Where Do Resource Managers (RMs) and Their Employers Agree? Three Need-to-Knows for Your PMO
New survey clearly shows that RM leaders are both well-respected and in short supply. What do RMs and employers say about the burgeoning field of RM leadership?
As I read the RMI Survey Results, I felt a distinct sense of déjà vu. The resource management (RM) discipline is where enterprise-wide, project management leadership was several years ago: Technology changes were driving rapid redefinition of roles. A main challenge was finding people who could be strategic enablers, institute new PMO processes, and drive adoption of new technology. PMO managers are now finally given their due as professionals whose daily activities remain a key growth driver for the business, safeguarding resources, investments and managing risks across the entire enterprise to revenue-burgeoning impact.
RMs are in the midst of that challenge now and our survey brings these issues back in the limelight. Here’s what employers and their employees are saying about the skillsets they need; the salaries they’ll command; and how the field of resource management remains rife with opportunity and promise for those of us fortunate enough to be in on this exciting RM transformation.
- Is There a Defined Career Path Available?
A striking disparity exists between what RMs and their employers say—RMs don’t see as much opportunity for growth and career expansion as their employees do. Based on the data in the RMI Survey, experts agree: “Experienced Resource Managers are scarce and opportunities exist for companies to attract the best and brightest via offering competitive compensation, training and career opportunity planning.” Yet 71% of the RMs themselves reported that they did not see a “defined career path for RMs” in their respective companies. Employers sharply disagreed, with only 34% saying they did not see such a path. In this tight job market, employers who don’t create a clearly defined career path will find themselves lacking these talented individuals.
- Are Resource Managers Hard to Find?
The survey included employees and employers from Enterprise IT and Professional Consulting Services, largely because the RM Leader role is the most mature in those industries. Great RMs and RM Leaders are scarce, say these employers, with only 10% reporting that they’re “not hard to find.” 78 percent of employers report looking for employees with previous RM experience, but no employees report having that background – instead reporting that 61 percent come from project management and operations. This will change, concluded the RMI survey, as certifications grow, and more experience is earned in the RM field. Also, the RM leader role space will start to fill and begin to see compensation in a way that’s commensurate with demand.
- We Agree on What We Need to Succeed
RMO Leaders are in demand; the discipline is growing in both demand and in the respect and strategic capabilities it encompasses; and thanks to RMI, we are starting to benchmark salary ranges to expect; career opportunities to look for; and which industries are in the forefront of using RMs to the greatest effect. One of the areas employers and employees statistically agreed upon in the survey: RM Leaders need project management, project delivery and operational expertise to succeed. “Clear norms are emerging for coverage/investment models for RM resources” survey results suggest.
As we move forward with the “nascent” role of RMO Leader, to me, as with the PMO positions, it’s clear that we will see a burgeoning recognition of the value these highly-skilled employees bring to employers and to the companies where both want to show the growing strategic value to the enterprise.