Happy Friyay! Last week did not end up being a lucky one for Arsenal, rather quite the opposite with forwards Lacazette and Aubameyang both catching COVID, ruling them out of the game. Although, I was able to put the disheartening result aside the next day, as this has been a week full of new chapters. The following day I went to my cousin’s 13th birthday and this marked the opening chapter of his teenage years! I also went to my first Nigerian Traditional wedding in some time, it was a beautiful celebration and I was pleased to see a friend start a new joint chapter. Whilst I had to wait a while to attend a traditional wedding, the wait for the following one was much shorter. I attended another yesterday, marking another opening of a joint chapter. For this week’s blog I want to stay on the project management theme and discuss one of my key responsibilities, resource management.
What is resource management? It is defined as 'the acquisition and deployment of the internal and external resources required to deliver the project, programme or portfolio’. For me this brings a further question, ‘what is a resource?’ Project resources are the people, capital, and/or material goods required for the successful execution and completion of a project. This definition clarifies that resources can come in different forms. Staying on the topic of traditional weddings, 2 forms of people resources were the band and the caterers. 2 forms of material resources were also the band’s instruments and food made by the caterers. Without the band there would not have been any music at the wedding, and without their instruments they wouldn’t have been able to perform. This is a common example of what makes resources vital for the effective execution of tasks. Resource management allows projects to be run effectively, as an overview can be provided of when certain resources will be needed. This prevents idle time for resources or delay to works, as the arrangements for securing resources will be in place.
As part of my current role and previous role, I have led the resource management for my programmes. As part of this, tasks have included the ownership and maintenance of spreadsheets recording the resources for all programme staff. Working with the programme leads to granularly identify and evaluate their resourcing needs across different projects. This data fed into documents such as organisation charts, and evidence used to secure additional resources for effective and optimal execution of work. Following these conversations, I’m able to update all resource data and create engaging presentations for senior staff. This allows for meaningful intervention, as an active overview for where drop offs in staff workload are identified, new work is provided and vice versa. Hydra highlight 3 best practice tips for approaching resource management:
1. Centralising Resources
As mentioned, capturing all programme resources allows a clear picture of the team resources and their commitments
2. Allocating Resources
As mentioned, recording which work staff will be committed to allows for the prevention of ambiguity. It also allows for points of contacts to be quickly identified
3. Tracking Projects
As effectively as we can plan work, it can still not go to plan. Therefore tracking how projects progress is imperative as delays may occur so staff may need to spend more time than originally planned on work. This is also helpful, where projects finish early and staff gain capacity for new work.
Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) 5th edition’s principle ‘Deploy Diverse Skills’ goes hand and hand with resource management. It acknowledges that programmes require a range of resources, which may be provided internally or externally. Projects and programmes can uncover an array of challenges, and some organisations may not be equipped to deal with, resulting in the need to bring in external resources. Organisations recognising this quickly can prevent delays to the delivery of programmes. When resource management is done well, it will prevent boredom & burnout within the team. Through them not being given sufficient or too much work, it will also result in a better performing team. Staff will be more engaged when allocated appropriately and communication will be improved with clarity on responsibilities.
As you can see resources come in all shapes and sizes. For good measure I’ve included this video above which breakdowns resource planning, and the best practices for resource management. One last chapter for me this week was getting back into my reading. I read chapter 1 of the Power of Now and from the initial pages, I’m sure it will be a positive resource to myself.