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| Alternative name(s) | Description | Agile values | ‍‍‍‍ | Agile Manifesto principles | Agile practices | Discussion | ‍Links from this KA to other KAs‍ | References | | | | | | | | | | | External links | Read in another language

Alternative name(s)

Organizational Behavior Management. As Belout and Gauvreau (2001) mentioned, Project Human Resource Management can be referred as Project Personnel Management in project organization management.


Project Human Resource Management (HRM) involves the organization and management of a project team. The project team is founded by a group of people who will take on various responsibilities for reach and effectively fulfil the projects objectives. Project Human Resources Management processes include planning for the human resource, gaining the project team, expanding the project team and managing the team, (PMBOK, 2008). Human Resources Management as a term and an approach, involves the management of people, which originated in response to global competitive pressure (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). Human Resources Management involves linking Human Resources practices to the achievement of corporate and business objectives. Project Human Resources management involves hiring and developing employees so to add value to project goals and objectives (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). Human Resources Management practices and principles which apply to projects include conducting a job analyses, planning personnel needs, scheduling, recruiting the right people for the job, orienting and training, managing wages and salaries. Whilst other practises such as providing benefits and incentives, evaluating performance and regular appraisal meetings do not play a great role in projects, as project are temporary and generally do not last long enough to implement them effectively.

Agile values

Agile values are of different types. Five main SCRUM values are: Focus, Courage, Openness, Commitment and Respect. As far as Human resource management is concerned focus is an important aspect which is directly or indirectly involved with and taught in human resource management. Human resource management is a broad topic area and it involves commitment and respect among its team members of organisation. Courage and openness are other important factors which are required in a team in order to reach optimum performance. Human resource management involves training of members in an organisation which includes various development skills and among them commitment , respect , focus and courage are common. 4 Manifesto values are:
  • ‍Individuals and their interactions
  • Delivering working software
  • Customer collaboration
  • Responding to change
These core values form part of human resource management practice.‍ Agile manifesto values 'Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools' thus scrum values addresses the human aspect of scrum in a way that scrum processes does not.


Agile Manifesto principles

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
    Human Resource Management (HRM) in a traditional PMBok (2013) setting, is about identifying and managing resources, roles and responsibilities, and hierarchies. It consists of time tables for staff acquirement and discharge, professional development, strategies for team dynamics, recognition and remuneration , compliance and safety issues. Whilst PMBok (2013) suggests that team building is critical to project success and places emphasis on team building pursuits, the highly structured way of managing human resources is somewhat absent in an agile environment, as team members are encouraged to volunteer for roles. The relative team cohesiveness and absence of a static chain of command of the agile approach therefore, fosters faster team development, thus enhancing the possibility of timely and constant delivery of project deliverables as a result. Movement of the organisation towards a more projectised structure with a charismatic project manager could enhance agility in the traditional waterfall approach.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
    The processes of HRM suggests that there is a fixed organisational structure and a process for managing team changes. It appears that encouraging changing requirements late in development might jeopardise the process and even have an active disadvantage on the project team if new members join the team and the team dynamics is not properly managed. In the traditional approach, Boehm and Turner (2005) argue that managers usually identify staff with particular roles which is different from agile where developers have to continually multi task. Changing requirements might therefore imply that organisations have to reconsider already laid down procedures which might take time and be legally binding (Boehm and Turner, 2005).The APM (2012) however, suggests that benefits management can convert a change request to an economical improvement for the customer. This attitude is a movement towards agility.

