Project and program management have a great influence on the strategic planning of companies. Implementation and success rates determine if and how changes might affect the company. In particular, long-term initiatives implemented through program management ensure good talent management and are crucial for success. Projector-oriented companies need to use the right talent to carry out their strategic initiatives; doing so leads to a decisive competitive advantage.
In finding the right project talents, PMOs need to first develop a solid strategy. The right person doesn’t only need the technical project management skills but also, outstanding interpersonal skills. PMOs should pay particular attention to the candidates’ management skills. The project or program manager must be able to react properly to problems that arise and to guide their team well. This requires a team leader with exceptionally good cognitive abilities.
Assuming that a company has sufficient resources with outstanding skills, these alone do not bring the full advantage. Proper management of these people is required.
It’s important to make these talents available for the project and deploy them in the right place in order to make the most of their skills. The problem is that project managers are not always free to choose their resources. Often, the people they most want to work with belong to other departments, and are working on projects that have already been planned months in advance. The result is a resource bottleneck, missing knowledge that is urgently needed for the implementation of the project, which leads to time delays, and sometimes, failure. That being said, these companies do have the decisive advantage of having the required talents, at least theoretically available. Companies that have a deficit on this point before the start of a project or program, need to redefine and implement their talent management strategy from scratch and should bring their HR department on board. PMI studies show companies that take their talent management strategy into account from the onset in their business strategy have a 72% success rate in their projects; while companies that do not effectively target their talent management strategy have a 58% success rate. For project-oriented companies it’s imperative to have the right tools. These should ideally provide the following resource management features:
- Multiple views, graphs, and dashboards that provide a clear picture of resource usage
- An excellent search function
- The ability to manage downtime and omissions
- Accurate capacity planning, ideally with softbooking functions
- Intuitive and cross-project planning
- Generic resources, or resource profiling
- Tracking resource utilization by project
Corporations with the right tools are able to get a clear picture of resource planning and their availability in real-time. They can also maximize their resource utilization and avoid overloading. With more precise resource and team planning, as well as forecasting, more profitable project teams can be put together. When selecting the right system, consider the ability to quickly and easily search for resources, their abilities and availabilities.
Most companies are aware of the importance of a talent strategy, but the problem is that often it’s not properly managed. Another problem is the lack of awareness of the partnership between HR and PMO. If there is a bottleneck in the skills required in the company, resolving this bottleneck becomes increasingly important in order to properly fill the project. However, the ideal assigning of roles can only be achieved if there’s a talent strategy that’s integrated into the business strategy of the company and when HR and PMO define this strategy together. Only then can a company ensure their project success and that their resources will be put to good use.
According to PMI, up to 15.7 million new project management talents will be needed worldwide by 2020. This figure relates in particular to the strong project-oriented sectors: mechanical engineering, manufacturing, oil and gas, professional services, the financial and insurance sector, information services, and the construction sector. The problem, however, is that the talent market does not yet provide the necessary project management skills. The need for qualified project managers cannot be met at present. Companies that define a talent management strategy to achieve their company-wide goals, face huge challenges in the search for qualified resources. Therefore, it’s important that companies start early with their talent management strategy and plan for the long-term.
It’s important to get buy-in from management about the significance of introducing a talent management strategy, by involving the project and program ministries, for the holistic success of a company. While projects are only partial contributors to the ongoing operation, it can’t be denied that all strategic initiatives have characteristics of projects and programs and are therefore of central importance to the transformation of a company. As PMI studies show, most companies have an unstructured and short-term approach to this topic, which proves to be inefficient and ineffective and prevents companies from being competitive. The integration of the PMO and the joint interaction of HR and PMO are indispensable.
By implementing a talent management strategy that takes into account all stakeholders, as well as, a checklist that shows the skills required, a company is able to successfully implement projects and programs and thus grow and tackle the challenges of the future.
For more information on resource management visit Genius Project’s website.