Acquiring Project Team


The importance of competent Human resource in project

The accomplishment of a project requires a team effort. Once the activities of the project and required human resource to do the project tasks are determined, the next step would be for the PM to develop a cohesive project team with specific skills. According to PMI, acquiring project team is the process of confirming human resource availability and obtaining the team to complete the project tasks. The cost, schedule, quality and customer satisfaction are directly influenced by the human resources competencies and it is less likely for the project to succeed if project team member does not have specific and required skills. PM may not have direct control over the human resource selection process, yet the role of the PM to negotiate the required skill with those who are in charge of acquiring human resource are critically important. In a Matrix organization, where the human resource to accomplish the project task are scarce, PM may face a big challenge to acquire project team in a timely manner. However, when the organizational structure is project-based, there is no labor union involved and no subcontractor needed to be acquired, the level of the control of the PM is maximum in acquiring process.

When does the acquiring process start?

In some scenarios, human resource acquiring process starts earlier, even before the execution phase of the project by Pre-Assignment. Pre-assignment occurs when a certain type of skill is required for planning or when the presence of a person with a certain skill is planned in Project Charter. Project human resource acquiring process starts when the role and responsibility of the positions, skills, and competencies which project demands, the organizational chart and the number of the people of the project, or in another word, when the Project Management plan is developed.

How to acquire project team?

  • Review Project Human Resource Management Plan (PHRMP)

PHRMP give the PM guideline as to how the human resource should be identified, managed and be released and it is a reliable source of information for PM.

  • Consider the human resource selection criteria

There are certain criteria scoring the project team that PM should consider in the selection process. The level of experience, knowledge and ability, job skills, time zone as well as soft skills of the project team such as communication skills, attitude and the level of interest are examples of criteria which the PM need to investigate and measure when taking a decision.

  • Perform Pre-Assignment

It means the selection of certain team member before the start of the project. In some situation, where implementation of the project is highly influenced by a skill of certain human resource who can develop a technically-more-competitive proposal, some project team members might be recruited in advance.

  • Negotiate with Functional Manager/resource owner

Particularly in Matrix organization when the human resource is shared between several projects, the PM must negotiate the requested human resource with the Functional Manager or generally the resource owner to prevent raising conflict.

  • Acquire alternative human resource

In some situation, the organization is not able to facilitate the PM with the required human resource.  This might be because of the scarcity of the human resource in the desired time or the lack of existence of a human resource with certain skill and expertise in the organization. To cope with, PM might deploy resources from other internal and external organization.

  • Acquire virtual team

The availability of electronic communication such as E-mail, video & audio conferencing, web-based meeting has enabled us to form a group of people as a project team who live in different geographic areas and have a minimum obligation to meet face-to-face. Different people with different culture and expertise work together as a team to achieve project objective while reducing the travel expense and including those people with mobility limitation and disabilities.

  • Create resource calendar

The project may include various team members with different working hours, time zone and planned holidays and involvement in other projects and activity. Development of a resource calendar which clearly explain the availability of the resources, help project team to plan their activity and task in advance and use their time efficiently.

  • Update Project Human Resource Management plan.

Acquiring Human resource is a continuous process in the project. People in the project might leave the organization and new human resources might be recruited in the organization. It is recommended that all changes be documented in the Human Resource Plan as well as Project Management Plan.

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