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When it comes to resource management, the cards you’re dealt when you undertake a new project can be your best friend or worst enemy. Proper utilization of effective resource management is like holding the keys to a kingdom. Not only can Resource Management (RM) positively affect your bottom line, but effective resource management can impact everything from team attitude and loyalty to generating positive word-of-mouth (not a bad thing to benefit from when it comes to recruiting and retaining good talent).
The problem is that all too often project managers are so caught up with the “project" that they overlook all the elements that need to be in place in order to transition said project from design to reality.
Simply put: effective resource management involves coordinating and overseeing the application of tools, processes, and systems that provide managers with timely and appropriate sources before, during and after the completion of a project.
Five key principles of resource management:
- Do your research. Understand what’s involved. Resource management -- if it’s going to work effectively -- should work closely with human resources and talent management to ensure resource and developmental needs are being met. Business planning must take into account what can realistically be delivered within the time allotted for project completion.
- Know your people. Even the most valuable team member of your team has weak points (incredible as it may sound, but its true) but that’s OK, because if you know the strengths and weaknesses of your staff then you know the whole is stronger than the separate parts. Responsibility should be delegated and line managers should be given specific responsibilities for managing performance. Responsibility starts at the lowest level. In return there should be clear and consistent expectations of what is expected of employees while they are working for the council.
- “Hands on" is good. Automation certainly has its advantages. But a hands-on approach to management let’s your staff know that you actually exist. A little face-time adds an element of intimacy to your work place. In fact, there should be visibility across the organization of resource information in real time. This will encourage people to think more corporately and to manage their utilization proactively.
- Be prepared. If it’s good for the Boy Scouts it’s good enough for me. Have a keen eye for the future, and the trends that can affect your team’s ability to perform. Keep your team intact. Maybe we’re not talking about NFL-size contracts, but quality workers need to be retained.
- Good performance needs to be rewarded. And en-route to that end, employee performance needs to be actively managed and monitored, with feedback given throughout the year. Feedback is a two-way street and isn’t given nearly the proper amount of attention that it deserves. The organizational climate must encourage the sharing of both success and failure. You may be wondering what all this has to do with keeping your team in tact, but without a constructive dynamic in the office, you may well find yourself looking for new players each time a project comes up, because the old ones got up and left.