PMP Certification Study Notes 9 – Project Human Resource Management

PMP Human Resource Management

Introduction: This part of the notes on PMP® Exam is about Project Human Resources Management, one of the knowledge areas required for the PMP® exam. It is based on chapter 7 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition. The following is a summary or a checklist of what you should know for the Project Human Resources Management knowledge area. If you would like to learn the tips and tricks for the PMP® exam, do check out my PMP® exam and certification journey here.

  • 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.

Plan Human Resource Management

  • plan to organize and lead the project team
  • 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
  • The OBS displays organizational relationships and then uses them for assigning work to resources in a project (WBS)
  • networking is useful in understanding skills of individuals and the political and interpersonal factors within the organization
  • org chart indicated the reporting structure of the project

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 progresses 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 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 progresses 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 Manager Graphic Designer Copywriter Coder
Logo Design A R C
Web Copy C A R
Web Coding A  C R

Acquire Project Team

  • to acquire the final project team
  • pre-assignment is the selection of certain team members in advance
  • acquisition is to acquire resources from outside through hiring consultants or subcontracting
  • includes bringing on contractors / consultants
  • halo effect: a cognitive bias (if he is good at one thing, he will be good at everything)
  • Multi-criteria Decision Analysis: to select team members based on a no. of factors: availability, cost, experience, ability, knowledge, skills, attitude, etc.
  • training is usually paid for by the organization, not project

Develop Project Team

  • enhancing and improving overall team performance
  • offer feedback, support, engage team members, manage conflicts, facilitate cooperation
  • cross-train people
  • team performance assessments : assess team performance as a whole vs project performance appraisals: individual performance
  • training cost can be set within the project budget or supported by the organization
  • PM Authority: legitimate (assigned in project charter), reward, penalty, expert (need to be earned), referent (charisma and likable, or ally with people with higher power), representative (elected as representative)
  • Expert > Reward are best forms of power. Penalty is worst.
  • Tuckman Model: Forming – Stroming – Norming – Performing – Adjourning
  • cultural difference should be considered when determining award and recognition
  • recognition should focus on 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

Manage Project Team

  • track team member performance, provide feedback, resolve issues
  • when managed properly, differences of opinion can lead to increased creativity and better decision making
  • issue log is fed from Manage Stakeholder Engagement – used to understand who is responsible for resolving specific issues
  • conflict management: conflicts force a search for alternatives, need openness, not personal, focus on present and future
  • conflicts: schedule, project priority, resources, technical opinions, administrative overhead (too much administration work), cost, personality
  • 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
  • monitoring and controlling is typically performed by functional managers/HR for functional org



Most Popular PMP Certification Exam Articles

GreyCampus PMP online training course bundle for US$149 only

Support website running for FREE, thanks!

If you find this post helpful and if you are thinking of buying from Amazon, please support the running cost of this website at no extra cost to you by searching and buying through the search box below. Thank you very much for your help!

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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 Responses

  1. 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?

    • Edward Chung says:

      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!

  2. 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%

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

April 9, 2014