Human Resource Plan- Charts & Positions

June 4, 2010

Documenting staff positions for the project is an important document. This needs to be very precise as there is a substantial amount of risk involved. Right kind of human resources being deployed can impact the outcome of a project substantially. This can be done in various forms such as charts and positions description. Hierarchical chart is another form of documenting these details. Matrix based charts and text based formats are other formats of documents that are used often. Some positions may well be described in other parts of a project plan. project management leaders, risk owners, communications process owners and quality personnel will usually be described in project management plan, risk register, communication plan and quality plans respectively.
Charts & Positions
Whatever be the format of recording the staff positions and the roles & responsibilities the main purpose of the documentation effort is to ensure that every work package as a assigned person who is responsible and the team members are clearly aware of their own roles & responsibilities.
Hierarchical charts: The typical organization chart type of charts can depict organizational positions and relationships quite well. Couple of variations on this theme is used to depict and very clearly illustrate the distribution of work packages and resources deployment. Each of the existing departments and groups are used along with the work packages to be handled by the element in an organization breakdown structure or OBS. The project activities and work packages that are responsibilities of these departments, groups or teams are listed under them. An existing operational department such as the procurement team can easily see the complete details of their project responsibilities at a glance.
A resource breakdown structure or a RBS provides additions way of looking at the resources requirements. This view includes not only the human resources but other resources as well. The chart is drawn by a resource type and shows up the areas in project where these resources are or need to be deployed. The RBS can help tracking project costs and can be easily aligned with an organizations accounting system and procedures.
Matrix Based Chart: These charts are created in a matrix format. It lists the major project activities down one side and lists persons responsible on top horizontally. The grid thus created then is used to mark responsibility of the human resources marked on top. This is known as the responsibility assignment matrix or the RAM. Responsibilities are categorized in four types known as RACI or the responsible, accountable, consult and inform. The figure 9-5 is a god illustration of a RAM chart. The project manager is free to create other categories if that is appropriate to his project. This matrix is very useful if there are parties involved who may not be members inside the organization but from external agencies as well. The matrix makes the responsibilities involved very clear to everybody.
Text Oriented Formats: these are straight descriptions of responsibilities, authority, competencies and qualifications etc. Organizations may have forms/formats that have been developed over time in line with the experiences of the organization. These forms/documents are known as position descriptions or role-responsibility-authority forms.

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