The Evolution Of Resource Management Into A People-Centered Discipline

September 23, 2020 | By Donna Fitzgerald

Anyone who has spent much time in the PM community knows there are two competing views on what the contents of the Resource Management topic area should be focusing on. One side strongly believes that people are just another resource on a project and are no more important than equipment and supplies. The other side believes that implying people are plug-compatible widgets, who can be scheduled and treated in the same manner as equipment, is a sin against humanity.

My own opinion acknowledges that the discipline of capacity planning is essentially the same for people as it is for equipment. Resource management, on the other hand, is all about people, and I believe the term needs to be changed as we rethink our language

Focusing on resources and skills

In the meantime, even if our language has failed to evolve fully, I think we’re seeing significant progress in moving our thinking toward envisioning a real live human being when we use the term resource. For example, we now have conferences like the Resource Management Institute’s connect event and Prosymmetry’s European User Conference, all of which focus on issues of people and getting work done.

Additionally, the gradual move toward a more people-oriented perspective is also being supported by the emerging role of the “Resource Manager” (the focus of RMI) and by the new features that exist in resource management software. I’m particularly excited about the new skills feature that we have added to Tempus.

I doubt if I’m the only one who has noticed that the existence of a feature in software can completely change the way a subject is discussed within a company. Asking management to support an effort to document everyone’s skills would be impossible if there wasn’t a place to put the information and a way to use the information to get more work done. With the right feature, a world of possibilities can emerge.

Each of us has only to look to our own set of skills to know that a job title doesn’t even begin to encompass all of who we are and what we can contribute as individuals. I recently came across a survey that said 75% of employees believe their organization consistently fails to recognize and take advantage of all the expertise they have to offer. And we wonder why we consistently see stats that tell us 63% of employees are disengaged?

The way forward

There is an old saying, “Never waste a good crisis,” that I think applies here. We, as a community, need to rethink how we assign and manage work in companies. There are many moving pieces in the equation, but if the topic interests you at all, check out the conferences and organizations above, read more on the topic on the web and follow my posts here or on LinkedIn.

Want to learn more about how Tempus Resource offers enterprise skill management that is secure, powerful and fully integrated? Don’t miss our Skills Management Deep Dive Feature Overview.

From centrally managing, defining and governing your enterprise skill matrix inventory to improving engagement and data collection with end user management of their skills, Tempus’s purpose-built platform is reshaping resource forecasting and capacity planning for the world’s leading companies.

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