Industrials

Project Resource Management

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Pandemic disruption brought several consequences to the business, two of which must be highlighted, the shortage of raw materials and difficulties in hiring professional personnel in some industries.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Consequences of Pandemic on Project Management&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Depending on the industry, both consequences affect the project management, and human resources seem to have more impact. Without people, it is difficult to deliver projects.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Another consequence is that many people only accept job offers to work remotely.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In the past, companies used to ask people to be in the office to experience their culture, their way of working and get a &ldquo;sense of belonging&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This concern has been mitigated with collaboration tools. However, the question is how effective they are in the context of non-IT projects, namely healthcare or industrial projects where the deliverable is a tangible product and where some project activities require presence in the lab or factory and must handle raw materials, devices and produce several samples until the requirements are met.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Resource Management</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">According to PMI, Resource Management is one of the ten knowledgeable areas in project management, and it was considered one of the trends in project management in 2022.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The topic is essential for small and medium-sized companies that have few resources and may have multiple projects in parallel.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In this context, it is necessary to use resources most effectively. If the planning is done well, it&rsquo;s easier to decide in which situations to recruit an internal resource or an external consultant for a pre-defined period.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Usually, large companies turn to consult to meet their resource needs, and as they handle large budgets, they have no significant issues using this model.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Resource Management in Small Companies&nbsp;</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">As for smaller companies, restrictions of various kinds arise. They have few people, a small budget, and limited access to large consulting companies. In addition, in small companies, the working method is quite agile.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Project managers are often technicians or specialists without project management qualifications. The so-called "Accidental Project Managers" are averse to management and planning tasks, which makes many of them manage projects as if they were managing operations and end up not having a plan to allow them to anticipate a set of decisions to solve problems that sooner or later will appear.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Consultancy</span>&nbsp;</h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Implementing resource planning and resource management is much easier for consultancy because they have a culture of accountability and predictability, and consultants usually must be billable.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Hours are reported through timesheets, each consultant has a defined cost depending on their role in the project, and in the end, it is possible to know the actual resource allocation, resource cost and project cost.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The same is not the case at the client company because their internal resources are not consultants. Therefore, the internal costs are often assumed and not included in the Total Cost of Ownership.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Resource Planning&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Another important aspect is the rate at which projects are approved, assuming the resources are always available to implement and manage them. An excellent way to control this problem is to do effective resource planning and, if possible, have a Demand team and a Delivery team.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In Demand will be people from several functional areas, or at least people with expertise in several functional areas, to validate the scope and feasibility of the solution. Demand will manage the entire pipeline, including capacity planning, and will only request the project to Delivery if there is the capacity to execute it.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In Delivery, the areas necessary for the execution of the project will be involved, and a periodic report should be produced to measure the effectiveness of resource management.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Large multinational companies typically have a well-implemented PMO with roles and responsibilities related to resource planning.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Smaller organizations may have Project Officers that do not manage projects but provide expert assistance and specialized services in the form of mentoring and coaching in addition to oversight and guidance for project estimates, resource allocations, planning, controlling, developing and maintaining relationships.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Some companies also use consultants to implement a PMO to ensure greater adherence because the external consultant is agnostic to specific internal interests.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">When recruiting a PMO, it is essential to ensure he has previous experience in the role and has already managed projects.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">One of the success factors is having sponsorship at the highest level and having buy-in from the teams involved in the rollout of the PMO processes. Initial resistance to change will always exist, so it is essential to manage expectations regarding results. That is, some results may take time to appear.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Resource planning for projects should be implemented within the Project Management Office and not in the Human Resources Department.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It should always be in the context of the projects because apart from profiles like Project Manager, Enterprise Architect or Full-Stack Developer, other requirements are essential, like specific knowledge and certifications in some methodologies, technologies or norms, and the Project Management Office is the best team to assess these requirements.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Steps for Successful Resource Planning&nbsp;</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">To be successful, consider the following steps:</p><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Start a transformation programme and inform the entire company about the need for this change</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Make clear the resulting benefits to the stakeholders to get the buy-in</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Set rules and processes and ensure top-down compliance</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Optimize the use of resources without running into multitasking</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Automate resource management process</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Create and publish periodic reports or dashboards</li></ul><p>PMO can assist in more knowledge areas than resource management.</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/ffmoreira/">Fernando Moreira</a></em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Fernando Moreira</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. <strong><span data-preserver-spaces="true">What are the roles and responsibilities of a PMO?</span></strong></span></h2><p>PMO's primary role is to set up standards and methods for project management teams and ensure the organization comply with them. PMOs can also mentor and coach project teams and produce reports and dashboards for the senior management teams on project performance.</p><p>PMO can have different responsibilities in the organization, depending on the business type, his level in the hierarchy, and the expected goals to achieve. In some organizations, PMO can be a department covering all the portfolios. In others, a small team for cross-functional programs or even an individual for a project.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What is project resource management in project management?</span></h2><p>The resource management process identifies resources needed for the project (resource planning) and how they are assigned, managed, and controlled.</p><p>Resource management in project management covers people, raw materials, infrastructure, and finance needed to run and deliver the project.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the current trends and emerging practices in project integration management?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The first trend in this article's third paragraph is remote work. It links directly to resource management. Many companies are going for Agile, a hybrid model and for Digital, where AI/ML, data science and automation allow to explore other dimensions in projects and provide more value.&nbsp;</p><p>Another trend is to ensure projects are bound to corporate strategy. Large organizations implement a central PMO Board with execs and decision-makers to assess and approve the projects ensuring they are part of the strategy. Mandatory projects not part of the strategy can also be supported, such as software upgrades part of the product roadmap, security projects and projects related to regulatory compliance and norms.</p><p>Some companies have started implementing benefits realization management (BRM) to measure how projects add value and contribute to high business objectives. &nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is the future of Project Management in 2022 and beyond?</span></h2><p>All types of businesses rely on projects to achieve many of their short-term and long-term goals because projects are how things get done.&nbsp;</p><p>Therefore project management will always be needed, especially because project complexity is increasing, project methodology is going agile, which requires more resources given the technical complexity and level of specialization needed, companies want to do more with less, and time-to-market is getting shorter and shorter.&nbsp;</p><p>As technology evolves, project managers also need to adapt and evolve, combining management skills with technical competencies and new ways of working with remote teams and new collaboration tools.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Fernando Moreira