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Project Manager : Project Manager June July 2012
38 Project Manager • career centre How HR can help you EXPERIENCED PROJECT MANAGERS WILL know one of the toughest challenges in today’s climate is the attraction, development and retention of key staff – the domain of the Human Resources (HR) department. Perhaps it’s time you asked how HR can help maximise the success of your project. Understanding HR To get the most out HR, you need to understand their role, what they can offer and the best way to approach them. HR departments are primarily responsible for the attraction, development and retention of employees. Often HR departments will be organised into specialist areas like recruitment, remuneration and training. More general support might involve facilitating the performance review cycle, supporting leadership development or managing pay bonuses. Once you unearth the resources this department has to offer, you will see it as an invaluable asset to tap into. Depending on the size and capability of the HR group they may even be a formal resource to lean on. The table on the oppostie page shows the key areas of HR, what they do and how they can help you. How to work with HR 1. Learn and understand: Take the time to meet with your HR representative (typically a HR generalist) and learn what they do. Think laterally against your project plan, issues/risks and resourcing plans to see how the HR department can support you. Don’t stop with your HR Generalist, though, and seek out the recruitment or training specialists as well. 2. Give and take: HR departments generally have limited project management capability. If you want a HR department to help you – look to help them as well. HR would most likely find any project management mentoring or support invaluable. Relationships are always built in two directions. 3. Take a long-term view: Irrespective of your role and level you should know someone in HR (and the same point extends to knowing people in finance, legal, marketing and procurement). Your peer in HR can provide you with many insights and opportunities to support your career or matters relevant to your project. This may include advice on handling your star performer or issues related to redundancy. HR departments, like all of us, are very busy and have a highly technical skill set with its own language and style. Don’t be put off by this and, remember, they will look at your requirements through their ‘HR lens’, not necessarily your perspective. Often this is why their input is so valuable. If you invest the time and energy early on it will pay dividends in the end. ••• If you Invest the tIme and energy early on It wIll pay dIvIdends In the end Hr has a lot to offer project managers. Find out how to tap into this department and reap the benefits. By Peter Szilagyi, MaiPM cPPd
Project Manager April May 2012
Project Manager Aug Sept 2012