How to Develop a Human Resource Management Plan

Do you throw up your hands in frustration when assigned project teams? Perhaps you’ve had the thought—I rarely get the cream of the crop. How can I be successful when I’m given these motley crews?

picture of project team

How is it that some coaches, leaders, and yes even project managers can take a rag-tag group and shape them into a high-performing team? It’s not an accident. How is it possible?

It starts with a little planning. Let’s look at the purpose of a human resource management plan, what’s included, and how to develop one.

Human Resource Management Plan

What’s It All About?

The human resource management plan, a part of the project management plan, describes how you will select, acquire, manage, and release human resources. Like all project management plans, we are thinking ahead about how we will approach certain aspects of the project, in this case, the most important element of your project—your human resources.

Click here to grab a Project Human Resource Management Plan Template.

What to Include

1. Roles and Responsibilities. Steven Covey said, “The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals.” If we want to reduce conflict in our projects, it’s critical that we clarify the roles and responsibilities of the team members. But how do we do this?

Project managers can create a responsibility matrix (RAM) that shows resources assigned for each work package. Many project managers use a RACI (responsible, accountable, consult, and inform) Matrix.






Develop requirements





Develop design





Develop unit test




Another way to document roles and responsibilities is a simple Roles and Responsibilities document.




Team Member


Project Sponsor

  • Defines goals, scope, and success criteria
  • Provides funding
  • Paves the way for change
  • Approves deliverables
  • Makes or facilitates executive level decisions

B. Monroe


Project Manager

  • Develops and manage project plan
  • Identifies issues that may affect project’s timeline, cost, scope, or quality
  • Manages project team

J. Williams

2. Organization Chart. A project organization chart (org chart) is a graphic display of the project team members. The chart shows reporting relationships and relative ranks within the team.

3. Staffing Management Plan. The staffing management plan is your approach to staffing the project. How will you acquire the staff? Will you have input into the staffing or will the staff be preassigned? When will the human resources be available? What is the availability of each person for the project’s duration? When will you release each resource?

The staffing plan may include a training plan. A project manager can complete a team evaluation to determine the strengths and weaknesses and where training can improve the team’s performance.

Lastly, a recognition and reward plan may be included. Will the project manager recognize individuals as well as the team? If so, on what basis? When will the recognitions and rewards occur?

Inputs to a Human Resource Management Plan

A project manager may facilitate meetings with subject matter experts to develop the human resource management plan. Examples of inputs include but are not limited to:

  • Project charter
  • Project management plan
  • Activity resource requirements (includes the type and quantities of human resources)
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Org charts

Taking Action

When assigned your next project, make time to develop a human resource management plan. Use this template or create your own. Be the leader that transforms each group of individuals—whether superheroes or a motley crew—into a high-performing team.

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