all just to get people to do work, but it’s to show genuine value and the genuine care of our project team members.

We have to consider the culture and the rewards. So the culture has to be considered. So what’s appropriate in the culture where the project is taking place? We want to be aware if it’s inappropriate to reward individual team members over an entire group or giving the whole group a reward rather than individual team members. So having some cultural awareness will help here. And then again, we want to stay away from zero sum rewards. Poker is an example of a zero sum reward. When you play poker around the kitchen table, or I know some of you play out in Vegas, you want to win the game. Only one person can win the game, so it’s a zero sum reward. So those are some things to know about rewarding the project team.

  1. Completing Assessments

As a project manager, you may be required to do some individual and team assessments. So let’s take a look at this factor of team development when it comes to doing assessments, assessments aren’t done in private. Team members need feedback. They need some constructive criticism so that they can improve upon their work, organizational policies and procedures, and any labor or contracting requirements. They may affect your ability if you’re allowed to do this assessment or to do an appraisal. So you want to make certain your alignment with the governance of your organization before you start doing something that’s a formal assessment of project team members.

One assessment type that you should know for your exam is a 360-degree feedback approach. This means that everyone around an individual will do an assessment. So it’s more than just a project manager. It’s managers, other managers, other team members, supervisors and managers, and even subordinates would participate in a 360-degree appraisal. Training from assessments can be a good approach.

You can do some formal education, classroom training, or on the job training, or even cross training, or shadowing that. Those are opportunities to coach people through formal training. The whole goal of assessment is to give an improvement in skills, to give feedback, to help team members be more competent in their work, or to really pay attention to their work if it’s suffering. This helps with reduced staff turnover rate.

How many times do we hear our colleagues, or maybe you say this where you’ve worked here for X amount of years and you’ve never had a review, you’ve never had an assessment? Well, that’s not really good. It’s almost like you don’t know if you’re doing a good job or not. Are you not appreciated for your hard work? So we don’t want that environment to happen in our project team. We want to promote team cohesiveness that everyone gets a review and assessment within the confines of the organizational governance.

  1. Managing the Project Team

Now that our project is in motion and people are out doing activities and they’re coming to status meetings and the reporting on Deliverables that they have created, we’re managing the project team. As a project manager, this means you’re tracking team member performance.

You’re giving feedback to individuals, you’re managing changes in the team as new people come on the team or people leave your team and you’re influencing team behavior. You’re also working to resolve conflict. Let’s look at the edo’s for managing the team. The inputs your project management plan, your resource management plan, the project documents like the issue log, lessons learned, register your team assignments and the team charter. Your work performance reports member of data information and now reports the assessment of the team and then EEF and OPA. We’ll talk about OPA in a moment. Some tools and techniques here for managing your team.

Your interpersonal and team skills. Conflict management, decision making, emotional intelligence and leadership and your PMIs. The outputs of managing the team. Things like a change request could happen from managing your team, updates to your plan updates to the resource management plan, the schedule baseline and the cost baseline. Project document updates like your issue log and lessons learned. And you may have updates to EEF. I mentioned that we have some particulars here with OPA that we want to utilize when it comes to managing the team. So things like certificates of appreciation very easy, very low budget, but it’s a way to show some recognition and to manage the team. Putting people’s names in newsletters or on a project website is good. Remember those bonus structures and corporate apparel? That that’s part of managing the team. That you continue to do team development. Even as part of managing the team, you want people to get work done.

Conflict management is natural. People are going to conflict with one another. So when you have a team issue, that’s a disruption of the work. You have people that aren’t getting along or working well together. So it may not be your position as the project manager to resolve this conflict. You may have to promote it or escalate it to a different manager for your exam, though you’ll want to know that openness resolves conflict. Our goal is to focus on issues, not personalities. We want to focus what’s happening here in the present, not what’s happened in the past. Managing conflict also includes the understanding of how important is this conflict? Sometimes people are in petty conflicts that have nothing to do with the goals of the project.

So while we don’t necessarily ignore those, they’re kind of petty, they’re pretty small. What about a time pressure for conflict resolution? Do we need a quick resolution or do we need to draw this out and really get to the root cause and really understand why people aren’t getting along together? So what’s the time pressure? What about the position of the people involved? The senior employee versus a new junior employee. What about motivation to resolve the conflict? Short term or long term? Gets back to that idea of time pressure. Well, we need to know some terms when it comes to solving conflicts and solving problems. The first one is the preferred approach to conflict resolution and that’s to have a collaborative problem solving approach. A collaborative problem solving approach means that you and I work together. We don’t really care who’s right or wrong, we just want the best outcome for the project and it’s more open and friendly and we understand each other’s position.

