People are the most important resource to a project’s success. The right people have to be in the right place for a project’s success. Human resources are part of the overall project plan. Each task should be matched up to a person, in the most appropriate capacity. It helps to have the team members identified at the beginning of the project and assign tasks to them.
Depending on the size of the project, team leads and business leads should be identified first. Following that, human resource type should be identified i.e. a PM should be able to identify that he is going to need an ‘Operations Engineer’ for task A. In this case, he may not know the exact person (aka John), but he knows he wants someone with those skills. As the project progresses, specific resources can be identified based on cost and availability.
A “Responsibility Assignment Matrix” should be used as part of the human resource plan. It is also known as a RACI Chart, it lists activities in rows and corresponding human resource in columns.
RACI stands for: Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform. In most cases, one person has one role assigned to him/her, but occasionally there may be multiple tasks assigned to one person.
- Responsible: person directly working on the task
- Accountable: person who is answerable to completion of the task
- Consult: business or technical experts
- Inform: high level stakeholders, sponsors, those who aren’t directly working on the tasks
A RACI Chart can be used in traditional/waterfall project management, as well as agile project management.
See below a sample RACI Chart