Proven Techniques for Successful Resource Planning

In November we wrote about understanding project resources and the benefit of proactive annual resource reviews. Once February comes many organizations are finalizing their resource plan for the coming year. The information needed to develop a plan can come from a few different sources. Completed performance appraisals are an important source for data, as is the data collected from projects completed over the last year.

The performance appraisal is a key source as long as the employee has been directly managed by their immediate manager over the previous year. Many companies engage their operational employees in projects, creating a matrix environment. Therefore, the input from the Project Manager is important to the operational manager in order to better understand the needs of the employee such as training, reassignment or termination. While I agree that sometimes employees are not in the optimal role, I also believe that an employee is worth investing in. Recently I saw a posting on a social media site that quoted a discussion between two managers. “What if we train our employees and they leave the company,” asked the first manager. The other manager responds with, “What if we don’t train them, and they stay?” I think this is a critical consideration for management.

A secondary source for resource performance information can be obtained from project data collected during the execution of a project. The Project Management Office (PMO) should have documented details such as 1) how much time the employee worked on projects, 2) if results were delivered on  time, 3) the level of quality of the work provided, 4) the ability to work with the project team members and stakeholders,  to name a few.

The amount of time an employee spent on projects is a key indicator for a manager to understand. If projects took more than 40% of the employees time, how is it possible that the employee was successful at delivering their own workload, and if they were not successful with their own workload, then how do you quantify an accurate bonus structure for the employee?

The quality of work is also a key indicator for a manager to understand. If an employee isn’t delivering quality work on the project or in their operational tasks then the manager needs to evaluate whether the workload is too high and if that’s the case then it may be important to search for additional resources or reallocate priorities.

Finally, the information collected from the project team on whether an employee is engaged in the project and with the team players will help the manager decide whether this employee is better suited for jobs as an independent contributor rather than being thrust into a team environment where they are not comfortable.

Assessing personnel is not a task that leadership can perform without facts and thoughtful analysis. The more information available to the manager will help them decide what the next steps are for any employee. Once internal assessments are completed then requirements can be developed for the hiring of new employees or bringing on additional resources to assist with the work load.

Nobody sets out to fail, and management wants employees to be successful in their role within the group as well as the organization.  Training is also an important ingredient for success.

If your leadership team needs assistance with developing training strategy or plans or requires training assistance to be delivered contact Logixsource for ideas on how to proceed.

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