Putting together the project team is a vital part of making a project successful. Without the right people in place, the project will not go very far. You need to spend the correct amount of time at the beginning of the project reviewing the team and determining who belongs and who does not—and those are not easy decisions. You need to have a solid management plan in place in order to staff the project correctly. It will not happen overnight—and you need to be willing to make those tough decisions for the benefit of the project.
The Staffing Plan
The staffing plan should describe how you will place the resources into the project and how they will be managed throughout the entire lifecycle. Within this project management plan, you need to detail how people will be brought into the project, whether they are new hires or contractors, assigned from other areas in the organization or part of a matrixed organization.
The plan should describe how the team is brought up to speed, how it will be placed into the project and how everyone will be organized. Everyone should have a clear understanding of who is making decisions, who can help them work through any issues and who is assigning the work from a high-level viewpoint.
When looking at the list of tasks and the schedule for the project, you have to perform a very careful evaluation of the needs of the project. You should understand how many people are needed to complete the task. This becomes difficult when you try to understand which tasks can be aided by more people and which tasks are limited to the number of people working on them; sometimes, too many people can actually slow things down.
In addition, you should have a good idea of the large phases of the project and how many resources will be needed for each phase. There should be a ramping up time at the beginning and a ramping down time at the end, but this can vary depending upon the project and the schedule.