Forcing or directing means the people or the person with the power, the authority will make the decision. We’re going to do it this way because I’m the senior engineer. So that’s forcing compromising or reconciling, it sounds good but it’s really a lose lose. Compromising means that both people have to give up something. So an example would be a stakeholder wants you to add things to the project but they don’t want to pay for it and you don’t want to add things to the project at all unless they pay for it and give you more time. So while you’re adverse to change you agreed to take it on but there’s a penalty, there’s a fee and a time factor for that change request. So both people had to give up something and neither party got 100% of what they wanted. So it’s considered a lose lose. Withdrawal or avoiding is where one person leaves the argument or they avoid the argument. A lot of times you see withdrawal is where someone will say fine, just do whatever you want, I don’t care and they leave the argument.

So that’s considered a yield. Lose smoothing or accommodating is where we downplay the differences. Often when there’s a petty short conflict that we really don’t need to spend a lot of time on. So you could smooth it out. Come on guys, we know this isn’t important, this isn’t what we’re here to do. Let’s just go about getting our work done and not worry about these types of problems.

So you kind of downplay the issue. Interpersonal skills that we have to have, leadership obviously talking about aligning, motivating, directing, inspiring, influencing though we’re talking about being persuasive and almost like a sales to influence of why we want work done a certain way or to sell people on getting their activities done on time. This includes active and effective listening. Active listening means I’m involved in the conversation, I’m picking up on nonverbal clues and I paraphrase what you’ve said and repeat it to confirm understanding.

Effective listening is where I really understand the motivation behind the question or the conversation that often there’s an underlying reason or intent in what’s being communicated. I’m aware of the project team and how they interact with one another and that might be creating some issues or there may already be issues on the team. I also want to maintain trust. So if someone tells me something in confidence, I keep it in confidence. So I maintain trust while managing the team. When it comes to managing the team, I need to have effective decision making. So I want to always focus on project goals. That’s the whole point of project management, to get stuff done. I want to follow a logical, methodical decision making process.

 I want to look at my environmental factors, what are the policies, the rules and the governance that I have to operate within. As the project manager, I analyze the information, data, information, so that allows me to make good decisions. I want to consider the personal qualities and develop those qualities of project team members. When I make decisions, I want to make decisions that keep people involved and stimulate team creativity, like brainstorming and mind mapping and that fist of five voting that we saw earlier. When I make decisions, I have to consider risk. Will my decision introduce new risk to the project? And as a project manager, I have to be approachable. I have to have an attitude and an openness that people can approach me with questions or concerns that we can address. There are some management styles that you should be familiar with. Autocratic, the PM makes all the decisions democratic. The project team is involved with the decisions. They may often vote on the decision.

Lazaire, the project manager is hands off. The team makes all the decisions. It sounds nice, it sounds like self led teams, but sometimes we need the project manager to make a decision. And if the project manager has this lazare attitude, they aren’t available. And then it seems like there are delays or the project manager’s head is in the sand, something we obviously don’t want. And then exceptional. Exceptional always sounds great. Really? It’s called exceptional because you’re doing management by exception. It’s where you reward the top 10% and punish the bottom 10% and everybody in the middle is kind of in the slush there. So exceptional is you’re an exception to everyone else, good or bad. You ever have a manager that always seems like it’s somebody’s turn to be in trouble, that’s management by exception.

There are five project management powers. You need to know you’re an expert, means you’re experienced in that discipline or technology, or you’ve been doing project management for so long, you’re considered an expert. PM reward is where the team believes you have the power to reward them for their work. Formal is you are only a positional. You are a new project manager in a company. So there’s no real relationship. There’s just the relationship of the position of project manager and the position of the project team. Coercive is where the project team feels threatened that you could punish them or give them a bad assessment. And then reference is where the team has worked with you before, so they have a relationship with you already or the project manager says we’re going to do it this way because Jane the CEO put me in charge, and that’s how we’re going to do it. So you refer to someone else’s authority. Okay? Those are some powers and some characteristics of managing the team that you’ll want to know for your exam.

