The economy is hot right now. Unemployment levels are exceptionally low, at 3.6% in the US. In April 2022, The Wall Street Journal described that “the demand for workers is so intense that companies have listed millions of unfilled job openings.” So, this begs the question: are you doing all you can to attract and retain top talent? There are three things to consider to ensure you’re making the best use of your team members and their resources.
1. Quickly Respond to Shifts in Resource Needs
Often, executives may concern themselves with delivering projects on time and within budget. However, at a more fundamental level, one of the biggest challenges project managers face is effective resource management. Resources can include many components required to execute work successfully in the project management world, including funding or money. However, the risk that most often drives the highest levels of uncertainty is people and skill availability.
Suppose an organization cannot accurately forecast and respond to resource skill requirements. In that case, there is a risk of project team members joining projects too late, inadequate coverage, team burnout, and resource flight. Temporary loss of project staff can be a common and foreseeable, people-related risk. It is most frequently a knock-on effect of problems related or an earlier project or “hot site.” As you might imagine, inadequate planning, or lack of anticipation of foreseeable staffing shortages, can set in motion a downward spiral that only compounds problems, creating a “self-perpetuating cycle that is very difficult to break.”
2. Balancing Workload to Retain Employees
It should go without saying that team well-being isn’t just a nice-to-have. Organizations should be doing all they can to ensure the well-being of their staff. However, in March 2022, the McKinsey Quarterly highlighted a new wave of voluntary worker attrition where, in the quest for a better work-life balance, many are choosing life. McKinsey advises, “Now more than ever, companies must redefine their attraction and retention strategies and build a value proposition that takes employees’ whole lives into account.”
3. Provide Tools to Make Their Jobs Easier
Today’s project professionals demand the best tools. They are tech-savvy and expect access to leading-edge, cloud-based project management software. They aren’t excited by the prospect of using tired, manually intensive, error-prone solutions. Modern, cloud-based, automated tools can serve as a crystal ball, revealing otherwise hidden resource loading problems that could sink project delivery plans if not mitigated in good time.
Providing best-in-class tools for your team can attract high performer’s already adept at using them. It can also give others an opportunity for growth. More importantly, at an organizational level, today’s best tools offer PMOs the means to optimize resource efficiency and establish or maintain a competitive advantage.
If you haven’t already, try LiquidPlanner for free to manage your company’s people resources more efficiently, resolve bottlenecks early and ensure a balanced workload for your team.
About the Author
With more than 20 years’ professional experience, James Arrow has played a key role in successfully delivering critical capital assets, in a variety of locations, around the world. Having had the opportunity to work with diverse teams across the globe, James is well-versed on project best practices and applies exceptional communication skills to lead multi-disciplinary teams. An effective hands-on team-player, James is also an acclaimed writer and speaker on topics concerning project risk management, data analytics, data science, including digital disruption in the engineering and construction sector. In recent years, on several occasions, James has been formally recognized by his peers for his contributions to the profession.