The human resources department is the linchpin between the top management and the company employees. The organization’s size often determines the kind of tasks and responsibilities the HR is assigned. More often, HR works on projects of varying magnitude. Simple ones like updating employee salaries and paystubs could be automated, taking only a few hours, while others like recruiting could take up to several months.
If you are a human resource professional, knowing how to effectively initiate, plan, execute, and monitor different projects will set you ahead of the rest. Below, we have explored more about project management in HR. You’ll also learn crucial tips that you can implement to boost your project management skills.
Why is Project Management Important in HR?
Often, HR professionals aren’t used to planning and managing formal projects outside their department. However, most of the tasks they do on a day-to-day basis can be categorized as projects or micro-projects. Some of the popular projects that HR teams engage in include planning and executing employee onboarding and training programs, conducting employee surveys, and completing yearly or quarterly performance and salary reviews.
The other projects often assigned to HR include managing workplace operations, organizing team-building activities, and designing employee benefits programs. These tasks are complicated and require a good grasp of project management best practices.
Over the years, HR experts have also become more active in company-wide initiatives. For instance, HR leaders are often part of the c-suite executives tasked with decision-making on critical matters such as company culture, employees’ salary, diversity issues, etc. HR professionals who have a mastery of managing projects will have the upper hand in driving or even leading such crucial meetings.
Besides equipping your leadership skills to ensure the smooth running of different projects, having the prerequisite project management skills also help you reduce project costs, mitigate risks, optimize resources, and boost overall project efficiency. If you are looking to improve your project management skills, we have rounded up some tips for your consideration.
Tips for Effective Project Management in HR
Project management is one of the highly valuable skills that most employers look for in their leaders and employees. Leading or overseeing a project isn’t always limited to the project manager. In fact, a great project manager will at times allow their junior team members to take on leadership responsibilities by guiding their colleagues through different projects and assignments. Here are the tips to help you nurture key project management capabilities.
Have a Solid Plan in Place
Proper planning is necessary for the success of any project. The benefit of planning your projects early enough is that it affords you some control over the outcomes. This gives you the assurance and confidence you need to organize great teams and empower them to tackle any challenges along the way. When planning a project, you always begin with the problem at hand. The goal is to create a site map to help you navigate all the tasks and challenges you are likely to encounter.
After creating a plan, you want to put down goals and the objectives you want to achieve. It’s also advisable to define some approaches that you’ll use to meet your goals. Assigning roles and responsibilities to teams is also crucial. Here, employees should be matched with roles such that their skills and expertise are harnessed to benefit the team members and the entire project.
Prioritize Data-Driven Decision Making
At the heart of every successful HR Project is proper decision-making. If you want to align your teams and guide them to success, it’s best to base your actions on proven techniques and strategies instead of relying on gut feelings and guesswork.
Where possible, you should leverage data analytics for data exploration and visualization, such that you have actionable insights to drive critical project decisions. By relying on effective and sophisticated data strategies, you can help your team fast-track projects while reducing time and resources spent on less valuable tasks and processes.
Focus on Your Team
Every project relies on the input of all the team members to ensure the key project objectives are met. A project can only be successful if the teams are engaged and motivated to work on their assigned tasks. Achieving this level of collaboration and coordination means that you should put your people first. One way of doing this is equipping them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Another way is to ensure your team members feel respected and valued and that their input to the project is worthwhile. Their roles and individual contributions should also align with their core values and beliefs. Similarly, avoid distractions such as assigning multiple roles to one employee or switching them midway along with the project. This can cause teams to disengage, and the impact can be quite detrimental.
Ensure Effective Risk Management
Risk management entails identifying, analyzing, and responding to risks that arise anywhere along the project’s lifecycle. An effective risk management strategy will set aside the necessary resources needed to respond to the threat in the shortest time possible. That could mean having more personnel to attend to a problem or/and having the necessary tools to stop certain risks from spreading or advancing.
Depending on the complexity and type of the project at hand, the risks encountered will always vary. For instance, losing a key employee or suffering a major hack can be a huge blow to the integrity and success of your internal projects.
For effective risk management, risk managers should appoint risk owners who oversee a portion of the entire project to ensure potential risks are identified, prioritized, and mitigated. This is an important risk ownership strategy that you should incorporate into your overall risk response plan.
Project management in HR is crucial to ensure the smooth operation of the company and company projects. Whether launching internal programs or participating in external events, proper project management is key to cutting costs, maintaining efficiency, and meeting the desired objectives. That said, project management skills are crucial for everyone, whether you are a junior employee or a senior manager.