Meeting the Challenges of Human Resource Management with Project Management Software
It’s no secret or surprise that human resources are an essential ingredient to a successful project – and yet, human resource management comes with its fair share of challenges. In 2013, a KPMG study showed that the mismanagement of human resources is accountable for a third of project failures. Today, with the rise of increasingly powerful software, project management solutions are taking over written requests for resources and helping companies deliver their projects more efficiently and effectively.
Due to this, and the pressure from constant, rapid and unpredictable changes in the economical, technological, social and strategic environment, companies are moving from individual project management tools to more comprehensive systems.
Nevertheless, the challenge that organizations continue to face is finding the balance between the demand and supply of resources within the organization.
A Project Manager’s goal is to deliver the project by optimizing their most valuable resource, people. They implement plans by forecasting the course and distribution of tasks; and they manage resources and costs to ensure they’re available at the right time. It’s akin to piecing together a puzzle!
In a multi-project environment, this gets even more complicated. Allocating resources for several projects is a challenge for any project manager.
Previously, a PM had to pick up a phone or send an email asking for the availability of a resource, but now, with remote teams, different working hours and methods, managing human resources is increasingly difficult and requires a different approach.
Project management software can provide a database containing all the company’s or project’s resources and offer resource profiles – so that the PM can get a clear understanding of who’s capable of what. These systems also tend to offer an order of resource priorities for classification purposes and to ensure the optimum use of available resources.
At the company level, there’s an option to create a common pole, grouping all employee profiles for all projects. This allows a PM to quickly search for resources, a key skill or availability and then make their project plan accordingly.
A comprehensive project management software will often incorporate an absence management module, providing PMs centralized monitoring of days off and holidays. Approval workflows can also be set for day-off requests. Once approved, the system records the absence, offering a precise view of resource availability for each project.
The centralized calendar also permits Project Managers to clearly see workloads and schedules and to anticipate possible conflicts.
For companies who want to know the time spent by employees on each activity, time sheets prove to be an essential feature of project management systems. They also offer the ability to monitor workloads, which helps prevent work overload.
Since time sheets can generally be attached to project plans, the details on the time required for each task and the progress of tasks, is made available to PMs.
And of course, charts and dashboards offer real-time view and allow for adjustments to resource allocations to be made when necessary.
So it’s clear to see that companies using project management software have an inevitable advantage over the long term. Companies that manage their resources in a centralized way, ensure a comprehensive view of the situation and transparency within the organization.
With more optimal resource management, creating project teams becomes easier and the teams are more effective. Even if the success of a project doesn’t rely entirely on resource management, it still remains a determining factor. In a multi-project context, mastering resource allocation is essential.