Importance of Human Resources in Software Projects
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by Arindam Ghosh
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Tools and Techniques for Acquiring Project Team

Pre- assignment

Sometimes, project team members are pre-assigned which means they are known in advance. This situation may occur if the project is the result of specific people being promised as part of a competitive proposal, if the project is dependent on the expertise of particular persons, or if some staff assignments are defined within the project charter.


Negotiations may happen on many projects. To ensure that the project receives appropriately competent staff in the required time frame and that project team members will be able to work on the project until their responsibilities are completed, the project management team needs to negotiate with functional managers. The project management team may also need to negotiate with other project management teams within the performing organization to appropriately assign scarce or specialized resources.

While negotiating staff assignments, the project management team’s ability to influence others plays an important role, as do the politics of the organizations involved. For example, a functional manager will weigh the benefits and visibility of completing projects when determining where to assign exceptional performers that all project teams' desire.


Sometimes required services can be acquired from outside sources if the performing organization lacks the in-house staff needed to complete the project. This can involve hiring individual consultants or subcontracting work to another organization.

Virtual Teams

While acquiring project team members, the use of virtual teams, which can be defined as groups of people with a shared goal, creates new possibilities. Virtual teams can also be defined as those who fulfill their roles with little or no time-spent meeting face to face. The availability of electronic communication, such as e-mail and video conferencing, has made such teams feasible. The virtual team format makes it possible too.

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User Comments

Title: Importance of Human Resources in Software Projects   
Name: Toti Bayudan
Date: 2007-05-01 10:54:56 PM
I found your article very interesting and helpful. I think it would help us more if you could point us to case studies where
human resources are clearly critical either to the success or failure of a software project. Thanks.

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