One of the critical challenges that face organizations, whether in the private or public sector, is to develop their staffing plan for managing the delivery of their capital projects. Unlike those organizations whose business is driven by standard operations, projects by nature are unique and temporary. Therefore, the project staffing might be in the majority based on a new hire and for limited periods.
Those organizations might adopt one of two strategies in providing the project management staff. The first is to recruit their project management staff or outsource the project management staffing to a qualified third entity. The latter seems to be a growing trend among organizations in the public sector where they want to transfer the risk of having the skilled staff to the third party entity, which is usually a global project management consultant that has better access to those resources.
The staffing plan is usually driven by the organization’s capital projects, which align with its 5-year strategy plan, for which all strategic initiatives will be identified as programs. Each program will include the tasks that need to be executed to realize the benefits and achieve each program’s strategic goals. This will enable the organization to identify the staff required to manage the project life cycle stages from initiation to handover and closeout, covering initial planning phases, tender for design, design, tender for construction, construction and testing, and commissioning stages. Also, this could be a requirement for public sector entities where they are restricted from employing non-national staff or might have restrictions on new employment overall.
Using Project Management information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb, the organization can have a comprehensive staffing plan that can be monitored, evaluated, and reported. First PMWeb modules for Program and Project will capture the details of all strategic initiatives and needed projects. The PMWeb resource module will also be used to capture all staff details that will be involved in delivering the identified portfolio of projects. Those could include project director, project manager, contract manager, cost manager, planning manager, quality manager, safety manager, project engineers, among many others. As the names of those resources will not be known at this early stage, the resources will be identified by their roles.
For each project, the duration of the project and the duration of each project life cycle stage need to be identified. PMWeb Scheduling module will create the project schedule, which will mainly include the project life cycle stages as activities. Those will be the activities of Initiation, Initial Planning, Tender for Design, Design, Tender for Construction, Construction, Testing and Commissioning and Handover, and Closeout.
It is highly recommended to have the organization chart for each project life cycle stage identified as this will ensure that the right team members for each step are considered. This also helps in formalizing the authority levels for that stage. Using PMWeb Organization Chart module, the organization chart for the project life cycle stage will be created, and the associated resource for each position will be dragged and dropped in its intended location in the organization chart.
The next step is to use the PMWeb Resources Requirement module to identify the resources needed for each project life cycle stage. The resource requirement form allows selecting and linking the project life cycle stage activity associated with the stage to be staffed. Similar to other PMWeb modules, the resources assigned for each step will be dragged and dropped from the resource module. For each resource, the start and finish date of the resource deployment in case the resource is needed at a particular time interval of the project life cycle stage will be selected as well as whether the resource is required as full-time or part-time and level of involvement.
Using PMWeb’s business intelligence report writer, a report will be created to consolidate the staffing requirement for all projects that are part of the programs or strategic initiatives.
After approving the staffing plan and acquiring the program’s resources, the PMWeb Time Sheet module can be used to capture the substantial resources spent on each project. The resources will be linked to the project life cycle stage activity to enable the organization the monitor, evaluate and report on the approved staffing plan.