PMP Certification Study Notes 9 – Project Resource Management

PMP Human Resource Management

UPDATED for the new PMP Exam in 2023. Happy learning!

This Project Management Knowledge Area is known as  “Project Human Rescource Management” as described in the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition (It is updated in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition as “Project Resource Management” which reflects more closely what a Project Manager is required to manage — not only the human resource but also other physical resources).

Introduction: This part of the PMP exam study notes (already updated/will be updated for new PMP Exam in 2023) is based on Section 9 of new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition. The study notes have been rewritten to reflect the latest changes in the PMBOK® Guide for the new PMP Exam. More information on my PMP certification exam preparation can be found at my PMP exam and certification journey (with free PMP study resources and tips) here.

Please note that the study notes below is intended to include only the most important or esaily confused PMP concepts. It is by no means complete in the sense that one can rely on it to be fully prepared for the PMP Exam. Aspirants are advised to make use of this piece of study notes for revision purposes. Wish you PMP success!

Article Highlights

Project Resource Management

Formerly the “Project Human Resource Management”  Knowledge Area as in the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition the “Project Resource Management” (as updated in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition) reflects more closely what the Project Manager is required to manage — all the project resources in addition to human resource.

  • Important: Sexism, racism or other discrimination should never be tolerated, no matter what the circumstances. You must separate your team from discriminatory practices, even if those practices are normal in the country where you’re working <= This is required for the PMI and PMP Exam

Plan Resource Management (formerly Plan Human Resource Management)

  • Inputs: Project Charter, Project Management Plan, Project Documents, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Expert Judgement, Data Representation, Organization Theory, Meetings
  • Outputs: Resource Management Plan, Team Charter, Project Documents Update

  • The Resource Management Plan is to organize and lead the project team as well as other resources
    • include roles and responsibilities (identify resources that can take up the responsibilities) as documented (ownership of deliverables) in RAM in the form of RACI chart (matrix) or in a chart/text form, org charts – an organizational breakdown structure (OBS) and staffing management plan – staff acquisition, release, resource calendar, resource histogram, training, rewards, compliance & safety requirements
  • networking is useful in understanding skills of individuals and the political and interpersonal factors within the organization
  • Data Representation techniques:
    • Hierarchical-type charts
      • Work breakdown structures (WBS)
      • Organizational breakdown structure (OBS) — the OBS displays organizational relationships and then uses them for assigning work to resources in a project (WBS); the org chart also indicates the reporting structure of the project
      • Resource breakdown structure (RBS)
      • RACI chart
    • Assignment matrix
    • Text-oriented formats
  • The Team Charter is the document documenting team values, agreements and operating guidelines to create a favourable culture for the project team members.

What is a RACI chart / RACI matrix or RACI graph?

  • The four letters of RACI stands for:
    • Responsible – Which project member is responsible for carrying out the execution of the task?
    • Accountable – The Project member who is held accountable for the tasks and be given the authority to make decisions? In general, there should only be 1 member accountable for the project task.
    • Consulted – The stakeholders that should be consulted for the work or be included in the decision making (to be engaged in two-way communication).
    • Informed – Who should be informed of the decisions or progress of the work by means of email updates, progress reports, etc. (one-way communication)?
  • The RACI chart is a tool for tracking the tools for tracking the roles and responsibilities of project members for specific project tasks during project execution.
  • While there can be an unlimited number of members responsible for the execution of a project task, there should only be one member accountable for the same task. Fixing the accountability to a single person will allow the project team members to know which person to go to should they need to know the progress or details of the task. This can also avoid the false assumption that the other person (if there are more than one accountable) accountable for the task has taken care of the task but in the end, no one has looked after the task.
  • The member responsible and accountable can be the same for small tasks.
  • Below is an example of the RACI chart for a website project:
Project ManagerGraphic DesignerCopywriterCoder
Logo DesignARC
Web CopyCA R
Web CodingA CR

Estimate Activity Resources (former in Project Schedule Management knowledge area)

  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Expert Judgement, Bottom-up Estimating, Analogous Estimating, Parametric Estimating, Data Analysis, Project Management Information System, Meetings
  • Outputs: Resource Requirements, Basics of Estimates, Resource Breakdown Structure, Project Documents Update

  • as a planning process
  • closely related to Estimate Cost Process (in Project Cost Management knowledge area)
  • Data Analysis includes:
    • Various levels of resource capability or skills
    • Different sizes or types of machines
    • Different tools (manual versus automated)
    • Make-rent-or-buy decisions
  • resource calendar spells out the availability of resources (internal/external) during the project period
  • matches human resources to activities (as human resources will affect duration)
  • effort (man day, work week, etc.) vs duration vs time lapsed (total time needed, including holidays, time off)
  • “alternative analysis” includes make-or-buy decisions, different tools, different skills, etc.
  • Resource Requirements (formerly Activity Resource Requirements) details the types and amounts of resources required for each activity in a work package.
  • The basis of estimates include methods, assumptions, constraints, the range of estimates, confidence levels, risks, etc.