  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Mahajan (2013), notes that, in an agile journey human resource management strategies the model for developing and sustaining the agile culture that is used to hire competent employees and motivate them so they will be able to develop and deliver working software or product to customers frequently with a short period of time. Hines (2016) revealed that, in APM product development process, human resource management are used to assess and process employees behaviour and ability to ensure that competent people are selected to develop the product based on the customers requirement within shorter time scale. According to Axelus (2013), in Prince2 software development package process, human resource management helps to restructure and assess the performance of developers in charge of producing and managing product delivery, to ensure the product meets specified design and delivery is done even in shorter time scale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Farrington (2010), identified that, in Prince2 model, human resource management ensures developers have adequate knowledge of open work spaces, which enables developers to collaborate with customers in the day to day production activities, as both developers and customers working together daily can enhance quality in product design, as well as promote fast product delivery. The principles can be related to APM because the APM product development process encourages team work competencies, as well as collaborating tools such as group conferencing that allows clients and developers work hand in hand in the product requirement definition stage, which is the stage that the customer and the project team work together to finalise the product planning and execution process APM (2012). Delliote (2011), indicates that this principle cannot be related to traditional method, because in traditional method human resource create a domain that allow developers and customers to collaborate only during requirement definition stage, which include the finalising of the entire project execution process till implementation stage, because in traditional method there is no room for collaboration between customers and developers through out the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Amerongen (2011), explained that, in Agile software development process, human resource management has some principles, which one of it are the hygiene factors that must be present. This provides a working environment, availability of excellent functioning equipment, possibility for training and job security. Furthermore, these factors help to motivate individuals and build trust among the team that will enable them to get the job done. Rhino (2015) identified that, this principle can be related to Prince2, because Prince2 has a principle “manage by exception and support the team, which help to build trust and encourage individuals to develop software product to achieve specified objectives.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.According to PMI (2008), project human resource management enables effective communication among the project team, irrespective of their geographical location. The project manager and team must effectively communicate with each other. They can have face-to-face meetings so as to discuss on the project progress, identify problems and resolve them. Similarly (OGC, 2009) indicates that this principle can be documented in the communication management strategy as a main means of communication. However, in normal plan driven project management, communication is mostly done by informing the manager about an issue and points fingers to the development sector of the organizations and in most cases assuming that the issue will resolve itself (Vaishampayan, 2014).
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress. According to PMI (2008), projects are delivered with relevant staffing management plan created by the project human resource management. These staff must have the relevant skill and must understand the project requirement in order to deliver the project goals or deliverables. In other for the project team to be successful, the project manager must manage the people on the project, assist them as well as manage the project processes. According to Sullivan (2011), it is the responsibility of the project manager with the support of the human resource to develop plans, effectively hire, mentor, motivate and develop the project team as this is essential for success.
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Project Human resource management is about developing human resource plans, acquiring the project team, developing the project team and managing the project team (PMI, 2008). Burnout amongst the project team members will lead to discouragement and failure. A team may continuously be grounded to the ground as a result of substandard management and inadequate resources (Bennett-Lovsey, 2015). According to PMI (2008), during the development of human resource plans, project roles, skills, responsibilities and staff management plans are documented. Thus, there must be sufficient number of project team members acquired to carry out project tasks and role and responsibilities must be clearly defined. In order to get the team performing to its optimum expectation it is essential to consider balancing the cost of development and the quality of life of the team members. A balance work-life amongst team members will promote sustainability of a constant working pace. Also, working limits should be set so that the project team members do not burnout, leave or fall sick (The Agile times, 2015). Organizational culture is essential in maintaining a constant pace. Studies have shown that organizational culture have an affirmative and important effect on human resource management and it defines the human resource management practice in the organization (Jerome, 2013). PMI (2008) and OGC (2009) indicates that the project sponsor and the project team members usually work together. OGC (2009) points out that if the project team members are tasked with working on too many projects, then there will be a halt on all the project, that is, too much effort will be used without more progress. Thus project team members must be allocated to projects for limited periods.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.PMI (2008), indicates that in project human resource management, the project manager manages the project team by constantly working with the project team members and continuously evaluating the team members in terms of their performance, resolving issues, modifying communication, improving interaction amongst the team, addressing conflict and helping those members with low levels of performance to improve their skills through training and development programmes. This helps to create high-performance teams. The project manager also recognises high performance amongst the team. Also, the project manager conducts project performance appraisal with the team members, clarifies roles and responsibilities, provides feedbacks to the team members, identifies individual development plans, unknown or unresolved issues and establishes specific goals for the future. Project performance appraisal may be formal or informal. In PRINCE2, the organization theme covers this aspect. Training may be required amongst team members at the start of the project and specialist training may be required during the project. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that training are built into the appropriate plan as this will enhance the team members to appropriately carry out their tasks (OGC, 2009).
  10. Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.
    When it comes to this principle, it is essential to understand that the over-working a product or service can be detrimental. Goodpasture (2010) outlined in his book 'Project Management the Agile Way: Making it Work in the Enterprise,that everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. This can be interpreted or broken down to mean that what needs to be done should be done in the simplest way possible.however, the product or service being made or offered, should not be compromised and made simpler than what is required. Human resource management have long faced the problems of having to find ways of minimising the amount of documentation produced, when adhering to the law and the needs of the organisation. Moreover, simplifying within human resource management has been evaluated as ‘the next big thing in human resources’, aiding in operational costs reduction, and reduced struggles when dealing with common issues within HR(Bersin, 2014)
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
    This principle has been one of the most recognised for its difficulty in practise. In todays dynamic world, changing business demands are all too common, and focusing on building a self-organising team to take responsibility for a set of undertakings has proved difficult (Self-Organizing Teams: What and How - Scrum Alliance, 2016). This principle allows for an environment where responsibilities are delegated to individuals, meaning that transparency in responsibilities is clear. The correct mixes of employees need to be in the team to enable teams to get their work done. Self-organising teams have the flexibility to choose the best methods of getting their work done to the best ability, as opposed to having someone outside the team dictate this (What Are Self-Organising Teams?, 2016).
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
    This principle goes hand in hand with human resource management. To facilitate the tuning and adjustment of an individuals’, or a team’s behaviour, a feedback mechanism must be in place; whereby constructive, regular feedback is channelled not only from top down, but also bottom-up. This can only be made possible by the valuable human resources management department at an organisation, as it is a part of their day-to-day function. The top-down and bottom-up feedback mechanism serves the purpose of giving management the correct understanding of how the organisation, or team, are progressing, as well as what and how to go about carrying out the next steps to move in the desired direction (HRTeam, 2013).

