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Mae Angeline

Creating a Staffing Management Plan in Project Management

Get the right people lined up for your project team. Create a staffing management plan, and set your project up for success.

You know the scope of the work that needs to be done. The only question is, who is going to do it?

Maybe you'll need to make some reassignments in your current team. Or perhaps you'll need to hire someone new? Does everyone have the right skills to move the project forward, or will you need a training plan to address skills gaps?

If these questions sound bewildering, have no fear. You can answer them by creating a staffing management plan - and set your project up for success with an all-star team.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what a staffing management plan is, how it can revolutionize your resource management, and how to create an effective one. It's the best way to make sure your projects always have access to the exact resources they need, exactly when they need them.

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What is a staffing management plan in project management?

A staffing management plan outlines the human resource needs of the project and how those needs will be met, through strategic recruitment, training, or re-allocation of talent. It is a key part of human resource management for companies that engage in a lot of project-based work.

When project managers construct an effective staffing plan, it also shows how each team member's role contributes to the company's business model for growth through project successes.

Benefits of creating a staffing management plan

A successful staffing management plan contributes to overall project success. Here are some of the benefits:

Improves staff retention

When you assign the right employees at the right time for the right role, they will be more involved. Keeping employees motivated and engaged develops positive team dynamics and improves employee retention long term. These are crucial factors in maximizing efficiency and productivity.

A staffing management plan can also play a role in implementing additional compensation, rewards, and recognitions to deserving employees and strategizing the proper timing to train, upskill, or reassign untapped individuals.

➡️ Related: What We Like About The Ready's Staffing Model

Maximize utilization and capacity

In a project team, the ideal scenario is that no one is sitting idle, nor working overtime every day. It is easier to achieve this optimal utilization if you create a staffing management plan.

Having a staffing management plan is also an opportunity for project managers to tap into the potential of employees with specific required skills. Aligning the staffing management plan with resource calendars means schedules can be fully utilized, resulting in more profitable output for the organization.

Improve the company's payroll

The hiring process can be expensive, from recruitment to onboarding to training needs. By establishing a staff management plan, a project manager can save time, effort, and staffing costs by making strategic decisions on when to hire and when to develop in-house talent.

Because a staffing management plan is developed in the early stages of a project, it allows time to plan when the human resources will be acquired, deployed to their assignments, or released if deemed unfit for the role.

Opens up business growth

The people aspect of a project management plan often answers to allocating assignments, monitoring the progress of tasks, and building teams. When a staffing management plan aligns with these objectives, it results in higher productivity and happier customers and clients for your agency.

A well-thought-out and well-executed staffing plan opens up more opportunities to scale, and reflects in operational efficiency and professionalism that your clients will appreciate.

What should a staffing management plan include?

Having a staffing management plan template can help ease project managers' load, but what should it include? A staffing management plan for a particular project needs to include the following information:

  • Hiring and acquisition process
  • Resource calendars
  • Training needs (if required)
  • Job roles and the corresponding list of responsibilities
  • Required skill sets and number of employees
  • Timeline, duration, and expenses of covered activities

Example of a staffing management plan

Here is a sample staffing management plan for a marketing services project.

Launch ABC Collection on the client's website in 3 weeks

Total budget (with buffer): $10,000

Total number of team members: 7


Week 1: Production designing (4 members - available for 8 hours/day, 6 working days max)

Week 2: Producing product copies (2 members - available for 8 hours/day, 6 working days max)

Week 3: Finalize and upload the ABC collection catalog (1 member - available for 8 hours/day, 6 working days max)

Max number of billable hours: 336 hours (8 hours/day for 6 working days x 7 individuals)

Project closure assessment: Review budget, timeline, customer impact, team satisfaction, and business success.

Role: Product designing team

Number of staff needed: 1 visual designer, 2 UI/UX designers, 1 product design manager

Duration of activity: 1 week, including approval from Marketing (Max $5,000)

Project responsibility: Ensure product designs are visually presented and reflect the collection, the brand, and the company

Skills required: Proven experience in product web designs

Hiring process: In-house talents, marketing team members

Start date: Immediately

Role: Product copywriter/editor

Number of staff needed: 1-2

Duration of activity: 1 week (Max $150 per copywriter/$200 per editor)

Project responsibility: Create product descriptions that align with the brand

Skills required: Knowledge of SEO, market and social media trends, compelling writing skills

Hiring process: Freelance fixed rate, discuss product line and brand tone during the project briefing

Start date: 24-48 hours after briefing

Role: Senior UX Web Designer

Number of staff needed: 1

Duration of activity: 3-5 days, including approval from the marketing head (Max $1,000)

Project responsibility: Upload and configure products to the E-commerce website

Skills required: Proven skills in creating and designing visual elements for the website and managing online catalogs

Hiring process: In-house talent, senior marketing team member

Start date: As soon as product descriptions are finalized

How to create your staffing management plan

Here are six steps to follow when creating staffing management plans for your projects:

1. Establish goals and objectives

Your staffing plan should reflect the goals and objectives you want to accomplish. These should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the project, but you may want to add comprehensive details to ensure aspects relevant to skills and staffing don't get overlooked.

2. Determine your staffing needs

Establish your project staffing requirements clearly and accurately, in the same way that you would when creating a staffing plan. List all the roles and skills that will be needed, including how long you anticipate needing them to work and at what point in the project. Pay attention to specific skills that are required for certain tasks, and the deadline for staff members with those skills to start working on your project.

In addition to full-time employees, your staffing management plan should include any part-time, contractual, and freelance staff you expect to need.

3. Identify your resource gaps

Conducting a resource gap analysis helps you better understand what you already have and compare them with your needs. Placing and scheduling your current resources will guide you in identifying vacancies you need to fill shortly.

Exploring 'what-if' situations will also guide you in preparation for the staff management risks you might encounter in your organization. Predicting scenarios and analyzing the likelihood that they may happen lets you get contingencies in place before they arise.

4. Create strategies to bridge the gaps

Developing strategies to address the gaps is central to an effective staffing management plan. For example, do you need to hire extra people to complete a job? Will the project's budget cover these expenses? How long will it take to train them? If you are looking to hire, you also need to consider what happens after the project is complete.

Anticipating and addressing these gaps in the staffing management plan helps prevent understaffing and employee burnout. It also helps to streamline the production and operation process during the entire project execution.

5. Gather feedback and improve the plan of action

Inviting comments and suggestions from stakeholders can help improve the staffing management plan and keeps everyone on the same page. A staffing management plan that makes a point to establish two-way communication strengthens internal relationships by letting each team member know they are valued, while consolidating external relationships and customer satisfaction.

6. Use a tool to implement your staffing management plan

Successful project managers utilize technology to manage their human resources conveniently. Monitoring schedules, budgets, team capacity, and individual utilization rates are made easy with the help of efficient project management software. Optimizing your project's resource management process can reduce wastage and unnecessary costs.

Key takeaway

Working with an experienced, collaborative team that supports your project goals and objectives is every project manager's dream. Developing a staffing management plan is a key step in clarifying what that team will look like, and how to bring it into fruition.

Resource management software like Runn can provide you with an all-in-one resource management platform for your projects. It allows you to keep one eye on the "now", and one of the future - conveniently highlighting current team utilization and capacity, while giving you the tools to estimate capacity for future projects. Combine a strategic staffing management plan with an effective resource management tool to build your dream project team.

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