Acquire Resources (formerly Acquire Project Team)

  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Decision Making, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Pre-assignment, Virtual Teams
  • Outputs: Physical Resource Assignments, Project Team Assignments, Resource Calendars, Change Requests, Project Management Plan Updates, Project Documents Updates, EEF Updates, OPA Updates

  • to acquire team members/facilities/equipment/materials and other resources necessary to complete the project work
  • pre-assignment is the selection of certain team members/resources in advance
  • halo effect: a cognitive bias (if he is good at one thing, he will be good at everything)
  • Physical Resource Assignments
    • documents the physical resource assignments including material, equipment, supplies, locations, and other physical resources that will be used during the project
  • Project Team Assignments
    • documents team assignments including who the team members are and their roles and responsibilities
  • Resource Calendars
    • identifies the working days/shifts/holidays for each resource included in the assignment

Develop Team (formerly Develop Project Team)

  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Colocation, Virtual Teams, Communication Technology, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Recognition and Rewards, Training, Individual and Team Assessments, Meetings
  • Outputs: Team Performance Assessments, Change Requests, Project Management Plan Updates, Project Documents Updates, EEF Updates, OPA Updates

  • enhancing and improving overall team performance
  • offer feedback, support, engage team members, manage conflicts, facilitate cooperation
  • Colocation is considered the most effective and productive, should be arranged if allowed
  • training cost can be set within the project budget or supported by the organization
  • Communication Technology includes:
    • Shared portal
    • Video conferencing
    • Audio conferencing
    • Email/chat
  • Individual and Team Assessment includes:
    • Attitudinal surveys
    • Specific assessments
    • Structured interviews
    • Ability tests
    • Focus groups
  • PM Authority: legitimate (assigned in project charter), reward, penalty, expert (need to be earned), referent (charisma and likeable, with people with higher power), representative (elected as representative)
    • Expert > Reward are best forms of power. Penalty is worst.
  • Tuckman Model: Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing – Adjourning
  • the cultural difference should be considered when determining award and recognition
  • recognition should focus on the win-win reward for the team (NOT competitive-based)
  • team building is important throughout the whole project period
  • Motivational Theories
    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – personal needs (Physiological > Security > Social > Esteem > Self Actualization)
    • Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory – satisfaction (motivators) vs dissatisfaction (hygiene factors to avoid dissatisfaction but do not provide satisfaction, also called KITA factors e.g. incentives/punishments), hygiene factors include good working conditions, a satisfying personal life, and good relations with the boss and coworkers
    • Expectancy TheoryExpectancy (extra work will be rewarded) Instrumentality (good results will be rewarded) Valence (the individual’s expected reward), for a person to be motivated, efforts/performance/outcome must be matched – will only work hard for achievable goals
    • Achievement Theory – three motivation needs: achievement (nAch), power (nPow), affiliation (nAff), best is a balanced style for the PM
    • Contingency Theory – task-oriented/relationship-oriented with stress level (high stress -> task-oriented better)
  • Leadership Theory
    • including analytical (with expertise), autocratic (with power), bureaucratic, charismatic, consultative, driver (micromanagement), influencing, laissez-faire (stay out)
    • Theory X – assumes employees are lazy and avoid work, need incentive/threats/close supervising
    • Theory Y – assumes employees may be ambitious and self-motivated, will perform given the right conditions
    • Theory Z – (Japanese) increasing loyalty by providing job for life with focus on well-being of employee (on and off job), produces high productivity and morale
    • Situational Continuum Leadership – directing/telling > coaching/selling (manager define the work) > supporting/participating (subordinate define the work) > delegating according to maturity/capability of the subordinate
  • Team Performance Assessments: assess team performance as a whole vs project performance appraisals: individual performance

Manage Team (formerly Manage Project Team)

