As you grow in your career as a resource manager, you spend more time managing people and less on day-to-day tasks. For most management roles, checking off the top 3 hottest items on your to-do list is normally cause for celebration. As the old saying goes, time is money. You want to stay focused and be doing things that are helpful, but that's not always easy. Here are 3 things all resource managers should be doing perpetually to help keep team members on track and aligned with business strategy and goals.
Make a clear path for Production based on what the company needs (not necessarily what it wants).
In my role, two of the biggest grievances I hear are “I don’t know what work to do first” or “I don’t know where to log my time.” People want, and often crave, direction. The first step is prioritization of tasks and time tracking. A simple 15-minute daily scrum highlighting work for each team member can provide a clear path to the work that needs to be accomplished, when it’s due, and where to log the time. If direction is not provided consistently, confusion may occur and it will have a big impact on the company through over-allocation of resources. In my position, direction must be forefront and clear. Set your team members up for success!
Party of 1
Be your biggest cheerleader.
In my position as Traffic Manager, I wear many hats and resource manager is just one. I am a guiding light for project managers as well as production team members. Depending on your organization, you might also be the “ask-me-anything director" for upper management too. Though you will always have a direct manager to report to (we all have sick days) it is important to have confidence in your job performance. This can be easily gauged by how well (or poorly) resourcing is going for the company.
Always remember that small victories are just as important as big ones. What are some examples? Well, maybe you finally got all the team in sync using the CRM correctly (whoo hoo!) in contrast to utilization numbers tripling in the past three months (hello bonuses!). Also, it is easy for the surrounding team members to view you as part of a management team, though you may not have that title. Since you are an internal support advocate that often provides guidance, it is not uncommon that you don’t receive high-fives or “Atta Boy!” every time you manage 24 hours of no resourcing conflicts. Stay positive and remember those small victories. At the end of the day, when my teams are happy, I am happy.
The Water Cooler
Always remember communication is only one part of the conversation.
We all know that communication is key in all aspects of life, both personal and professional. Let’s be honest, most people spend more time at work with their colleagues than outside the office. Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to blend how we communicate with each other on a daily basis. ("How are the kids? By the way, I need your report done by 2 p.m. today, thanks!)
In the resourcing arena, communication is a necessity. Not only between yourself and team members, but also relying on communication between others. At some point in the process, concerns will come back to you. Sometimes the "game of telephone" rears its head, making more work for you. None of this is done with bad intentions, it’s just a part of the job.
When faced with this obstacle, a key thing to keep in mind is this: not everyone is created the same. Everyone thinks differently, interprets information differently, speaks differently and reacts differently. To your project managers, their clients are most important and should receive priority. To upper management, time is money and money is needed for paychecks, benefits, perks and keeping the lights on. To your team members, appreciation of their skills and abilities might mean the world to them. Approach each possible conflict with those differences in mind.
Now what does this all mean?
1. You are an important part of your company’s DNA.
2. Without you:
a. money could be lost
b. employees could be unproductive and not reach their fullest potential
c. communication may be lost and important information never makes it to your 3 p.m. meeting (You know, the one with the VP and CEO in it…gulp!).
3. (Most important!) Keep being a rockstar! You really are making a difference.
Are you a resource manager? Share your tips below on how you keep your teams on track. Also, don't forget to subscribe to our weekly email that keeps you up-to-date on our latest posts.