Human Factor in Project Management

Some of the critical factors in the success of any implementation project are hardly affected by technology but the personnel at work. It is imperative to have the right staff and explicit strategies at hand in decision-making and project management. To achieve success, clear definition of roles, determining how decisions are reached, and ultimately having a clear comprehension of how the outcomes are critical for consideration. In essence, this presentation seeks to elaborate the role of human factors in project management success. Human factors play a huge role right from the start including the pre-planning stage through implementation to production status (Lacey 15). Aspects of human factors relate to the interpersonal skills of the workforce involved, the abilities to coordinate activities for a common goal in the midst of competition, conflicts, and status. From a personal perspective, the team-centered approach is critical to success from the start.

Primary factors, which determine the involved person centers around politics in the institution. The challenge to success involves navigating these murky waters deciding when to bring on board all parties and keep track of time and budgetary limits. Breaking through fixed ideas is a critical success factor in the implementation of any project. Among the fixed ideas in managing projects is the concept that success chiefly depends on finding the perfect technology solution to the problem. Additionally, another fixed idea is the notion that adherence to procedures is crucial because it is the normal way. Numerous opportunities in system implementation are lost because of the failure to evaluate the current processes and check for better working methods.

If success is measured on the parameters such as working within the budgetary limits and on time, then human factors management chiefly underpins the success of any project implementation. Project leadership bears a lot of pressure especially due to the management of the human factor. In an article on the criteria of successful project management, Rhonda Brandt identifies several talents sets that are essential to project leadership to ensure success. They include among other things: decision-making based on analytical and systematic thinking, organization abilities in cases of conflicts, motivation, effective communication, idea generation, and innovation. Also on the list is the ability to consider the ideas of others and combine dissimilar thoughts.

A successful project manager identifies key individuals with the right talents required to carry on the project through various phases and milestones. The individuals execute their responsibilities within the set timeframes mostly because they understand their roles. Basing allocation of roles in project implementation should be based on individual talents rather than on position. However, this is tricky because the worst threat to the success of any project is the institutional politics that may result in an involvement of inappropriate people hampering success (Reece and Rhonda 11). If politics appears to threaten the project, creativity is highly advised such that you bring on board assorted personnel to meet political requirements. A good communications plan is needed to ensure that communication with the larger community is ideally in the best way. The primary goal is to encourage a sense of ownership by everyone in the institution. In conclusion, the above factors underpin the significance of having in place a fortified project team with the right skills set.

Reece, Barry L, and Rhonda Brandt. Effective Human Relations in Organizations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990. Print.

Lacey, David. Managing the Human Factor in Information Security: How to Win Over Staff and Influence Business Managers. Chichester, England: Wiley, 2009. Print

8 thoughts on “Human Factor in Project Management

  1. Good Post. As you stated, human factors do play a character in any tasks from the initial phase to execution, and I strongly believe some of the human qualities like honesty, leadership and creativity are also to be brought into consideration wherein those qualities makes them the most respectable or dignified project managers.

  2. very interesting post, it is indeed interesting when you think about it to find that almost everything in project management is somehow developed nowadays and improved by technology except for the human factor which remains somehow immune to technological intervention. No doubt that great people’s skills will be key for any project manager to succeed.

  3. I certainly agree to this post up to 85% the personal commitment and dedication are key points to the success of any project however, resources, and technology play a definite role in the speed of execution and efficiency. However truly the leadership and the invincible quality of Human accomplishment play the lead role.

  4. The post is relevant in describing and creating awareness on the essence of having qualified personnel working on a project. It reminded me of the process of recruitment and how one should choose his or her employees. However, I did not understand how a manager will manage to identify the right individuals, when he or she does not know the behavior of the potential employee. Finally, I agree with the fact that managing employees and employing competent people is essential in IT.

  5. I really liked reading as we all know human factors are the most important to begin in any project. first you need people that have the right skill or talent for the right job because there is big chance you will a lot of time and money if the person is not right for the job in hand. Second managers should know how to distribute the work among the employees to not create chaos.

  6. Great post! It is no secret that human capital is a key factor in the success of a project, communication, feedback and leadership are all being inputted by the human involvement in a specific team and without the above-mentioned factors and the factors mentioned in the article it’s really hard to see how a project can be executed.

  7. I have just been assigned a project at work where I need to execute communication of strategy on product changes in third quarter to 200 Sales people. One of the hardest things I have find is dealing with the human challenges. I have found that having clear scope, instructions, timeline are key. I have learned to write all of this out with time and who specifically is working on each item. Writing it all out and sending reminders keeps us all on tracking when we have tons of activities going on each day. I typically now have multiple line of business executives sign off on all of this activity as well as how we will track weekly and determine success. The hardest part with human factors is my fast pace industry is that executives may change their mind 60 days later and we need to move in a different direction.

  8. There is growing evidence that soft or people skills rank up there with technical skills as critical factors for project management success. However, project management methods, tuition and publications largely ignore the soft skills component of successful project management, particularly absent from Prince2 publications and public programmes, hence the title of my next book “Princess – A Soft Skills Companion for Prince2” that explores the human factor that every project manager should master.

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