Jan 27, 2009

Resource Management Identified as Top Project Management Challenge

GLEN MILLS, Pa. (January 27, 2009) – The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has long identified resource management as a key element to project success in its standards guide. In spite of a variety of published “best practices” guides and software solutions, however, resource management issues continue to plague program and project managers. Now, in a new report, the Center for Business Practices (CBP) confirms that not only are resource management issues a challenge; they are the number one challenge faced by project-centric organizations today.

“Given the complexity of effectively managing resources, we’re not surprised to see that, in spite of the clear link between resource management and performance, organizations continue to fall short in making it work for their business,” said Jim Pennypacker, director of the CBP.  

According to the study, “Research Management Challenges,” the top resource challenges that threaten organizational effectiveness include:

  • Poor resource capacity planning
  • Lack of appropriately skilled resources
  • Unplanned resource requests
  • Poorly optimized resource use
  • Inaccurate effort estimations

Despite the fact that most organizations surveyed (74.4%) have immature resource management practices, there is a bright spot. Findings show a strong correlation between organizational performance and the organization’s level of resource management maturity. Data reveals that for each performance measure studied, organizational performance improves as the resource management maturity improves.

The high-performing organizations identified in the study were significantly more likely to practice resource management standards than those identified as low-performing organizations. Standard practices used by high-performers include: 

  • Resource career plans used to effectively utilize and train employees
  • Information about potentially available resources used for estimating resource types
  • Staff assignments are effectively negotiated with functional managers
  • Scope of work and resource data is used in estimating activity durations
  • The organization has a centralized pool of resources
  • “Resources required” is used to determine the duration of activities
  • Project performance reports provide information on resource performance
  • Resource leveling is used to keep resource usage constant
  • Resource reallocation from non-critical to critical activities is used

According to Pennypacker, “This report gives valuable insight into the resource management practices that correlate to strong business performance. By focusing on organizational skills development, resource planning and forecasting, and structure and staffing, organizations can use their resources wisely and feel confident that their efforts will pay off for the business.”

About PM Solutions & The Center for Business Practices
PM Solutions is a management consulting firm helping companies govern, manage, measure, and resource their portfolio of projects to improve overall business performance. The Center for Business Practices is the research and publishing arm of PM Solutions, promoting effective strategy execution through research reports, books, and benchmarking events that focus on sound portfolio, program, project, and performance management.

“PMI” is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.