Managing Projects in Human Resources, Training and Development

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    Vivien Martin

  • Vivien Martin



    London and Philadelphia

  • Publishers noteEvery possible effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in thisbook is accurate at the time of going to press, and the publishers and authors cannotaccept responsibility for any errors or omissions, however caused. No responsibilityfor loss or damage occasioned to any person acting, or refraining from action, as aresult of the material in this publication can be accepted by the editor, the publisheror any of the authors.

    First published in Great Britain and the United States in 2006 by Kogan Page Limited

    Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticismor review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, thispublication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by anymeans, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case ofreprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms and licences issued by theCLA. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to thepublishers at the undermentioned addresses:

    525 South 4th Street, 241Philadelphia PA 19147USA

    Vivien Martin, 2006

    The right of Vivien Martin to be identified as the author of this work has been assertedby her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

    ISBN 0 7494 4479 7

    British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

    A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Martin, Vivien, 1947-Managing projects in human resources, training and development /


    p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-7494-4479-7

    1. Project management. 2. Personnel management. I. Title.HD69.P75.M365 2006658.312404dc222005020322

    Typeset by Digital Publishing SolutionsPrinted and bound in the United States by Thomson-Shore, Inc

    120 Pentonville RoadLondon N1 9JNUnited

  • Contents

    Introduction 1

    1. What is a project? 7Projects and change 7Features of a project 8Aims 10Setting clear objectives 11Key dimensions of a project 12People in projects 14Projects in HR, training and development 15Outcomes and multiple outcomes 16Achieving outcomes 17

    2. Scoping the project 19Why scope a project? 20The life of a project 21

    3. Questions, evidence and decisions 29Does this project meet a need? 29

    Figures and tables viiAcknowledgements viii

  • Does it help to achieve organizational goals? 32Have we considered all the options? 32Option appraisal 34Cost-effectiveness 35Opportunities and threats 35Is this project feasible? 36Should we do a pilot study? 39Is the benefit worth the cost? 41

    4. Defining the project 45Working with the sponsor 45Will the project be supported? 47Stakeholder mapping 49Working with your stakeholders 52Creating the project brief 54Structure of the project brief 56

    5. Managing risk 59Risk and contingency planning 59Preparing to manage risks 61Risk assessment and impact analysis 63Strategies for dealing with risk 64A contingency plan 65A framework for managing risk 66Influencing stakeholders 67

    6. Outline planning 71Where do you start? 72Developing a project plan 74Using a logic diagram 75Identifying deliverables 79

    7. Estimating time and costs 85Estimating time 85Work breakdown structure 86Staff costs 90Avoiding abusive practices 91Equipment costs 93Materials costs 94Estimating revenues and intangible benefits 95Who should estimate? 95Planning for quality 96

    iv Contents

  • 8. Scheduling 97Timing and sequence 97Drawing up a Gantt chart 98Using computer programs to plan and schedule 99Identifying the critical path 100

    9. Implementing the project 107Drawing up the implementation plan 107Team structure 108Planning team responsibilities 110Making it happen 111Resourcing 112Managing project activities during implementation 112Keeping an overview 114

    10. Monitoring and control 117Monitoring 118Milestones 121Maintaining balance 122Controlling change 124

    11. Communications 125Communications in a project 125Why is good communication needed? 127How can communication be provided? 128Managing the flow of information 129Providing information for those who need it 130Where is information needed? 135Access to information and confidentiality 136What might hinder communication? 137

    12. Leadership and teamworking 139The nature of leadership 139Leadership in a project 140Power in leadership of projects 141Style in leadership of projects 143Leadership roles in a project 144Motivation and teamworking 146Team development 147Managing yourself 150

    13. Managing people and performance 151Preparing for good performance 151

    Contents v

  • Managing performance of teams in a project 153Managing relationships and conflict 154Making requirements explicit 157Ensuring that the team have the necessary skills and experience 157Developing collaboration 159Dealing with poor performance 160

    14. Completing the project 163Handover and delivery 164Delivering with style 166Planning for a successful conclusion 166Closing the project 167Closure checklists 168Dismantling the team 169Project drift 170

    15. Evaluating the project 173Evaluation during a project 174Evaluation at the end of a project 175Designing a formal evaluation 176Planning an evaluation 177Analysing and reporting the results 181Follow-up to the report 182

    16. Reporting the project 183Writing a project report 183Characteristics of a good report 185Style, structure and format 186Reporting the project to gain an academic or professional award 188Making effective presentations 190Understanding your audience 191Who is in your audience? 192Purpose and content 193Delivery 195

    17. Learning from the project 199Organizational learning about management of projects 199Sharing learning from a project 202Individual development from a project 204Management development through leading a project 205

    vi Contents

    References 209Index 211

  • Figures and tables


    2.1 A project life cycle 216.1 Logic diagram for directory production 778.1 A Gantt chart to design a new assessment centre 998.2 Critical path for relocation of an office 103

    10.1 A simple project control loop 119


    5.1 Risk probability and impact 645.2 Format for a risk register 665.3 Stakeholder analysis, stage 1 675.4 Stakeholder analysis, stage 2 687.1 Work breakdown structure for implementation of a new

    appraisal system 898.1 Part of the work breakdown structure for relocation of

    1018.2 Time estimates for relocation of an office 102

    an office

  • Acknowledgements

    I would like to acknowledge the contribution made to this book bycolleagues in the Open University Business School who helped to shapemy ideas and writing in the field of project management. Some of thematerial in this book was published in a similar form but in a differentcontext as Managing Projects in Health and Social Care, published byRoutledge in 2002. Acknowledgement is also due to Eddie Fisher, StephenOliver and others who have contributed ideas from their experience.

