The Profession of Being an RM or RMO Leader – It’s not as easy as you think!

Author: Jathon Strauss

Five takeaways from the newest 2018 Resource Management Institute Survey

As a research- and customer-driven company, we have to spend a lot of time with analysts and scientists to determine the best ways to update our PMO solution as well as measuring how clients get higher ROI. As a result, we get to grow and learn with them.

The Resource Management Institute (RMI) recently performed a one-of-a-kind survey which provided valuable benchmark information for services teams focused on resource management initiatives. We work with the RMI folks often to gain insight into what both their research and our customers tell us is a number one challenge: resource capacity planning. And we always learn something from their data-rich surveys. For example, we received many nuggets of information from this latest, valuable survey report focusing on resource management (RM), The Profession of Being a RM or RMO Leader.

Here are five key takeaways I got from the report that might help you on your capacity planning journey.

  1. Large Distributed Workforces Require More RM: You need to be even better at resource management than most. Survey respondents said they had a difficult time filling RM slots to begin with, however, it’s even more difficult for positions managing resources in this type of workforce. Professional services, IT services and product portfolio managers made up 94 percent of respondents. They all shared this challenge.
  2. Experience Means A Lot: Employers wanted RMs to lead their project portfolios that already had RM experience, of course, but also experience in project delivery (79%) and operations (43%). When looking at the employee side of things, they seemed to come from these types of backgrounds, which was good, but might help career growth objectives for current project delivery and operations managers too.
  3. People Skills Matter: In Enterprise IT portfolios, RMs are expected to do a lot more people management than their counterparts in Professional Services (PS). The RM role is compensated more highly among these people managers in IT but RMI concludes that salary pressure based on the lack of qualified RMs will make services RMs pay rates soar. This makes it even more crucial for resource and services managers to collaborate and use role-based planning to better understand the needs and the capacity they have to deliver.
  4. Resource Managers Need a Clear Career Path: The survey showed that more than 75% (in both Professional Services and for Enterprise IT) of employees felt that they did not see a true career path for RMs in their companies. However, employers said that RMs were scarce and thus providing compensation and career tracks remained a crucial way to recruit them. The takeaway? The RMs we talk to tell us that gaining resource capacity transparency and control allows them to become more valuable to the organization because they can better demonstrate their own ROI. Resource management becomes more cost-effective and this provides indisputable business value.
  5. Invest in RM: This survey confirmed something we long suspected: Resource managers will be in demand for a long time because handling resources appropriately within your PMO (or any organization, really) is a true indicator of your future success. 

Resource management is the core of many organization’s ability to succeed. Often times just the slightest improvements in efficiency can yield big business benefits. We hear all the time how resourcing is a struggle and visibility makes a huge impact. The data here speaks to a lot of good points and helps to validate many of the challenges resource managers face. But applying the learnings and making changes is not always easy. Recognizing the need and making small changes can go a long way because better resource management always leads toward better success. To get the full survey report data, visit the Resource Management Institute or download the summary here.