Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What is HR Project Management?

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!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Welcome to World of HR Project Management - My first Blog

I am new to the world of blogging. In the age of connectivity and information I realized that HR Project Management needs to have a strong user content space for itself. Sure there are n number of blogs and website on Human Resource subject but there isn't one for India and for this new role of Hr professional.

So welcome to the world of HR Project Managers. On this blog I will put my thoughts on HR Project Management, tools techniques etc. and really through this blog improve my Project Management skills and learn as I write.

So as starters what is HR Project Management and where is it today in India. Well, to answer the first question - its managing the HR engine by being with and without HR. Taking up HR problems from HR and solving them for them by collaborating with business and HR. Did that go tangent? (may be for me too ;-) but lets use this posting to share thoughts experiences and enfold the world of HR Project Management.

For the second question - where is it in India? - oh ho no where ;-(…….. ya HR in India though termed as "Strategic Partner” is still confined to routine HR roles of either Recruitment Manager or HR Generalist. We still have not overcome the fear of not having people reporting into us and that has limited our ability to scale to the next level in HR. Cos after we reach 5-7 years of experience, we want someone else to work for us (our team members) and we spend all our time managing the others time, managing team expectations, managing team synergies and in the spare time manage our relations with top management/leadership and in all this we really forget our urge to innovate, resolve and create benchmarks.

While I begin my posts on the subject I will love to hear if any one of you have any advice on blogging.