In the pursuit of delivering innovative products and improving efficiency in project delivery, project resources can experience a burn out before time. Your job as a project manager would involve you striking a delicate balance between the expectations of the C-suite executives and your team members.
Every resource brings a unique set of skills the project table. And in order to maintain their efficiency, it is important that managers maintain optimal utilisation. You can incorporate innovations in project approaches, changes in work environment and many other initiatives which can make work both enjoyable and improve efficiency of the resources.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can weave into your projects to manage your resources better.
Set and plan realistic goals
Planning your project well with clear directives for your employees even before it starts is half the battle won. You can strategise project details as minutely as possible. Some of the areas would include the percentage of effort put in by the resources to planning for ad-hoc changes in the middle of the project cycle.
It is pragmatic to assume that your resources will be in short supply, which may lead to a crunch in the future. The best way to plan for the project is to sit with your team members and delegate precise roles and activities. Consider using agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban, which incorporate reviews and learnings in the project cycle.
Embrace automation in processes
When there are multiple projects to handle, you would want to make the process simpler. Not only that, you would also want your thoughts to be streamlined, and ease up processes even during the critical path of management. Introducing automation in project activities improves your staff performance as well as your management.
Cloud systems, AI, social collaboration tools, IoT are some of the ways in which automation can become a part of your projects. Some of these technologies have already made their way into a few of the largest companies, and the future is only getting brighter! A resource management software, for example, have become popular among project managers due to their ability to predict resource requirements ahead of the curve. And irrespective of the line of service, you can use this software and benefit from them.
Encourage collaboration among employees
A good way for you to build and manage team morale is to assign people to work in groups. This has two main advantages. As a manager, you have to worry less about the accuracy of the different project details. On the other hand, working together will help employees bond with each other, and also rectify errors faster for each other.
Invest in a team collaboration portal for the employees which helps to share files, important project updates and deliverables. This would help your team to stay connected even if some members are working from home or are located at a project location in another continent. You can also plan team building activities to help employees work better with each other. If your team members have worked together with each other for sometime, you can build team support by organising team outings at regular intervals.
Involve resources in decision-making
Most companies have noted that a collaborative approach towards major decisions in the project works out much better than executives dictating opinions from an ivory tower. Apart from a being a nuanced approach towards leadership by involving your staff, it also helps build their confidence in the long run.
Involving your staff members in decision-making can have other advantages too. You can expect processes to become much more transparent, helping you to point out bottlenecks and resolve them much faster. Of course, decisions on data-sharing and other higher authority decisions should be left to management. But, including employees to make decisions in their work can help get different angles at every stage of the project cycle.
Motivate your employees regularly
It is important to celebrate project milestones as much as it is to complete them. Organising regular individual and team rewards helps in building motivation in the team. You can fit these ceremonies into the project calendar every 6-12 months.
A good way to decide on who to reward is through performance metrics. It also helps every staff member to measure their performance, and get a precise guide towards improving their performance in future project cycles. In regular periods, you can also inform your team members of how much closer you are to the main target, helping employees visualise their goals better.
What are some of the ways you engage your staff and keep them happy? Let us know in the comments below.
Mahendra Gupta heads the product development and business consulting wing at Saviom Software. A certified PMP and expert authority on resource management and workforce planning, his publications have received worldwide acclaim from project leaders wishing to master resource efficiency. Follow his work here.