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Introduction to Mastering Project Human Resource Management

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Harjit Singh introduces his book, which highlights the importance of the people (human) aspect of project management and teaches you the techniques to excel in project human resource management.
This chapter is from the book


  • The P in PM is as much about ‘people management’ as it is about ‘project management.’”
  • —Cornelius Fichtner (Renowned Project Management Trainer)

People (also known as human resources) management, which encompasses acquisition, development, and control of the project team and the management of stakeholders and stakeholder communications, often does not get as much traction as other activities of managing projects. The purpose of this book is to highlight the importance of the people (human) aspect of project management and teach you the techniques to excel in project human resource management.

Poor project team management and other stakeholder issues coupled with inadequate and ineffective communication are key reasons why most projects fail or struggle. For example, the following can occur:

  • Even projects based on great ideas and business needs can fail due to poor sponsorship.
  • Not sharing project vision with stakeholders can make them wonder where the project is heading and it can erode their support.
  • Not sharing project information, decision-making in private rooms, and not entertaining stakeholder concerns can lead to a lack of support from the stakeholders.
  • Not being able to clarify roles and responsibilities, not assigning the right people to the right roles, not providing opportunities for career growth, not respecting or trusting each other, favoring some over others, and not being able to resolve conflict can make team morale crumble.
  • It is challenging to please every stakeholder. However, not knowing how to follow a balanced approach via negotiation can make some stakeholders unhappy.
  • Not understanding stakeholder needs and expectations clearly, completely, or correctly can lead to incorrect and/or incomplete requirements that can lead to detrimental scope creep during the life of the project.

It is the project manager’s responsibility to complete the project successfully, drawing upon the right human resources at the right time to do the right thing. In addition, the project manager is the direct link to the external and internal customers of the project.

A project manager typically spends over 90 percent of his time communicating. Thus, a project manager must possess strong communication skills to effectively communicate with the project team, senior management, and all the other stakeholders. It is absolutely imperative that project information is gathered in a timely manner and presented in a usable way by the project stakeholders. Proper, timely, and relevant communication to all stakeholders is critical for the project success. Effective communications management requires that the project manager develop a solid communication management plan that dictates what information is provided by whom, to whom, in what format, how, and how often.

Mastering Project Human Resource Management is written with the objective of arming project managers with powerful communication and stakeholder management tools, as well as techniques that enhance their ability to deliver successful projects. It offers practical real-world guidance, in-the-trenches insights, customizable templates, useful tips, and proven applications.

The 11 chapters of this book span various stages of the project life cycle. Extra care has been taken to present the information in a structured way so that it flows smoothly and is easy to understand regardless of your level of project management knowledge and experience. The heart of each chapter is the process flow diagram that graphically illustrates the flow of information.

Chapter 1 discusses the initiating stage and covers how to effectively identify stakeholders. It explains how to analyze and document information about stakeholders’ interests, influence, impact, and level of involvement in the project.

Chapters 2 through 4 walk you through the planning stage and cover how to plan for effective human resources (project team), stakeholders, and communication management.

Chapters 5 through 9 discuss the developing and managing (also known as executing) stage and how to build, develop, and manage project teams that are capable of powerfully effective communication and stakeholder engagement.

Finally, Chapters 10 and 11 discuss the controlling stage and how to monitor, control, and optimize the effectiveness of project communication and stakeholder engagement.

This book is useful for practicing project managers, new project managers, and those in the student community.

Experienced project managers can use this book as a good reference because it offers deep practical insight into the successful design, management, and control of complex modern projects. New or aspiring project managers can use this book to learn powerful tips, tools, and techniques to master human resources, communications, and stakeholder management.

This book is ideal to serve as a college- and university-level textbook for the students of project management. Loaded with numerous case studies and proven applications, this book enables students to learn by example. This is a proven technique for effective learning.

Finally, this book is beneficial to those studying for a Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®, or other project management credentials and certifications.

Good luck with your journey to effective project human resource management!

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