The project management discipline has nine major knowledge areas as per the PMBOK. These includes, project integration management, time management, scope management, cost management, quality management, human resources management, communication management, risk management and finally the procure management. Gaining insight into any one of the above mentioned nine project management areas will ensure the achievement of success in the organization (PM Concepts: Processes and Knowledge Areas, 2010).
Among all the nine project management areas, the selected project knowledge management area for the purpose of learning is Project Human Resources Management. The human resources management is one of the most important areas of a project and the successful management of such areas would ensure high growth. However, management of human resources is a difficult task and it becomes more complex in case of large projects that involve large number of employees. The management of human resources requires lots of techniques and strategies such as motivation; compensation etc. depending upon the circumstances. This requires the project manager to acquire sufficient knowledge about the management of human resources, so that the better employees can be recruited and trained for effectively conducting the project.
The management of human resources of the organization is quite an important task as the efficient management of human resources would enable the organization to achieve competitive advantage over others. A HR manager needs to address various issues in the work place concerning the employees and as such, he/she needs to have sufficient learning about the various dimension of the Human Resources management (Wagen, 2006).
As far as my case is concerned, I have also learned a lot and constantly engaged in acquiring more knowledge so that such learning can be applied for the overall competitiveness of the organization. There are lots of projects that need to be handled by me, and in the proper management of such projects, high level of knowledge concerning the project management human resources is essential. As I have been extensively involved in learning about the project HR management, important learning so far that I have gained includes the development of motivational skills in me. Big projects that have limited time period to complete require the motivation skills, so that the employees of the project can be motivated to generate the desired results. In addition to this, it is the HR manager who recruits the employees for the project. Thus selection and retention of quality candidates for the project has been the sole responsibility of the HR managers. All these responsibilities of a HR require proper planning in advance. With respect to this, I have been developing myself to plan properly about all the steps that are essential for performing the role of a HR manager. Some of these include, planning the number of staffs required to effectively perform a project, the necessary skills required on the part of the staff, planning regarding the costs to be incurred in performing all these HR responsibilities etc. In addition to this, a recent complexity as faced by the HR manager includes the Diversity management at work place (Burke & Cooper, 2005). Businesses are constantly expanding their operations across the globe and such circumstances leads to the employees from different background, cultures etc in the organization. As such, managing them has been the quite complex tasks for the HR manager and in case of big projects; such issues need to be handled effectively for better results. This has required me to acquire the skills that are essential for managing the diverse employees in the project. I have been learning the ways through which such issues can be solved for the overall goodness of the project. In addition to this, I have also been learning to effectively manage the employees in the project, so as to achieve the milestones of the project on time and that too in an efficient manner. For this to achieve, I have been learning the ways through which compensation of the employees can be fixed with respect to each and every tasks of the projects, so that the milestones of the project can be achieved effectively and the project can be completed on time. Apart from the planning and the motivational skills, the other important skills that I have concentrated upon is to gain the Just in Time training skills. A proper knowledge of this skill would enable me to allocate the responsibilities of the project in a more efficient manner. It has been found that the project managers are often faced with the problem of matching the complexities of the project with that of the skills of the team members. The Just in Time learning would have been the proper way of handling such issues (Just In Time Learning for Project Human Resources, 2009). As such, I have almost learned about such skills and continuously focused on acquiring more knowledge concerning such skills. All these learning are quite effective for me in gaining an in depth knowledge of all the responsibilities of a Project Human Resource Management.
Application of Learning in the Workplace
The learning that takes place in me concerning the project HR management has been applied by me in the workplace as well. I have been assigned with a big project on thermal plant at my workplace. As it has been a large project, the first important task was to recruit skilled and efficient staffs that can effectively perform on the project. By the application of learning on the project HR management, I have been able to recruit talented staff to work upon the project. Further, such a big project also requires proper planning in advance in performing all the tasks effectively. The planning skills as I have developed helped me a lot in planning the crucial tasks of the project, but there have been lots of problems being faced by me as well in such a process of the project. In achieving the milestones that was set in the planning process, it was found that the team members were not able to meet the milestones within the time period allotted. As such, I have applies certain HR techniques such as attaching compensation with the productivity of the staff. This has found to be quite effective and there has been improvement observed in the productivity of the team members. This step to attach compensation with the productivity has motivated the employees to perform better which has been evident from the fact that the important milestones of the project has been achieved on time. Further, with the help of Just in Time learning, it has been quite possible for me to some extent to allocate responsibilities to the staffs as per their capabilities. But this has not been completely achieved as there were some of the staffs in the team who could have performed better in higher job responsibilities. Thus all the perception as made about the staff has not been up to mark with some of them have assigned the responsibilities which are beyond their capabilities. Thus, the application of Just in Time learning has not been quite effective with respect to the achievement of the project goal. Overall, the learning has been quite effectively applied and there has been further scope to enhance the learning in future major projects to be performed at the work place.
Challenges in the Application of Skills at Workplace
The Project Human Resources management skills as learned has been quite effectively applied in the workplace, but there has been lots of complexities that has been faced while making application of such skills. The major challenges as faced is that the theoretical development of various project HR management skills such as motivational skills, planning skills, compensation management skills, etc differs greatly from that of the practical application of such skills in the workplace. What has been learned is quite effective, but there are various other things that have to be considered at the workplace depending upon the circumstances. As learned, the compensation management strategy is effective enough in motivating the staffs to perform effectively in the project, but it is not completely suitable as evident from the project. In addition to the compensation management, there are various other benefits that have been provided to the staff for better performance in the project. These include providing insurance facilities, realizing the team about the importance of their contribution in the project etc. Further, the assessment of skills and talent of the staff is not an easy task. It requires sufficient experience so that the allocation of responsibility can be done in an effective manner. Overall, there are lots of challenges that have been faced in the effective application of learning from the Project Human Resources Management.
Techniques used to resolve the Problem
There are certain techniques that have been used to effectively deal with the challenges as faced in the effective application of learning from the project HR management. In order to effectively manage the Just in Time skills, the senior HR executives of the organization has been consulted, so that his experience has been made use of while allocating the tasks of the project to the staff as per their expertise. Further, the staff of the project has also been interviewed in order to identify the major reason for the decline in their productivity. It was found that there were certain additions to be made in the compensation management techniques as used to motivate the staff of the project. This has led to the introduction of insurance benefits to the staffs, making them understand their contribution in the project etc. Overall, the techniques used in addition to what have leaned from the Project Human Resources management have been the major reason for the successful completion of the project.
There are various knowledge Project Management areas to learn about, but the area that I have chosen in order to strengthen my learning is the Project Human Resources management. The importance of Human Resource management have significantly increased because of the increased globalized activities on the part of the businesses. Further, the projects involves large number of teams that have to be handled carefully in order to attain the major milestones of the project and ultimately the goal of the project. The chosen project knowledge management areas has resulted into lots of learning in me which has also been applied to the work place where I use to work. The important learning developed as a result of such knowledge management areas includes the planning skills, motivation skills, Just in Time learning etc. The application of all such learning from the project knowledge management area has also been applied by me in a big project undertaken by me at the work place. Such application of learning was not an easy task for me as it involves lots of challenges such as the practical implication of the learnings from the knowledge areas differs significantly with that of the theoretical perspective. Further, there were certain other tasks to be performed in addition to what have learned while motivating the team mates in the project. There were certain other techniques and strategies that has been used in order to effectively face such challenges such as taking expert advice, interviewing with the employees to better understand their problems so that solutions can be made etc. Overall, the knowledge management areas as chosen has resulted into considerable learning and its application in the workplace has further enhanced my learning regarding the knowledge management area.