The term project staff refers to people in the project team who have a certain role or function and assigned tasks. They actively work on the project and generate output that helps the project progress and reach milestones. In project management the project staff is still often referred to as resources, as their input in terms of workload is a critical financial and time factor. It is, however, a term that is nowadays negatively connotated as the people concerned rightly do not want to be counted as material resources, operating resources or financial resources.
Nevertheless, for proper project management, project staff need to be carefully managed since their time and expertise cannot be limitlessly spent on projects. Therefore, they are often assigned an hourly wage which forms the basis for budgeting the allocated time of project staff in a project.
In contrast to the project staff, members of the project team include e. g. the customer/contractee who does not necessarily work on the project productively or has assigned tasks.
In terms of disciplinary responsibility, the project manager leads the project staff. In times of virtual teams and collaboration among departments that are located in different countries, coordinating the project staff and ensuring the smooth exchange of information crucial for the project is vital.