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Project staffing is on the critical path – and a critical task – towards ensuring the success of a project. Define the task, define the effort, obtain the resources.

In the best of circumstances, the Project Manager has the opportunity to staff the project. But very often, the PM is assigned resources, or inherits the project and the project team.  There is not always a match between the skillset required for a task, and the resources provided to the Project Manager. “Well, they were available!” Warning: availability is not a skill set.

In the best case, it is the powers that be that are hopefully reading this post and taking heed that – availability is not a skill set.

For Project Managers burdened with an ‘available’ resource, some tips on managing the situation:

  • examine the skillset of said resource and consider re-assignment to a different task.
  • identify the gap and attempt to obtain training for the individual to mitigate this risk
  • leveraging the first point, examine resource swapping with another project – one should not be where one does not belong. The resource may even thank you.

So there are three suggestions for managing ‘available’ resources – do you have any thoughts to share?

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