In this instalment of What’s New In the PMBOK Guide®-- Sixth Edition, we’ve made it to the sixth and final process in Project Resource Management (see here for Plan Resource Management, Estimate Activity Resources, Acquire Resources, Develop Team and Manage Team).
This is a brand new process. The old section on Resource Management focused purely on managing human resources, so this new process is a response to the fact that the Knowledge Area is now far broader and includes other types of resources.
Control Resources Process
This is the sixth process in the Knowledge Area. We’re in the Monitoring and Controlling process group.
This process is all about ensuring that resources are assigned to the project effectively and that they are used appropriately. That includes looking at actual utilisation of resources against what was planned and taking action as necessary to course correct should that be required.
This is a new process, so all the inputs are new! And yet not new. They are things we have seen time and time again across all the other processes. Here we go:
Project management plan: This will include the resource management plan, which is your baseline statement of what resources will be required.
Project documents: this could include the issue log, lessons learned register, schedule, resource assignments (however you record them, in your software, for example), resource breakdown structure and resource requirements and risk register. All of these help you understand the reality of what is going on so you can take appropriate action.
Work performance data: for checking what has gone on. This could include timesheets, for example.
Agreements: this vague term means things like agreements for resources made with line managers of the people involved, agreements around overtime worked or extra hours needed.
Organisational process assets: these turn up all over the place. In this process, the OPAs could be policies around resource assignments and task allocation, the process for escalating issues when work doesn’t go as planned and lessons learned.
Tools and Techniques
As this is a new process, there is nothing to compare to.
Data analysis is in there as a technique. This broad term includes different ways of reviewing what the resource information and working out what might be needed. For example, performance reviews and cost benefit analysis.
Problem solving is another tool. This isn’t rocket science. If resourcing on your project isn’t going well you need to solve the problem.
You might need to do some negotiating and influencing to secure resources or work with your colleagues to resolve resource issues. Interpersonal and team skills are core to being able to monitor and resolve problems.
Finally, your project management information system is a tool to help. If you use your project management tools for timesheets or resource allocation, then you can see how this would be useful. You might be able to get resource allocation reports out of your software. Reports like utilisation, over/under resourcing could be very useful.
Again, nothing to compare to as this is a new process. But it all makes sense. I’m not actually sure why this process is new. It feels like it should have been around for a long time.
There are four outputs:
- Work performance information: information on how work is going so you can look back on what was planned.
- Change requests: like many processes, once you’ve done it you might end up with a change request. That could be for a task to be allocated to another resource, to change the timescale of a task due to resource constraints or something similar.
- Your project management plan: because you might need to make changes to the resource management plan, and baselines for cost and schedule.
- Project document updates: this catch-all covers basically everything else. Whatever you need to update as a result of your monitoring and controlling activity, you can. For some clues around where to look, common documents that might need updating include the resource breakdown structure, resource assignments, risk and issue log and your assumptions log so you can track any new assumptions that you have had to make as a result of tweaking the work.
And that is the end of the Project Resource Management Knowledge Area!
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