The organization currently has ad-hoc processes regarding the resourcing of people. This becomes a challenge especially if there are the same people across multiple projects.

There isn't a resource function nor a program management office, not that I would expect the latter being responsible for overall resourcing of people especially if this includes operational staff, vendors, etc.

Hence the question, is the Project Manager responsible for resourcing?

How should this work ideally i.e. the ideal scenario?

  • By "resourcing" do you really mean "hiring"?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 9:07
  • @CodeGnome - It may involve hiring. The issue i am facing at the moment is who is responsible for resourcing of existing staff that may need to be involved in a project.
    – Motivated
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


Since the PM knows what it takes to deliver the project, they have the best sense of what resources they need. So, in a typical scenario, the project managers ask for resourcing based on their own project needs, insulated from the organizations resources and other needs. This is typically referred to as the resourcing plan, and is aspirational. Then, someone from the organization (either an overall resource manager, or HR or director, or anyone else who is looking across multiple projects) combines all these requirements into one combined resourcing plan and then suggests people on different projects by looking either inside the organization or outside. They may shuffle people around, open new positions for internal/external recruiters to fill, etc. The team members allocated on the project become the project team.

Project Managers continue to evaluate staffing gaps between people they ASKED for (the project's resource plan) and the people they GOT (the project team). This gap is basically the project's staffing gap. In some cases gaps may be in terms of quantity (asked for 4 translators, got 2.5), or in some cases in terms of quality (asked for 4 senior lawyers, but got 2 lawyers and 2 interns).

Mathematically: staffing gap = resource plan - project team. Following snapshot can help:

Example staffing gap

Resource Managers continue to minimize the gaps.

In case there is no one specifically tasked with being a resource manager, that role can sometimes be done by senior management, or a project portfolio manager.

  • I am inferring that the project manager is not responsible for resourcing of people rather is dependent upon providing a view of the requirements to the appropriate people or roles such as a resource manager if one exists, line managers, etc. Assuming there is no overall plan which is the case now, what would you recommend?
    – Motivated
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 1:05
  • @Motivated Yeah, that assumption is correct, generally speaking. In case there is no overall plan just yet, you can have the current PM play that role, but in essence that person is then playing a cross project resource management and allocation role. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 19:22

The project manager is responsible for delivering the project and therefore making sure that the necessary amount of man power (with proper knowledge) is working - will work - on the project. Ideally, the PM should not start the project until the previous statement is ready, but that is rarely true unless the project requires rare expertise.

Usually, PMs talk to the line organisation, which manages the man power in an organisation, and set the project plans according to the information they receive from the line about the availability of man power.

For example, Sam is the only one who knows technology A, and will be available in two months. The PM sets the project schedule so that they won't touch those parts that is related to technology A until Sam is available. Line will assign Sam to the project in two months.

There are cases when PM can decide about man power and can hire consultants, employees with temporary or permanent contract in case line cannot provide (the new hires should fit into the project's budget).

I saw a setup that is similar to yours. In Budapest actors work for several theaters the same time, so directors sit down before each season and create a schedule based on their own list of plays for the year. You can try the same; have the PMs to have a weekly or monthly discussion where they agree who is working on what and of course when. Ad-hoc work has a negative affect on morale and motivation so if your organisation want to have a motivated work force you'll have to do something soon.

  • Thanks. Given the context of the current environment, there is no overall resource plan since most the process or procedures are ad-hoc despite an enterprise with considerable market reach. There appears to be no drive to improve the current state since this is seen as too difficult, too expensive, no executive sponsorship, etc or a combination of all. This combined with egos, personalities, etc often exacerbates the situation.
    – Motivated
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 1:08
  • Well, that is tough. Regardless, can you try to facilitate the first meeting, and see if a basic schedule is possible or not?
    – Zsolt
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 7:13
  • Hi @Zsolt, How do you deal with a team member that is not performing during the execution? What is the project manager expected to do? Thank you. Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 1:01
  • Nowadays, not an easy question to answer. I would say the safest way is to talk to the team leader in person. There might be a temporary reason about the no performance which the lead can solve. That's the best you can do, because the commitment is made on the team level not on the personal level. Gather information and if the team kind of keeps their commitment, don't bother with the issue. If it is the other way, ask the team lead to solve it in a best way he/she sees fit. And give a reasonable time frame for it.
    – Zsolt
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 8:53

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