  1. Controlling Resources

Our last process to look at in the knowledge area of resource management is to control resources. When we talk about controlling resources, a lot of this is dealing with physical resources because we’re controlling access and the security of those resources. We want to think about what happens for resources delayed to the job site. What ripple effect or risk will that introduce? I want to control resource allocation.

Who has access to those resources? When are they used in the project? So resource allocation, what about defective resources? So if I get a defect, how do I control that? How do I manage that defective resources? I return it to a vendor, but how long will it take to get a replacement? There are some human and physical concerns. So you think about human resources and physical resources. People are using the resources. So training, security, access, permission, knowledge, the competency level, those are all things to consider when we think about human resources, working with the physical resources. Let’s check out these edo’s for control resources.

A whole bunch of inputs. Here the project management plan, your resource management plan, project documents like your issue log the lessons learned. Register physical resource assignments, the project schedule, resource breakdown structure, resource requirements and the risk. Register work performance data agreements and OPA tools and techniques. Data analysis, so alternatives analysis, cost benefits analysis, performance reviews and trend analysis. We’ll do some problem solving, interpersonal and team skills. We’re talking about negotiating and influencing and then our PMIs can help control resources. My outputs here I have work performance information change request, project Management plan updates. You’ll be updating the resource management plan, the schedule baseline and the cost baseline updates to project documents, the assumption, log the issue, log the lessons learned. Register physical resource assignments, a resource breakdown structure and you might update the risk.

Register some very specific activities to know for controlling resources. Monitor resource expenditures. How much are you paying? Are you having waste? Is there scrap? Well, that adds up. Identifying and dealing with any shortages or surpluses because we know that can create some issues in the project, in our schedule, ensuring that resources are used according to the plan, informing appropriate stakeholders when we have an issue with the resource. So that might be procurement, might be the functional manager, whatever your enterprise environmental factors are, what about influencing factors that could affect change in our resources? And then when there is a change, how do we manage it? That it’s going to go through integrated change control.

And then we have to get that into the plan and reflect that change. So that might mean rework, it might mean incorporating the change because it’s already done into the project. There are six steps for resource management problem solving. So step one, identify the problem. Be very specific, what is the problem? Step two, define it. Break it down into manageable components and then we investigate it. Gather data, analyze that data. So this probably means RCA. That root cause analysis. Then we will solve the problem. So what’s the solution? Let’s pick one. Don’t get caught analyzing for weeks on end. Get to a solution. And then step six. Has it fixed a problem or not? If it has not, we start the process over. So this is all about resource management? Problem solving. All right. Great job. Keep moving forward. I’ll see you in the next lecture.

  1. Section Wrap: Project Resource Management

You’re making some great progress here in your effort to pass the PMP exam. I’m really happy that you’re investing the time and you’re all the way into chapter nine in the Pinback Guide on Resource Management. Resource management can be one of those tricky areas in project management because you’re dealing with people. Mean, how many times have you heard a project manager say, or you’ve said, things would be so much easier if it weren’t for all these people? Well, people are needed in order to do the project work. People are needed because they are allowing the project to happen. They’re funding the project, or they’ve requested the project.

So people are the stakeholders as well. Resource management also deals with the physical resources, so the different equipment and tools and facilities that you need. So it’s really important for your exam to know that resource management deals with people, but also materials. But I think you’re doing a great job. I’m really impressed that you’ve stuck with the course and you’re moving through this material. You can do this. I have confidence. If you keep on schedule, you keep dedicated to the material. You don’t allow yourself to get worn out, that you can pass this exam.

I have confidence in you that you can get this done. So stay with it. Stay dedicated, stay motivated, and knock it out. Keep moving forward. I’ve confidence in you. Great job finishing this section on project resource management. Project resource management includes both physical resources and human resources. In this section, we talked about planning for resources.

So we talked about creating a resource management plan. And then within that, we talked about how do we negotiate, how do we acquire resources? If they’re physical resources, how does that relate to procurement? Something we’ll see coming up talked about acquiring and negotiating and then doing team development. That we want to develop our team to make them more cohesive so that they can rely on one another as they complete their project activities. We looked at relying on general management skills versus some interpersonal and team skills, having some emotional intelligence when it comes to dealing with people. Talked about completing assessments and then managing the project team and controlling resources. So a lot of information, some really important topics that I want you to pay attention to as you study the pass your PMP. All right, good job. Keep moving forward.