Resource Management Problem – Are you sure?

Resource Management Problem

Our company helps organizations enhance their project delivery capability. We do this by helping our clients implement policies, procedures, and tools to enhance efficiency and drive down costs. The process starts with a series of discussions to identify specific organizational pain points that are disruptive to the organization’s delivery process. Frequently one of the first pain points brought up is “resource management”. In our client’s eyes, they “never have enough resources to complete all of their projects”. While I am sure the client truly believes this is the issue, in our experience this kind of problem is typically a symptom of a different problem.

A “resource management” problem is typically a “lack of Governance” problem in disguise. Does your organization use a standardized system to rate projects based upon a standard criterion? Can you accurately and consistently score and prioritize projects based upon how they support the organization’s goals and objectives? If you can’t, then you most likely have a problem with Governance and that needs to be addressed before we move on to fix your resource capacity issues.

Not having a system in place to prioritize projects, or worse, having a system, but not using the system to make strategic decisions, will make the entire organization feel like “there aren’t enough hours in the day”. This will cause demand overload, lower quality, resource burn out, and continue a cycle of frustration caused by every project being perceived as having a “high priority”.

Organizations that have implemented a system for scoring and prioritizing projects ask different questions than “do I have enough resources for this project”. Instead they typically ask questions like:

  • What is the business case and priority of this investment?
  • When can the investment be realized based upon priority and capacity?
  • Does the project provide sufficient value to consume valuable resources?
  • Is the potential value time sensitive?
  • Given the value of the investment, do I need to augment the resource pool to deliver it?

There will, on occasion, be times when you don’t have enough resources to staff projects to meet the business team’s demands in a timely fashion. This issue is can be resolved by first knowing the value of the investment, determining it’s relative priority to other requests (and making tradeoffs), and staffing the resource pool to best support the projects that best support the business’s goals and objectives.

In summary, if a project is worth doing, it is worth doing regardless of your current resource constraints. Remember, the first step is to prioritize your projects based upon their ability to support the organization’s goals. Then put together a plan to implement the projects that your current resource pool can execute. You may still need to augment your team, but if the project is worth doing, it is worth doing, make a business case for why the team needs to be augmented. You may be surprised to find you don’t have a resource management problem after all!

Level 5 Partners offers mentoring and guidance to help organizations achieve these results. In addition we offer the vPMO, a completely integrated web based solution that can be used to implement the processes discussed in this blog entry.

Please be sure to check it out: Virtual Program Management Office (vPMO)

We love sharing our knowledge and information about our offerings. If you find the vPMO interesting, contact us for a free no obligation demonstration.

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