As I begin my posts I start with helping all of us understand what HR Project Management is.
Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet project requirements.
If I quote PMBOK guide - Project Management is accomplished through use of processes such as: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
Intuitively all of us – I mean all of us - HR professionals initiate a particular work activity, plan, execute and close. I did not comment on control because we typically loose control when there are too many people giving their inputs and all business leaders running at different directions ;-)
So how’s HR Project Management or HR project manager any different than the HR strategist or a traditional HR role?
OK…….. imagine an organization that had offices in their home country and it had not spanned out globally yet. In a set up like this, there would be undoubtedly limited risks in implementing uniform policies, tools or processes. The Corporate HR and Field or Local HR would not have distinctive roles and therefore there wouldn’t be disconnect in what is strategically correct and ideal and what is practically feasible and logical. (I am not trying to disregard any of their roles and importance of their areas of expertise, these roles are important to what is HR project management)
With globalization and flattening of the world the role of HR is becoming complex and going through an evolution as we speak. We have varied roles in HR org – Global HR Leader/Director – supporting her are the specialist or strategists or HR consultant - known as Corporate HR. Regional HR Leader – sitting at regional offices supported by Regional HR Generalist, Strategists; Local HR Leaders supported by the HR Manager, HR Generalists. The Regional and or Local HR may have teams and roles to manage day to day transactions like payroll, queries, MIS etc.
The strategist really is an HR person who steps out of the traditional HR role and thinks about the changes/steps required to help the business reach where it wants to reach. These strategies have to be broken to several steps or projects in accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and move the HR engine across the organization in order to get the intended outcome.
In all this complexity there is need to have a role or a team that looks at the high level strategy, break them into steps or projects and identify what needs to be changed or introduced – in policy, process, technology; and assess its impact across the globe and really see what is strategically correct and practically possible.
So, the HR Project Manager is really an HR strategist and executioner who is not just analyzing the situation suggesting a strategy but taking a step further breaking the strategy to workable projects and giving a plan to implement those projects. So really the HR Project Management role is to look at the global or Corporate strategy; translate that into projects needed to be done to achieve it and also plan and execute the projects.
Well I have from my experience and assessment tried to put across what HR Project Management is, hope this helps all of us.
On a side note- I realized when I was writing this blog -- I am really part of this evolution in HR. That means I am not just a strategist; an executioner but also an evolutionist ;-) See you soon!