Resource pool management

A project is a management environment with the internal authority to make the right decisions at the right time, but as it also affects the organisation itself, it is important that an organisation examines how it provides resources to projects at the same time as carrying on its usual business.

A common complaint is that a combination of projects and business as usual pulls too many people in too many directions. Priorities are unclear; all the stops are pulled out for a priority project until something happens to compromise the operation of the rest of the business. At that point the project (much to the chagrin of its management team) is pushed to one side. Organisations with a strong emphasis on operational excellence often consider projects to be of secondary importance, which is understandable because business as usual funds projects, but this can be dangerous as it may affect their ability to change in order to prosper, or survive.

A resource pool is a group of people within a single management structure, usually with common skills. Effective resource pool management helps to balance the competing demands of the people who are responsible for business as usual at the same time as releasing enough of them to deliver a portfolio of value-focused projects.

Imagine installing a fish tank to be stocked with a wide variety of tropical fish. The fish come from a specialist supplier who has many pools, each containing a different species. So an assortment is chosen subject to the supplier having enough fish of each type to meet the demand and the customer having enough money to pay for them.

The same is true of projects. The management team responsible for staffing a new project requests resources from a wide variety of internal and, possibly, external sources. In this way, they obtain the mix of skills, knowledge, experience and character they believe will serve the project well. This creates a further responsibility for the people who manage the pools from which the resources have been picked. Just as the specialist supplier of fish has to manage the quantity and health of fish in each pool, so too must someone in the project-focused organisation take responsibility for managing the people who may be needed to work on projects. A project manager charged with finding a specialist team leader for a particular phase of a project may feel aggrieved if the one remaining expert has been promised to another project. This would be doubly frustrating if the only alternative on offer was one of three market analysts of which the company has a surfeit. Resource pool management is needed to ensure that both business as usual and projects have enough people of the quality they need at the right time.

Resource pool management can be carried out according to free market or regulated principles.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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