Human resource management

Definition

Human resource management (HRM) is about managing people-related activities within an organisation to meet its strategic goals.

General

HRM is concerned with every aspect of the use and development of people within an organisation, whether related to business-as-usual or project and programme activities.

It has a wide scope, encompassing such areas as recruitment, competency development, legislation, disputes, personal development, and rewards and incentives.

P3 managers work closely with HRM both to secure resources and monitor their progress, as well as ensuring that skills and training needs are met for their teams. So, they need an understanding, not only of the specific HR requirements within their work areas, but also a wide general understanding of the implications of HRM within the organisation.

Apart from legislative requirements, the application of HRM policy will depend on the structure and culture of the organisation. HRM in a project-based organisation is likely to be closely aligned to the needs of P3 managers, for example, in keeping a database of the availability of resources with specialist skills. In other organisations there may be less awareness of specific P3 resourcing requirements.

In a matrix environment the P3 manager often has responsibility but little power. Team members will report to a line manager who is responsible, together with HRM, for their performance appraisal, promotion and pay reviews. This requires diplomacy and leadership skills from the P3 manager and an understanding by HRM of the balance needed between projects, programmes and business-as-usual.

HRM specialists in the organisation may be available to the P3 manager. Their knowledge of employee relations, resourcing, organisation and legal factors can contribute to project, programme and portfolio success.

Best practice in HRM establishes an environment in which an organisation can flourish. It helps prevent disputes and disruption, and encourages such policies as diversity and equality.

Recruitment, induction and training, forecasting resources and performance management are among the areas that require close collaboration between P3 managers and HRM.

Dealing with the transient nature of the P3 environment and the likelihood of working arrangements relying on remote or disparate teams, brings challenges beyond those experienced in operational management. Effective communication between HR and P3 managers is essential to help solve any conflict and achieve effective management.

HRM will be involved, together with P3 managers, in knowledge management and establishing competence frameworks that help develop the P3 maturity of the organisation. As projects and programmes come and go, HRM can also become a repository of experience about the HR needs of projects. For programmes and portfolios it can be the means of providing continuity as the mix of personnel changes over a long period.

 

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