DQ answers


1.     What is the purpose of a staffing management plan? What factors must be considered when creating one?
2.     How should a staffing management plan be used in conjunction with a WBS and a project organization chart? How may staffing assignments based on a project organization chart affect team dynamics?
DQ 3.
One of the biggest challenges a Project Leader has (besides scope management, cost management, quality management, etc) is in the area of Human Resources Management.  This is a section that I feel really helps do distinguish between Project Leadership and Project Management.  In many cases both approaches could be done and get the same results, but the paths to get there can be very different.  While a Project Manager is dependent in many ways on influencing and getting work done through others, a Project Leader relies on that approach to drive the entire project.  This can be a challenge based on the Project Leader or Manager’s personality type.
In his book “Results without Authority”, Tom Kendrick outlined 5 key areas of successful project Leadership (p. 29) (italics are my comments):
Control through Influence:
·       Appropriate Leadership Styles (what is the default style of the Leader)
·       Operating Styles (what works best for the given team – versatility)l
·       Communication (ttypes and to whom)
·       Motivation (what is motivating the employees to work on the project)
·       A Process for Influencing (getting things done through others)
For those who have not read it I highly recommend this book!  In this chapter it points out the items above as ways that the Project Leader can exert influence to get work done.  Based on your own experiences, and it may not be project related, what types of  the skills above have you seen used effectively to get work completed?  Have you seen good projects fail because of poor leadership or lack of respect?
Kendrick, Tom.  Results without Authority, (AMA, 2006)
In the Project Management/Leadership environment there are many documents or templates a Project Leader may use to help guide the project to a successful project conclusion.  If you work under the auspices of a PMO, there are likely some templates or documents that are required and others that are recommended or left to the discretion of the Project Manager.  Even if you don’t work in a structured PMO there are likely some best practices your company may have to help guide you to know what artifacts you should produce.
A project org chart is something that in my experience seems to fall into the ‘nice but not necessary’ category at times, especially when you have a Sponsor or key stakeholders that prefer the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ approach to management.   Please take a look at the following video:

In reviewing the video I think it does a good job of not just showing you what a Project Org Chart is but also what impacts it has in other aspects of the project.  What are some benefits you see in having a Project Org chart besides holding people accountable or who the ultimate decision makers are?
DQ 5 & 6
Project managers seldom have organizational authority to directly control the cross-functional team members they lead; instead, they rely on their attitude and expertise to guide team members. What methods may a project manager use to communicate member roles and responsibilities? How will a project manager know if these methods are effective?
DQ 7&8
As many project managers work in a matrixed environment, where the resources do not report directly to them, it can be a challenge to get work accomplished.  This weeks discussion is called Human Resource Management since so much of a project is not just building a Project Org chart (although that is an important part) it is also focused around Leadership – getting things done successfully through others.  This is also reflected in the Project Managment Body of Knowledge with a knowledge area around Human Resources.
I feel the attached slide presentation does a really good job of outlining how Human Resource Management ties into project work.  I would encourage you to take a look at it.  In it, specifically on slides 12 to 14, it talks of Motivation theories.   
When it comes to motivating and coaching employees – how much does the Project Leader do before engaging the Resource Manager?  Who ultimately owns the performance of a project resource?
Retrieved from HumanResourcesManagementSlides.ppt (1,297k)
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