When it comes to project resourcing, McDonald’s owner and CEO Ray Kroc put it simply: “You’re only as good as the people you hire.” Or as Walt Disney said, “of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal.”
The importance of resourcing to a project’s success is often underestimated. At a project’s outset, the focus is frequently on understanding the overall requirements, planning what is to be built and delivered, what milestones need to be achieved, setting the budget and so on. These are all vital considerations. Less attention is given to who can actually complete all that planned work.
This oversight can have severe consequences. Inadequate resourcing leads to higher final project costs, poor-quality product delivery, delays in overall delivery, and tasks being de-prioritised and pushed out to a later date on a ‘Day 2 Items’ list.
Resource planning starts at project initiation
Good project managers incorporate resource planning from the outset. This includes factoring in expected and unexpected staff absences, and dependencies on other projects that may eat into the time and attention of any key project members. The resourcing-related budget also needs to be reviewed regularly throughout the project, as costs can spiral out of control if it isn’t monitored closely.
Lack of detailed resource planning can derail a project. In Ireland, for example, construction of the National Children’s Hospital and the long-planned Metrolink have suffered extensive delays and cost overruns due to resourcing issues. Anecdotal reports suggest the construction industry has found it extremely hard in recent years (particularly since the Covid pandemic) to find adequate, skilled resources to complete projects on time, leading to such project overruns. Similar problems afflict the financial services industry, which typically struggles to recruit and retain the right people to manage and work on projects.
Beware of scope creep
Scope creep – that insidious snowballing of a project’s focus and timeline – is a common peril, with major implications for resource planning. Key people initially drafted in to work on the project may have agreed commitments on other, unrelated tasks further down the line, and so may not be available for the later stages of a project whose timeline has overrun. A good project manager keeps tight control over its scope for this reason.
Resourcing benefits from relationship and stakeholder management
Relationship management is a key project management skill. A positive relationship between the project manager and functional team managers can help when difficult conversations need to be had about the need for resources to work overtime or to make themselves available for weekend work on a project at specific points to keep the planned timeline on track.
Stakeholder management is similarly crucial to resourcing. If a project manager has buy-in from senior stakeholders on a project’s clearly stated goals at the outset and can keep key people onside during the project rollout, their influence and assistance can help should a case need to be made for additional resources down the road. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ comes into play here.
DEEP POOL AS RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
At Deep Pool, we work in close partnership with our clients to drive successful conclusions to their IT projects. Our pool of highly experienced staff around the world has intimate knowledge of our technology solutions and the industry’s demands and a clear understanding of the resource requirements needed to complete a project. This is why we’re always happy to engage with clients at the initial stages of potential projects so that we can advise on the best approach to resourcing and ensure each project achieves its goals.
ABOUT DEEP POOL
Deep Pool is the #1 investor servicing and compliance solutions supplier, providing cutting-edge software and consulting services to the world’s leading fund administrators and asset managers. Our flexible solution suite, developed by an experienced team of accountants, business analysts and software engineers, supports offshore and onshore hedge funds, partnerships, private equity vehicles, retail funds and regulated financial firms. Deep Pool is a global organisation with offices in Dublin, Ireland, the United States, the Cayman Islands and Slovakia. For more information, visit: www.deep-pool.com.