Key Topics in Project Management
The Importance of Project Management
The umbrella of project management is broad term that can encompass a differs range of varying skillsets. An understanding of the concepts below provide a scaffolding and overview for moving forward into a broad range of project categories. Keeping these concepts in mind during the development, approval, and completion of tasks can help provide direction and anchors to keep in mind when planning future projects. These concepts can also help long term implementation of project goals with a quality system that ensures sustainability.
What is Human Resource Management?
Quite simply a human resource is any person that is lending their time, talents, and abilities to help a company succeed in reaching its goals. Human resource management guides where those skills can be best applied, encompasses employee training, conflict resolution, motivation, and performance tracking. Even with no HR staff available the concepts of interpersonal communication and human resource utilization are an unavoidable part of creating a successful team that is able to work together to the best of its abilities.
It is important not to underestimate the effectiveness of a healthy workplace culture coupled with a tried and tested training techniques in achieving a highly functional team. Even a well equipped staff can provide low value outputs if a system is not in place that helps to define expectations and a shared end goal. Conversely, if trained correctly even a poorly equipped staff can provide great lifetime value when provided with proper direction, training, and feedback.
Without any prior information, at its core, hiring an employee is to consider the potential lifetime value of a new hire versus the cost of wages and training.
For Example, a highly skilled individual with years of previous training will provide good up front value, however at the cost of the need to pay out higher wages. Compared to a hire with less training that might provide less value initially along with the added cost of additional training, it may be a worthwhile investment long term as they know the specific of the company, there may be a greater chance to foster loyalty.
The strategy of adopting motivated individuals into lower level positions and providing them with mobility to move up the chain is something often adopted by larger organizations but more difficult to implement on a smaller scale. In a smaller company every employee would need to pick up the extra slack brought on by the new hire although this still remains a viable strategy. Increasingly, personality testing has become more popular due to the potential cost savings and long term return on investment of in house training.
Conflict within a company system has a bad reputation conjuring up images of fighting employees, a toxic workplace and strained relationships. Conflict itself however is not inherently negative, and the ability to argue ideas through conflict is a good way to improve upon old ideas and uncover new ways of doing things. An organization devoid of internal conflict has stopped growing and people have stopped attempting to innovate. Conflict can serve as the filter for new ideas, modifying and improving on them. If an organization has no conflict either too few innovative ideas are being presented or nobody is taking the initiative to question them.
Negative Conflict can occur when the problems that are being fought over are personal in nature and emotion is heavily invested in them. This type of conflict can make it difficult for employees to work together and communicate. Although not all issues can be settled over a simple one hour conversation, it is important to maintain a culture of respect between people, keep morale high, and reduce factors that could make disagreements escalate out of control.
HR should step in when:
Many personal conflicts occur due to differences in belief, culture, perceptions, and backgrounds, as well as misinterpretations of intention. The ability to have a calm and controlled conversation with two employees that are experiencing a dispute can often be enough to allow them to continue to cooperate. Setting concrete ground rules and a focusing on shared work values can enhance cooperation, and begin to encourage trust and mutual respect. A culture of shared respect can help build the values that enhance future cooperation.