‍Agile principles
As the Agile Principle Manifesto‍ (Agile Manifesto, 2013),‍ the following principles would be relevant to Project Human Resource area:
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project;
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the work done;
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
There are clear similarities between these principles and project Human Resource Management. HRM presents several tools and techniques of project team management including observation, conversation, performance evaluation and issue log (PMBOK, 2008). The project manager can get clear understandings about the work statues, achievements and attitudes of project team members throughout observation and conversation. It supplies opportunities to exchange critical information more efficiently and effectively. The issue log is based on detailed communications in team and needed to be completed daily, so the group people and project developer should work together to identify daily issues(PMBOK). Customer satisfaction and quality are key principles in Agile and they are practiced in human resource management in a way that while human resource management phenomena training's are done in which customer and quality is focused. Customer Satisfaction is also one of the important principles which we see that as a result of human resource management members develop the skill and urge.
‍Welcoming of change is a principle of agile and we see that knowledge area human resource management also accepts change and addresses it in a healthy manner. Full communication of each member is also seen in human resource management practice. Simplicity is often a learning outcome of all good practices of standard human resource training programs as well.
If we look at human resource management focuses on development and building of members and training them in such a way that they are motivated and perform well towards organisations goals. In terms of change response and delivering working software it is obvious that these values are a outcome and can be seen in a team / members of organisation as a result of human resource management. Also interactions with individuals are a key part of human resource management and is visible in all HRM practices. Team also has a reflection on regular intervals and so is the case with human resource management. Development and progress is checked on regular intervals as well.

Agile practices

‍In Project HRM, it is of extreme importance to define the project’s mission, aim and objectives clearly during the planning stage and communicate with every team member so they are aware as to what the deliverable are for the project. Using people effectively achieves maneuverability speed, and cost savings for the project to succeed (Highsmith and Cockburn, 2001). Extreme Programming (XP) underscores concerts, managers, users and developers as members of the team. XP suggests the team works through the full communication and cooperation between each member to ensure efficiency. XP also needs the team people with all the specific skills and indispensable perspectives (Beck, 2004).


‍Contemporary Human resources management believes that investment in people is good business, because people make the difference to organisational performance (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006:10). Projects bring together a group of individuals with various skills and abilities from different parts of an organisation for a limited period of time to contribute towards a specific goal, or project. Once the project has been completed these individuals are disbanded and its members are assigned to new projects, Clark & Colling (2003). Project Management and its practice bring together individual specialists to form and team and work together. This practise involves elements of human resources practises for example job enrichment, job enlargement, with increased worker obligation for quality assurance, and at a lower level may involve job rotation, Clark & Colling (2003). The awareness and appreciation for Project Management is useful for Human Resources Management to apply appropriate policies for recruitment, selection, development and reward.

‍Links from this KA to other KAs

Project Human Resources Management can be linked to, People Management, as the Project HRM is responsible for the hiring and placing of personnel into their identified roles. Team Management, involves coordinating the personnel in a way that their various skill and qualities all come together to work towards one goal the companies objectives. Project Organisation and Structure, this KA has relevant links to Project HRM as there is an identified Hierarchy to be followed in any project and the HRM is involved in the recruitment and selection of all employees who form this structure and lastly Project Leadership. Human resource activities can also be improved by using value stream mapping practice in the projects. Sustainable pace can help HRM professionals to improve their processes and also to improve the productivity of their employees over the time.


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