Newsletter August 2016 – HRPMO says…

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“…what good is project management to Human Resources? It’s not what we do!”

Actually, that is a myth. As an HR practitioner, I was doing projects every year and that’s where I fell in love with project management – I just didn’t know that was what it was! But I felt myself struggling to create a framework, develop a system, track deliverables, hit deadlines, and deliver on time. My project plan was an Excel file with a list of dates. I started with the drop dead date for delivery, then backed into the rest of the plan’s dates. I considered dependencies without realizing that’s what they were – such as not being able to update the benefits pricing for open enrollment until the executive team made the decision about the cost sharing formula. I worked with printing deadlines and vendor files and tried to ensure dates were met so there were no blowups that would embarrass me and my boss. And I had no idea I was doing project management.

What’s more, I had no idea there was a standardized framework that I could have been using. We often think of project management as a tool of IT – or used in construction in the process of building a physical building. But project management is ALL about building – whether you are creating from scratch or re-engineering processes, products or tools you already have in place.

So what’s the point of using project management in HR? It’s a direct link to strategy.

Being a project manager won’t turn you into a Vice President or CHRO, but it will train your brain to think differently – more quantitatively and holistically. And if you want to be part of the strategic team – invited to have a seat at the table – you have to be able to think from a quantitative, enterprise perspective.

You can’t turn that light bulb on with a switch – you have to train your brain.

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