Resource managers don’t have to be philosophy majors, but they do have to have a philosophy that accurately reflects the culture of their company. If they have an entire PMO (Project Management Office) to manage, this skill might very well be the difference between being a trusted business partner or a department that produces very little business value and may be on its way out.
The best resource managers remain invested in realizing present benefits with expert resource management (RM), but also must retain a future outlook. Ten years from now, will there even be such a thing as a project team? Or will all work be assigned piecemeal? By computers instead of people? The future PMO may consist of automated assignments handed out to workers across the globe using multiple languages and possessing specialized skills, with artificial intelligence (AI) literally running the whole thing.
The future of RM may ultimately resemble the continuous delivery models that are already used during agile software development. This philosophy may signal the end of the “artificial bundling of functionality ” into project and program structures as we know them today. However, RMs that possess the ability to optimize resource performance will in turn be able to differentiate themselves when delivering within shorter timeframes. A continuous delivery concept depends on effective resource capacity planning: Having the right people lined up in the right places with the right skills and, perhaps most importantly, the right attitude.
Resource Management for Continuous Delivery
Here are three ways to ensure your PMO can handle current and future resource demands using a continuous delivery model. To tackle the problems outlined in the article, we will look at using an overarching philosophy of control, collaboration and consistency:
Once we have the right philosophy in place for resource management, we need the right control to deliver the right resources, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills.
With a command-and-control philosophy, you may not be as adaptable as you need to be to manage the environment appropriately, so the focus needs to be on controlling the best fit resources for individual work. Once the environment becomes very complex, as it has with the healthcare industry, gaining control means an all-encompassing platform for all your work so you can still pivot, with minimal disruption.
Your platform must be easy to use and be practical, or “invite rebellion. ” That’s why in times of great change and under the pressure of competition, we need to set expectations for every team. All members must input archival documents and communicate only on the project management collaborative platform. There will always be shifts of who you have on projects, and as projects evolve, resources must all agree to collaborate, so you’ll need a user-friendly tool.
Please take note of the main philosophy to run your collaborative PMO: We don’t have silos anymore. The idea that we have people from software development assigned to only software development projects or people from finance who are only assigned to finance, will fall by the wayside. Everyone from everywhere can collaborate or your resource capacity plans will be next to useless. This is especially true in agile development PMOs, which is the future structure for all industries, not just technology.
Resource capacity planning, deployment and utilization must retain consistency in the PMO of the future, or the wheels fall off fast. A truly adaptive resource strategy must be cognizant of the drivers that move its business forward, consistently deploying to organizational needs as opposed to flavor-of-the-month leadership needs. Keeping the pipeline full of the most impactful resources may mean we have to focus on benefit delivery, not the status quo that appears popular with the most powerful sponsors. We can justify these decisions when we have strong data about resource utilization that can be extrapolated out to scenario modelling for benefits realization. Once we consistently prove capabilities, prior to the time when we really need to deploy, we can prove our worth.
Current resources might not deliver the goals and objectives we need, either today, or tomorrow. In addition, the right resource mix will minimize the impact of change, not prevent that change from happening. We can only protect the future of our PMO by being clear-eyed about the past—and so it makes sense to adopt a next-generation resource demand planning philosophy that protects the bottom line and allows us to innovate effectively for the most impactful results.
For more about the future of resource management, you can view the KeyedIn webinar, It’s Resource Management But Not as We Know It.
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