We don't have motivational posters hanging in our office. but we do like to be inspired and motivated by clever people either through Ted Talks or inspirational quotes. Since we got a lot of great feedback on our blog post "8 Quotes That Make You a Better Project Portfolio Manager", we will continue that theme today with a post for resource managers.
At Meisterplan, we believe that resource management is an absolute necessity for PPM. Without motivated employees working on the right projects at the right time, even the best, most ingenious and carefully assembled project portfolio will not work. The immense value of employees and their planning is also shown in some of the quotes we have collected. Others may inspire you to fall in love with your own work all over again. So, here we go!
The "P" in PM is as much about People Management as it is about Project Management.
– Cornelius Fichtner
Throughout your career, you may have noticed that it's not enough to prioritize and allocate a few available people to high-priority projects. Problems arise quickly, especially, if your business depends on a few key resources. What do you do when employees get pregnant, take a sabbatical or get sick? Or what if your employees are overworked, dissatisfied, and therefore not as productive as they could be?
Employing a resource manager is a good step forward. Resource managers take care of collecting and updating employee data, capturing staffing requirements according to the project portfolio, assigning people to roles, staffing at the beginning of a project (as requested by the project manager), resolving resource conflicts, and more. People management.
Everybody is a genius! But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
– Albert Einstein
What comes next sounds banal, but is no less important. The right staffing can be the deciding factor for success or failure of a project. If a specialist is assigned to the wrong area, he or she may cause a lot of damage. That employee quickly becomes "incompetent," even though wrong staffing is the underlying evil.
In order to make the better staffing decisions, preparation is required. On the one hand, it is important to manage employee databases. On the other hand, you need to get to know employees or get feedback from their project managers. Only in this way can you gain insight into the soft skills, work ethic, strengths and weaknesses of your employees, which are important for the project work but not listed in their resumes (see also this blog post).
Focus on being productive instead of busy.
– Tim Ferris
We don't need to tell you that the faster our society becomes, the more time determines the economic processes. However, the added value of the work must not be neglected in all this. 100% planned is not synonymous with adding value. A particularly busy employee does not necessarily produce the same results as a particularly productive employee! That's why you do not just set the fastest resources to urgent projects, instead choose those who have proven to master their tasks with excellence.
Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
– Simon Sinek
It's a fact that you'll never be able to get all the team members 100% excited about a project. It works for me too, I find settling accounts much less exciting than writing blog posts. You can try to at least motivate your employees. What would you like to know about a project and how would you like to be approached? Do it that way. Inform them of the goals in a timely manner. Let them know how important the project is. Joke with them in between. Ask how the rest of the project team is doing. Let your employees work on the things they can do really well.
Hire character. Train skill.
– Peter Schutz
Final grades and internship certificates, at least one semester abroad, scholarships, points, grades, values. Phew. I am glad that this is becoming less and less important for many companies. Other characteristics such as willingness to learn, social skills and stress resistance are increasingly coming into focus. As well as what I find most important: does the person fit in with the company culture? Will the person be a good fit for the team? Because hard skills needed for project work can be learned later. Companies should instead be encouraged to hire people with strong character and potential, and to simply train them on the missing skills later. As a resource manager, you have a significant impact on such personnel issues, and internal education and training opportunities.
Of course, hiring a person requires an application process that leaves enough room for a to really get to know the applicant.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
– Bill Gates
In this quote, replace "customers" with "employees." Ta-da, the perfect quote for resource managers. If a project team does not perform satisfactorily, and is clearly unmotivated, or if an employee always causes problems and delays, then you should not just replace the team or cancel the project, but listen. Why is this happening? What are the underlying reasons? Often it is simply due to poor planning.
Recently, I was asked If I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?
– Thomas John Watson Sr.
Mistakes are absolutely human. Not just the little ones (I'm sure there is a typo in this blog post somewhere), but also big ones.
Just because a team member with an otherwise very satisfying work performance made a mistake does not mean that he should be removed from the project immediately. Because the good news is that errors are rarely repeated, which can be a big advantage in the future. Of course, such mistakes (and their avoidance or solution strategies) should be communicated across projects so that everyone can learn from the damage that has occurred.
You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.
– Renee West
In my opinion, this quote again underlines the importance of motivated employees to the success of a company. The most strategic portfolio, an ambitious budget and the best technical equipment are only tools for the people who are actively working on the project progress. Therefore, the resource manager plays a central role within PPM, ensuring that the project teams can perform their work without disruption and complications.
Do you know a quote that would fit into this list? Then write it down, so that you can keep it in mind. For that matter, you could also print it on a motivational poster.