People vs. Robots: Transforming Utilization in Centralized RMOs Using the Human Element

Author: Lindsey Marymont

A holiday movie surprise mirrors a compelling argument (and data) for centralizing your resource management

It appears 2018 saw the “best Transformers movie ever” in the release of Bumblebee. This new holiday blockbuster has been hailed for its humanity rather than falling back on those tired, old, robot vs. people tropes that made the last couple of transformers films feel stale and tired. As Peter Travers in The Rolling Stone said, Bumblebee is “something meant to be watched by thinking, feeling human beings.”


If Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots aren’t your thing, that’s cool. But focusing on the human element of project management—resource management (RM)—should be, especially if you’re in a human capital-intensive business like enterprise IT or professional services. In the Resource Management Institute’s (RMI) last Power UP webinar of 2018, Managing Director Randy Mysliviec made a stunning case for centralizing RM by focusing on human capital and bringing RM out of departmental silos and into the light. Supported by a lot of data from RMI’s research over the past two years, as well as evidence gleaned from hundreds of RMI consulting gigs, he showed why centralizing RM has been controversial on one hand—yet hailed as a gamechanger on the other.


Coming Attractions
The trailer? Pretty explosive: Most organizations manage resources in a decentralized way and it’s got to stop. Randy Mysliviec said that, yes, of course, if there are dramatically different skillsets in the departmental resource pool that are not cross-functional, then decentralization might seem a long shot. However, based on compelling research and through work with hundreds of consulting projects, the improved utilization numbers even in these scenarios, in terms of project performance, are truly astounding. If you can get past the politics of the change, you can give decentralized, agile teams a centralized view to make the most compelling decisions for your company, clients and for their own career aspirations, as well.


$30 for Popcorn and Soda?
Centralizing RM can avoid a lot of expenditures and mark-ups. For example, unnecessary third-party contracting costs a lot of money. But the bottom line on cost containment for centralized RM is this: RMI’s project performance research over the past two years, conclude that because RM is a key driver of project performance, nailing this aspect down in a centralized RMO, can transform your performance metrics and make your people, happier, as well.


That’s because proactive employee engagement makes the difference. The war for talent is heating up and the more we can do to attract the best and brightest—the better. A centralized view helps us meet employee aspirations for their careers more often, and, at the same time, better employee engagement leads to improved employee morale—which leads to happier internal and external clients.


Well-Casted Movies: What a Centralized View Is --and Isn’t

  • Transparent, optimized resource management must reside in one place. Do people managers make all the decisions in your company, still? Or do RMs do so, as well? Here’s the controversy: Traditional HR processes must continue to be a crucial way to attract and utilize the best people—however, there’s a great argument for utilization in a way that drives project performance via a directive from an RMO.
  • Good standardization in RM from a central location leads to greater governance and the RM processes that deliver substantial benefits. You need command central if you’re deploying across geographies and using different people from different departments.
  • Centralized planning for project-based human capital helps you nail down budget cycles that may be great on the departmental level–yet hemorrhaging from an enterprise-wide view. Research shows you gain revenue opportunities and remain agile when responding to opportunity from a transparent, centralized utilization plan. Randy said he’s seen both IT product development teams and consulting services become more proactive while staffing the most high-potential projects because the resource pool isn’t locked into departmental silos and cross-enterprise availability is easily accessed.
  • Here’s the end of the controversy: RMO oversight of resource deployment and utilization decisions DOES NOT replace HR. When RMS and HR collaborate, they both empower employees and help delivery teams do a better job connecting with the internal or external client project needs more closely. What defines success in your industry and among your stakeholders? You’ll not learn what that secret sauce is unless and until you can see the big picture that centralized RM provides and then engage your people to deliver it more often, consistently and within budget, of course.


If you want more, tune into the webinar “on-demand”, or call us at KeyedIn so we can get into details about how you can ensure your strong, strategic vision is translated via decentralized decision makers who are nonetheless, aligned strategically. It can all be empowered by a centralized RMO that uses KeyedIn to power up human capital.

~ A version of this post appeared on TMCnet.com ~