I have been recently re-reading the excellent book from Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleand, stumbling upon the definition of a habit, I made the link to human resources and to a wider extend organisation in the context of project management.
Take a look at what’s a habit according to S. Covey, a habit consists of three things:
- Knowledge: what to do
- Skills: how to do
- Desire: want to do
These three components are fundamental to keep in mind at many stages of project management and must not be forgotten for – I am taking here references to the PMBOK:
- Acquire project team, because your team will need to have a balance of those three components. It is important to have people (some if not most of your project team) with the right motivation (desire), you will need to make sure people have the skills required to deliver the project scope. I am taking the knowledge here is a pre-requisite but it is to the PM to bring them to the knowledge of what needs to be done
- Most planning activities in Project Time Management ( Resource estimating, Duration estimating), because you will need to know what mix of the three components you have in order to perform those planning tasks accurately
- Risk management: ensure that you analyse the risks based on the resources mix you have in your team
- Develop and Manage project team, as you will have tailor the development of your staff based on the components mix
- Obviously resources constraints are very often on top of the problems list of project managers. This is a further reason why taking a good look at the definition of a habit is even more important as the human resources inputs to your project becomes a critical success factor, in other words, it must be right if you want your project to succeed
I once managed a project where all “installation engineers” where new to the company and their skills did not yet reach the desired level. On top of that because of many changes within the organisation they were not particularly motivated, the results is:
- What to do: OK, covered
- How to do: Not really as their skills did not match what was required of such resources
- Want to do: Not really as the motivation was not there – so to create it I adjusted their roles on the project to better meet their career goal
Principles should guides one’s life, that’ the message from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it is a good message to remember at every stage of a project.