Importance of Human Resources in Software Projects
page 6 of 7
by Arindam Ghosh
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Manage Project Team: Tools and Techniques

Observation and conversation

Observation and conversation are used to stay in touch with the work and attitudes of project team members. The project management team monitors indicators such as progress towards deliverables, accomplishments that are a source of pride for team members, and interpersonal issues.

Project Performance Appraisals

The length and complexity of the project, organizational policy, labor contract requirements, and the amount and quality of regular communication determines the need for formal or informal project performance appraisals. Project team members receive feedback from the people who supervise their project work. Evaluation information also can be gathered from people who interact with project team members by using 360-degree feedback principles, which means that feedback regarding performance is provided to the person being evaluated from many sources, including superiors, peers, and subordinates. Objectives include defining roles and responsibilities, structuring time to ensure team members resolve unknown or unresolved issues, developing individual training plans, and the establishing specific goals for future time periods.

Conflict Management

Greater productivity and positive working relationships are the results of successful conflict management; where as scarce resources, scheduling priorities, and personal work styles are major sources of conflicts. Team ground rules, group norms, and solid project management practices, like communication planning and role definition, reduce the amount of conflict. If differences of opinion are managed properly then they can be healthy and can lead to increased creativity and better decision-making. When the differences become a negative factor, project team members are initially responsible for resolving their own conflicts. The project manager should help facilitate a satisfactory resolution incase conflict escalates. Conflict should be addressed early and usually in private, using a direct, collaborative approach. If disruptive conflict continues, increasingly formal procedures will need to be used, including the possible use of disciplinary actions.

Issue Log

A written log can document persons responsible for resolving specific issues as and when they arise in the course of managing a project team by a target date which helps the project team monitor issues until closure. Issue resolution addresses obstacles that can block the team from achieving its goals. These obstacles can include factors such as differences of opinion, situations to be investigated, and emerging or unanticipated responsibilities that need to be assigned to someone on the project team.

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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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