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How to Handle the Issue of Slow Recruitment with Resource Management Techniques

admin November 20, 2023

Project managers know that putting the right team together is one of the prerequisites for successful project delivery. What can be more effective than assigning the tasks to the right people with the right skills at the right time! However, one of the major challenges that project managers have to deal with is the lack of project resources.

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It can be caused by a number of reasons. 

  • It is a typical problem of fast-developing companies, where the number of projects to work on increases faster than they can hire necessary staff. 
  • Technologies are developing with breakneck speed, and it takes a while for the existing staff to master them.
  • Team members work on multiple projects at the same time and may become overloaded when some additional tasks are assigned to them.
  • It may take some time for newcomers to learn the specificity of the work needed to be done, or, being new to the team, they may perform it not so quick as it’s expected of them. 

So, in our fast-moving and sometimes unpredictable world, it’s a real challenge for project managers to deliver successful projects when the resources required are limited. According to the survey conducted by the Project Management Institute, talent deficiencies can significantly hamper 40 percent of strategy implementation efforts. Fortunately, this issue can be quite manageable. Read further to find out what actions project managers can take to overcome the staffing issue.   

Resource Planning

In relation to project staffing, resource planning aims to make sure that the project is provided with sufficient human resources with corresponding knowledge, skills and experience required for successful completion of the project. Consequently, it’s one of the techniques that can compensate for a lack of human resources.  

How to Handle the Issue of Slow Recruitment with Resource Management Techniques

Pre-planning Activities

Effective resource planning is preceded by two stages: estimating the work needed to be done and creating a schedule, and finding available resources with appropriate skills to get this work done.   

To estimate the amount of work to be done, it can be useful to create a work breakdown structure (WBS). WBS is a deliverable-oriented hierarchical structure of the project scope, i.e. the project is divided into deliverables that in turn can be broken down into constituent tasks assigned to available resources. WBS makes it easier to figure out what kinds of teams are required.  

After that, you need to estimate the duration of the team’s work on the tasks and schedule resources. Estimating the duration can be not that simple, as you should take into account industry standards for this kind of tasks, previous experience, and find out how much time the team member needs to complete this task. To avoid possible errors in the estimation process, you can apply the critical path method (CPM). According to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), “The Critical Path Method is the sequence of scheduled activities that determines the duration of the project.” This method makes it possible to calculate the total estimated time for the project, includes tasks’ dependencies, milestones and duration. Also, you can determine what tasks are critical in the effect on total project time, and how to schedule resources in such a way as to meet the target at minimum cost.   

Developing a Resource Management Plan   

Effective and detailed resource management plan should include the following information:

  • available resources (names of the employees, departments they work for, the team they are currently assigned to);
  • the cost of each resource on an hourly basis; 
  • availability of each resource over the project duration (including planned holidays and contingencies); 
  • each team member’s responsibilities with their detailed explanation;
  • calendar that shows availability of each resource during the week, his/her days off, and planned holidays (this point is optional, but good for illustrative purpose).   

How to Handle the Issue of Slow Recruitment with Resource Management Techniques

One more important point in developing a resource management plan is the assessment of resources availability and their previous performance: you should determine if the team member is available throughout the duration of the project, what projects and tasks they are working on, what skills they have, and how they performed in the previous projects.

Finally, you can assign the tasks to the resource. The following tips can be useful here.

  • Take into account the employee’s holidays and days off.
  • Group similar tasks together.
  • Don’t assign many critical tasks to the same team member.
  • If a team member is snowed under, look for other employees with the same skills in other teams.  
  • Take into account possible contingencies. 

How Does Resource Planning Help?

The importance of resource planning cannot be overestimated, as it enables project managers to:

  • prevent underutilization – when planning resource availability and performance, you can make sure that the resources are utilized to the full;
  • prevent overallocation of resources – due to tracking the availability and utilization rate, the resources’ workload can be balanced;
  • minimize the task and resource dependencies – planning the tasks and resource availability demonstrates existing weak points, e.g. an employee who is working on too many tasks at the same time can be reassigned to avoid possible risks. 

To sum up, we can say that a thorough resource management plan won’t change the number of available resources, but it will optimize their use to fulfill the project requirements.

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