  • Introduction

    This book will provide you with a practical approach to managing a projectin an HR, training or development setting. People are often expected to man-age projects as part of their day-to-day work but few receive special trainingto help them to take on this task. If you are one of these people, help is athand!

    This book will help you to manage your first project and will be a usefulhandbook for use in any future projects you find yourself invited to manage.It focuses on projects that might be carried out by staff at an operational levelbut will also be attractive to more senior people who are managing projectsfor the first time. Each chapter discusses an aspect of project managementand includes examples drawn from HR, training and development settings.Techniques are introduced and applied to examples, and there are pausesfor thought to encourage you to think ideas through. Further references areprovided for those who want to learn more about project management.

    Successful management of a project is quite a balancing act and can onlybe learnt through reflection on experience, supported by thoughtful consid-eration of the ideas, processes and techniques that have become recognizedas the expertise of project management. The opportunity to take responsibil-ity for a project offers personal and career development as well as theopportunity to contribute to achieving a worthwhile change.


    The chapters are arranged roughly in the order of things that you need toconsider when managing a project. Unfortunately, however, projects do notoften progress neatly through one logical stage after another. If you are man-aging a project for the first time you might find it useful to glance throughthe overview of chapters and note the issues that are raised so that you canplan how to make best use of the book to support your own learning needs.

    Projects come in many different shapes and sizes, and some of the tech-niques and processes described here will seem unnecessary for small projects.In some cases, the processes can be reduced or carried out more informallywhen a project is not too large or complicated, but beware of missing outessential basic thinking. The chapter on scoping a project, and that aboutdeveloping the evidence base, focus on making sure that the project has aclear and appropriate aim and enough support to achieve its purpose. Manyprojects founder because they are set up quickly to address issues that peoplefeel are very urgent, and the urge to take action means that the ideas are notfully considered. Rushing the initial thinking can result in failure to achieveobjectives and even more delay.

    Planning is not a one-off activity but more like a continuous cycle of plan,do, review and plan again. With a small team and in a setting wherepeople are comfortable with flexible working, the sharing and sequencing oftasks might be agreed quickly. If you are managing a project that does notneed some of the techniques that are offered in these chapters, then dont usethem there is no one right way to manage or lead a project. Each projectis different, and you need to develop the knowledge and flexibility to be ableto match your management approach to each individual project. It helps tohave a broad general knowledge about a variety of approaches so that youcan be selective and make an appropriate choice.

    You might like to think of the book as support for your personal approachwhen you take responsibility for a project. Consult the book to give you con-fidence that you have thought through the main issues. Use it to prepare forimportant meetings. Check the relevant chapters as you move through thestages of the project. Take the opportunities for learning and self-develop-ment offered by participation in a project, and keep the book on your shelffor the next time. Successful project managers are always in demand.

    Many people following courses leading to qualifications will have tocomplete a work-based project as part of their study. This is an oppor-tunity to make a contribution to your work area as well as to progress yourown development. This book is written to support the practical rolesof a person leading or managing a project in the workplace, but the

    2 Managing projects in human resources

  • models, techniques, processes and concepts introduced are those consideredin professional and management courses of study.


    Chapter 1 What is a project?

    Some of the features that are common to any project are identified and theirimportance discussed. There is an emphasis on clarifying the purpose of theproject and setting clear aims and objectives. The chapter concludes with aconsideration of the outcomes that are to be achieved.

    Chapter 2 Scoping the project

    This considers what is included in the project and where the boundaries lie.One of the most commonly used models of project management is introducedand used to help to clarify the choices to be made.

    Chapter 3 Questions, evidence and decisions

    It is often tempting to move straight into planning a project once an idea hasbeen enthusiastically received. This chapter encourages you to check, from anumber of different perspectives, whether there is any evidence that theproject is likely to succeed. The focus is on questioning whether the projectis worth doing and whether it will be able to achieve what it is intended todo. Option appraisal is discussed and the potential benefits of carrying out apilot study are considered.

    Chapter 4 Defining the project

    The focus here is on developing a detailed project brief that will be signed offby the person responsible for funding the project and supported by all thekey stakeholders in the project.

    Chapter 5 Managing risk

    This offers an approach to management of risk and contingency planning.Risk is inevitable in a project and it would be impossible to achieve anythingwithout exposing ourselves to some degree of risk. The chapter covers risk

    Introduction 3

  • assessment and impact analysis and suggests some strategies for dealingwith risk.

    Chapter 6 Outline planning

    Where do you start? Some straightforward approaches to developing aproject plan are explained to help you to identify exactly what the projectmust produce.

    Chapter 7 Estimating time and costs

    Once the outline plans have been developed, estimates will be needed for thecosts of the activities that contribute to the project and for the time that eachactivity will take. More information is needed to make these estimates, andthis chapter introduces a structured approach to planning the work of aproject so that these estimates can be made with some confidence.

    Chapter 8 Scheduling

    This covers the timing and sequence of activities in the project. The sequenceis very important when one task must be completed before another begins.The time that each task will take needs to be estimated before the lengthof the project can be confirmed, and this overall time will depend on theextent to which tasks and activities have to be delayed until others arecompleted. Some basic techniques are introduced that will help you to makethese calculations.

    Chapter 9 Implementing the project

    This is the exciting stage in a project when the plans begin to be enacted. Thefocus moves to managing action and ensuring that the project team or teamscan start work and understand what is needed. The project manager needsalso to consider how to secure personal support when it is needed and howto retain an overview whilst responding to the inevitable detail of the day-to-day tasks.

    Chapter 10 Monitoring and control

    It is essential to monitor if you are to be able to control progress on the project.The monitoring information can be reviewed against the plan to showwhether everything is proceeding according to the plan. If not, the project

    4 Managing projects in human res...


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