Characteristics of Resources and the Impact on Projects

Characteristics of Resources and the Impact on Projects

Loredana Arana (University of Phoenix, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch496
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Introduction

Have you ever started an easy project and thought it was a piece of cake, but realizing halfway through that your assigned resources has turned your project into a total disaster? You now have to switch to damage control mode and waste valuable time, instead of concentrating on the core objectives of your project. This is byproduct of not properly assessing your resources correctly. Projects in themselves are complicated to manage, so dealing with difficult people can add more stress and create barriers that can hinder the progress. I don’t think your resources plan on giving you a hard time, but like the old adage says; the path to a project nightmare is littered with good intentions. Project success is not only about balancing the triple constrains (cost, time and scope); it is also about controlling all the unknowns, including your resources. A team is only established when everyone pulls together and focuses on the project objectives. Your role as a project manager is key to insuring successful outcomes. A poor project manager fails to bring out the best in his team, but a good one can produce a winning combination, even with some individuals that may perhaps seem to lack ability to do so. Leadership is a critical and essential component for any project management team. To better understand the impact of project manager, it is helpful to consider the following definitions of project manager:

  • A project manager is usually a person who is responsible to run a project from the beginning to the end. It includes organization, implementation and control of their resources including people. (Techpedia, 2013).

  • Project managers need to be leaders which is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives (Yukl, 2002).

You need to lead which involves the ability to influence people to take actions toward completing a goal or project. Projects contain a number of components with the main three being scope, cost, and time. For the project team to effectively meet scope, cost, and time goals, one must appreciate the impact of positive leadership. It is up to the project manager to manage issues related to scope, cost, and time, as well as to lead the team to successful completion of these goals and the project as a whole. A project manager manages their project staff by developing a positive environment.

We are all very familiar with the term “lead by example.” Team members may already have negative characteristics, but if the leader displays negative traits, other team members will follow to parallel behavior as the leader. However, these types of project manager that don’t lead by example introduce a whole other issues and motivational scheme in which I am not addressing in this chapter. Any individual who forms part of a team will also make a decision to commit to the team’s goals; this is why they need to be sure they understand the goals. Teams normally are complicated, it is helpful for the members to ask questions, clarify any misunderstanding and get to know their project manager.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Triple Constraint: These are important elements (budget, scope and time) that need to be controlled efficiently for a triumphant completion of a project.

Performing: Team matures and are settling their expectations.

Theories: Set of guidelines developed to explain an observable fact.

Norming: Productivity phase, now team is concentrating on working toward project goals.

Methodology: Set of practices perfection by someone else to guide you to do certain things.

Storming: Phase where team is learning how to handle conflict.

Forming: Introduction phase of team members, everyone are getting to know each other.

Diversity: Considerable exceptionality of each individual, our difference from each others.

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