  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, Work Performance Data, Team Performance Assessments, EEF, OPA
  • Tools & Techniques: Interpersonal and Team Skills, Project Management Information System
  • Outputs: Change Requests, Project Management Plan Updates, Project Documents Updates, EEF Updates

  • in the executing process group
  • track team member performance, provide feedback, resolve issues and manage team changes
  • when managed properly, differences of opinion can lead to increased creativity and better decision making
  • Project Documents Input
    • issue log is fed from Manage Stakeholder Engagement – used to understand who is responsible for resolving specific issues
    • Lessons learned register
    • Project team assignments
    • Team charter
  • conflicts: schedule, project priority, resources, technical opinions, administrative overhead (too much administration work), cost, personality
  • Interpersonal and Team Skills
    • conflict management: conflicts force a search for alternatives, need openness, not personal, focus on present and future
    • conflict resolution
      • collaborate/problem solve[confrontation of problem] (best)
      • compromise/reconcile (give-and-take, temporary/partially resolve)
      • force/direct (worst/short-lived)
      • smooth/accommodate (emphasis common grounds and avoid/touch lightly the disagreements for harmony/relationship)
      • withdraw/avoid (other leads to lose-lose)
    • compromise is lose-lose
    • Forcing would only provide a temporary solution
    • Award decisions are made during the process of project performance appraisals
    • Decision making
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Influencing
    • Leadership
  • monitoring and controlling of the performance of the staff assigned is typically performed by functional managers/HR for functional org

Control Resources (New in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition)

  • Inputs: Project Management Plan, Project Documents, Work Performance Reports, Agreements, EEF
  • Tools & Techniques: Data Analysis, Problem Solving, Interpersonal and Team Skills, Project Management Information System
  • Outputs: Work Performance Information, Change Requests, Project Management Plan Updates, Project Documents Updates

  • in the monitoring and controlling process group
  • ensure that the physical resources assigned to the project are available as planned
  • monitor the planned versus actual utilization of resources and take corrective action with changes requests (if needed)
  • Data Analysis
    • Alternatives analysis
    • Cost-benefit analysis
    • Performance reviews
    • Trend analysis
  • Problem-solving steps:
    1. Identify the problem
    2. Define the problem
    3. Investigate
    4. Analyze
    5. Solve
    6. Check the solution


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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12 Responses

  1. Ricky says:

    I found the control resources input “Work Performance Report” should be incorrect. The correct one should be “Work Performance Data”.

  2. Brandon says:

    First off thank you for sharing. This has been a huge part of my study which hopefully was enough. I’ll see tomorrow morning. I would say remove RBS from resource breakdown structure. RBS is risk breakdown structure lol

  3. VE says:

    Thank you for your great summaries. Please check the accuracy, seems there are quite a few errors after the PMBoK 6 updates. E.g. Plan Human Resource Management (formerly Plan Human Resource Management). Noticed it on other summaries, as well.

  4. MB says:

    Hey Edward,
    I have gone through your list of important concepts for each of the knowledge areas. Funny though, I always thought PMBOK is the guide for the examination and I find lot of concepts you have shared that are not there in PMBOK. Say (Maslow or Herzberg’s theories and all other theories) , also for example quantitative aspect of Standard deviation (3,4,5,6 sigma etc) . I always thought PMBOK is my bible for the PMP certification exam. Can you please mention if there are questions based on similar topics as above mentioned (which definitely is outside the PMBOK) in the actual exam?

    • Hi MB,

      Thanks for your comment. The PMBOK Guide will give you roughly 90% of the materials required for the PMP Exam while the rest will appear in the list of recommended readings for the PMP Exam. I wrote down my notes after going through various PMP Exam Prep reference books in the past. There were indeed a few questions that were outside the PMBOK Guide in my PMP Exam.

      Wish you PMP success!

  5. Barry says:


    Great Resource, I have read through Rita Mulchahy book numerous times, but found your short summaries great. Do you think they are enough (not on their own) but using as quick revision to pass the exam? I attempted one of the sample exams and got 72%

  6. Jagadeesh Bandaru says:

    I’ve cleared my PMP in early 2014. But came to know about your blog. This is to the point and covers all of PMBOK5. Great efforts and outstanding work. Ill refer this blog to upcoming PMP takers. This will be very handy for all PMP exam takers.

  7. RIDWAM says:

    i have not taken my exam, its scheduled for 23Dec but i must thank you for the effort it has helped me immensely.