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Staffing Your Project Team

20 May

The process of staffing the project includes figuring out how many people should be assigned to the project, matching people’s skills with the needs of the project, motivating team members to work hard so you can meet your project’s objects, and minimizing conflict within in the team.  This process can be a difficult, long process for the project manager, but one that is important to any project and one that takes time getting to know others and experience to enhance this skill.   Staff acquisition is a key process

Some Tips To Help You Staff Your Project:

1)      How to Determine the Average Number of Staff Needed for the Project?  Divide the total person-months of effort by the optimal schedule.  Example: To complete a 50-person month project in 10 months, a team should have an average of five full-time staff members.

2)      Don’t Assign More Staff to the Project Thinking it Will Shorten the Project’s Length.  Adding staff resources does not translate into increased productivity, as the larger the staff gets, the more difficult it is to coordinate team members and manage the project

3)      Keep Team Sizes Between 8 to 10 People or Less.  If more people are needed, think about creating sub-teams, so you as the project manager can keep the lines of communication more effective within small teams

4)      Find People with Appropriate Skill Sets and Those Available.  The best fit for the project role maybe someone that is not available, working on other projects, or does not exist in the organization, so it’s best to find team members that are available and have the right skill set.  Hiring a consultant or mentoring someone can also be an option.

5)      Strong Negotiations Skills. Negotiation skills is highly utilized during the staff acquisition process of any project so is a strong skill set to have.

6)      Talk to Management for Project Team Member Referrals.  When I was new to project management and not sure who all I should include or who would be the best fit, I asked advice from my manager and director for input to provide me with a great starting point.

7)      Create a Staffing Plan. Make a list of the roles that are required for the project and the proposed reporting structure for the project.   Typically, a project will have one project manager who oversees the overall progress of the development effort and a core team composed of various types of analysts.  Creating a hierarchical design is helpful so everyone knows the line of communication and is a nice visual to provide team members.

 What tips or traits do you look for when staffing your project?

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