The main problem of personnel management in general, and in the organization discussed in this paper, is the policies for driving and evaluating performance. Such a problem can be stated to be common, specifically within the context of the human resources (HR) literature in recent years, in terms of “new style HRM practices designed to achieve high levels of employee performance, flexibility and commitment” (Francis, 2003, p. 309). In that regard, the present paper investigates the way project management can be utilized to implement changes in the current HR policies in the organization.
Project Management and HR Management
The relationship between HR and project management can be seen as the same between the employee and the organization, i.e. in the same order, the first being an essential enriching element of the latter. The role of HR management, on the other hand, is in “enabling and supporting the project-based organization create effective teams, patterns of competence and management development” (Clark & Colling, 2005, p. 181). In that regard, it can be stated that such effective cooperation depends on both parties. Established systems of project management might limit the role of HR, while, on the other hand, the success of the project is dependent on the people who run these projects. The latter might return to the initial problem outlined in this paper, i.e. driving performance and evaluation.
The factors that might influence the relationship between project management and HR management can be seen in the stage at which the project is taking place. In that regard, in Belout and Gauvreau (2004), the results show the personnel factor correlated with the success of the project at the execution place (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004, p. 8). Such findings might imply that the selection of the person might not be as important as the actual performance itself, given that such selection usually takes place at the start of a project. The influence of project management on HR can be seen in the interdependency between project managers and HR practitioners, although each having little control of the functions of the other.
Considering the organization discussed in this essay, the assignment of tasks and activities gives little attention to such interdependency, whereas following the putting the right employee in the right place, doing the right activity, will benefit both the HR management and the project management. Accordingly, there is another element of influence between both organizational aspects, which is the way project management can be used in the context of HR. With planning being one of the core activities in project management, the revision and the implementation of changes in HR policies can be facilitated using the planning aspect of project management.
Proposed Changes in HR Policies
With the current payment system in the organization, relying on a system of a fixed payment, it can be seen that the main problem, in terms of performance and evaluation, is the absence of an incentive for improving the performance, and accordingly, there is no rational objective to conduct an assessment. There are no major projects currently taking place in the organization, which nevertheless, does not change the situation, that the policies of the organization do not connect specific objectives and their achievement with the performance of employees/. Being an existent problem in project management literature as well, wherein case the promotion used in functional organizations were applied to projects, there will be no difference for the employee, whether the project succeeded or not. On the other hand, the organization might not feel obliged to evaluate the performance of such employees, with the assessment being an activity that requires time and effort (Kerzner, 2009, pp. 142-143). Accordingly, the main proposition in the case of the organization is to implement a project-based incentive and reward system, following the framework of project management.
The main approach in implementing changes in the organization can be seen in establishing a projects-based framework in the organization. The latter implies transforming the activities of the organization into projects, the accomplishment of which can be assessed and evaluated. With the absence of projects in the organization, due to the nature of the profession, each task in the organization’s business processes can be standardized into small projects, with established deadlines and objectives. In that regard, the HR function in such tasks will imply involvement in the project management procedures. The directors of departments might perform the functions of project managers, at the same time collaborating with the HR department at all stages of the “project”. Similar tasks will accordingly be turned into similar projects, for which separate policies might be developed in terms of promotion, rewards, and evaluation. Additionally, such changes shall be helpful in the selection process as well as the defined policies for separate projects will outline the skills, the responsibilities of future employees as well as the expected performance.
It can be concluded the deficiencies in the personnel policies in the organization can be solved by implementing the project-based approach. In case, the organization is initially project-based, a stronger integration between HR practitioners and project managers is advised, specifically, in terms of performance and rewards.
Belout, A., & Gauvreau, C. (2004). Factors influencing project success: the impact of human resource management. International Journal of Project Management, 22(1), 1-11. Web.
Clark, I., & Colling, T. (2005). The management of human resources in project management-led organizations. Personnel Review, 34(2), 178-191.
Francis, H. (2003). HRM and the beginnings of organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 16 (3), 309-327.
Kerzner, H. (2009). Project management : a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (10th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.