Planning onboard of project resources

5 tips to help prepare for adding new project resources

Over the past couple of articles, the focus has been on the actions that can be taken to prepare budgets and be ready for the coming project year.

This is important as most organisations work on an annual budgeting cycle.  This means that a PMO or project manager only has 12 months to mobilise and deliver.  The reality the position is much worse as most projects only start really thinking about what they need to do once the new budget year commences.  This means 12 months can easily become only 9 months (or less) as the mobilisation and on-boarding of resources takes time.

Dwight D Eisenhower summed this up with his quote “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”.

Planning is so important as it does give you a head start on everyone else.  It is being prepared and proactive that will make you stand out as a true change leader.

With this in mind I wanted to share 5 ideas that will help you be ready to hit the ground running for the start of the next budgetary year, which for most of us is the 1st January.

1. Define resource requirements

In order to plan the budget for the coming year you will need to have built a book of work (see Building Project Book of Work).  You then will need to work out the budget estimate for each project.  To do this you will need to estimate the activities, duration and resources for the project.

Using this information you should create a list of the types of resources you will require i.e. project manager, business analyst, developer, etc.

2. Prepare resource plan

Using the resources identified in defining resource requirements, where possible create a high level month on month resource plan.  This will probably require that you make assumptions.  However, you should be able to make a fair estimate that you will need the project manager and potentially business analysts early on in the budget year.

This will give you a high level plan of resources for the coming budget year.  It will also help identify those which are the priority hires.  This will mean you will be able to prioritise your efforts on these roles.

You can find more information on resource planning in the post PMO Tools – Resourcing.

3. Prepare job specifications

Most organisations require job specifications in order to recruit and fill roles.

For the roles you know you will need in the coming budget year, do not wait until the new year starts, prepare the job specifications now.  This will mean that you have the information ready to release into the market place as soon as you have budget approval.  This means that you will not have any delay between budget approval and releasing the roles due to having to write the specifications.

A real smart PMO will have versions on the standard change role types that can be quickly updated for the specific role.

4. Discuss resource requirements with HR

Do not wait to discuss your up coming resource requirements with HR or the recruitment teams until you have budget sign-off.

Arrange to meet the appropriate contact point and discuss your plans for the coming year.  You can take along your resource plan (tip 2) to help explain your demand.

This will give HR a good idea of your needs and they can start looking internally for potential resources.

They may even suggest that you meet with recruitment agencies to give them a briefing of the potential demand so they can start to build lists of potential candidates.  It is important that all parties are aware that budget is still not formerly signed-off.

Taking this action means that HR and the recruiters will be able to react much quicker when your roles are approved.

5. Enter roles into recruitment platforms

Many organisations have platforms that are used to manage recruitment.  They typically allow for roles to be added so that they can be approved by budget holders and then released to HR.

If possible, try to add all of your roles into the designated platform up to the point of where they need sign-off.  Again this will save time as they can quickly be released as soon as budget is approved.

Summary

Preparing for the recruitment of project team members can help your project succeed and make the maximum use of the time in the coming budget year.  These 5, simple to take actions can help set you apart from your peers.  Meaning you will have a better chance of achieving your objectives.