Project management and human resources may seem like two distinct domains, but the disciplines are inherently interwoven. People complete projects, and HR departments are responsible for managing those people.

Rory Burke, author of “Project Management Techniques,” defines the discipline as “a way of developing structure in a complex project, where the independent variables of time, cost, resources and human behavior come together.”

HR professionals play a vital role in completing projects, and diverse approaches to activities, such as strategic planning, scheduling, task delegation, and timeline predictions, can significantly influence project outcomes.

The influence of HR on project management

Long before the inception of a project, HR departments are already influencing future initiatives by recruiting, hiring, and training people who will later work on projects.

HR professionals continuously foster healthy employee relations, optimize workflow processes, and manage the long-term well-being of an organization’s workforce. They also provide employee benefits that enhance team members’ engagement levels and overall commitment to job responsibilities.

If these professionals do their job well, employees will achieve at a higher rate, and as a result, any imminent projects will run more smoothly. This gives any initiative a better chance of progressing successfully.

Each organizational project goes through the project life cycle, which has five stages:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Controlling/Monitoring
  5. Closing

Throughout the initiation stage of a project, HR departments assist with determining goals and evaluating the potential efficacy of that project.

In the planning phase, HR leaders allocate resources, assist with formulating strategic plans, and utilize workforce-related data to inform decisions regarding the best approaches and methods for achieving project goals. They carefully build project teams and can make suggestions about workflow practices and timeline projections.

In the execution phase, HR leaders can help with anything employees need to complete the project, enhancing worker output, productivity, and satisfaction. They can delegate tasks, continuously assign and adapt timeline goals, and work with leaders in other departments to streamline project execution practices.

During the controlling (or monitoring) stage, HR departments update leadership on team progress and performance, track employee time spent on various activities, and continuously manage risk. They resolve any conflicts among project teams and exist as a beacon for communication throughout task completion.

Throughout the closing stage, HR professionals compare and analyze profitability, timeline, and individual achievement projections vs. outcomes. They evaluate the success of chosen strategies, team arrangements, and the project as a whole. They can also garner feedback from employees regarding their experience.

Let’s discuss ways human resource departments can intelligently and effectively enhance project-management processes.

9 HR strategies for improving project-management processes

1. Building more robust and centralized HR data frameworks.
By expanding the quantity and quality of employee data, you can ensure better hires, optimized team dynamics, and improved projections accuracy (regarding timelines and resource allocation). This can be done much more easily with a centralized software system that automates and simplifies many aspects of data collection.

2. Allowing for flexibility throughout the completion of project tasks.
Providing versatile options and adopting adaptable project management approaches increases employee satisfaction and leads to higher productivity rates.

3. Providing more comprehensive, innovative, or fun employee benefits. This strategy enhances employee well-being and engagement levels, developing team members’ commitment and passion for completing projects. Consider incentivizing project teams with benefits like spot bonuses, awards, or creative gifts to further augment performance.

4. Managing risk well to account for unexpected problems throughout any project. Making better predictions regarding potential risks is key to keeping projects on track and under budget. Also, expecting the unexpected prevents stress, missed deadlines, and disgruntled employees.

5. Tracking employee time more strategically to optimize workflows.
When done correctly, a data-driven approach to time tracking can give you valuable insights and better inform decisions regarding scheduling and other project-management techniques.

6. Prioritizing time management, attention to detail, and communication in training and development programs.
Ensuring employees have these essential skills for completing any project is a key step leading to elevated success rates.

7. Utilizing essential HR metrics and KPIs more strategically and keeping an eye on them throughout each stage of a project to make better decisions. Through metrics, you can see which tasks each employee struggles with and which ones each worker completes with ease, leading to better task-delegation outcomes. When used well, KPIs and metrics can help enhance prediction capabilities, ensure project status stays on track, and pinpoint previously unnoticed growth areas.

Comparing projected vs. real outcomes intelligently through the lens of these reference points is also a great way to evaluate the success and progress of individuals, teams, and the entire organization.

8. Focusing closely on employee feedback to inform and enhance future approaches to projects. Prioritizing surveys, one-on-one meetings, and other forms of feedback in the closing stage enhances your knowledge of project management best practices. This helps you improve your techniques, increase employee engagement, and achieve more in future endeavors.

9. Using a project-planning system that can automate tasks and optimize overarching project management and workflow processes.
Intelligent systems make your life easier while instantly exemplifying information you might have never noticed otherwise.

Workant work-planning features

Our centralized projects and work planning module can assist you throughout the entire project management life cycle. Workant gives you insights and capabilities that help you plan more strategically, better evaluate the progress of initiatives, increase the success rates of projects, and optimize your profits.

Our software offers a range of views and customization options so that you can adapt your approaches to your team’s needs.

Features include

Project Tracking: Designed to help you estimate and track project status while improving project management practices. With our Project Tracking elements, you can:
• Allocate time to different projects
• Gain informative insights on resource usage, performance, company-wide trends, and more
• See a clear overall picture while following project status and development
• Estimate profitability
• Provide employees the ability to record their working hours
• Integrate project data with ease

Work Planning: Engineered to enhance planning capabilities, enhance workflow practices in future projects, and inform decisions regarding initiatives. With our Work Planning features, you can:
• Plan goals, schedules, and workflows more intelligently
• Effectively predict and assign expected working hours
• See how busy each employee is daily, monthly, and annually
• Estimate future timelines
• Evaluate resource needs to help optimize resource allocation

Sign up for a free HR software trial today, and see our helpful program in action. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding how HR can improve your unique project-management processes.

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