There are many essential skills required for a position in HR that can be learned or strengthened through the study of project management. There is a lot that HR and project management and HR share and by studying both you can develop an edge that you might not have expected:
Planning and Meeting Targets
An important role of the HR department is to manage targets. This means that you must have strong time management skills, understand how to make the company more efficient and be organised in your work. You need to be able to keep people on track, and ensure that they are meeting their set goals, or at least working towards them. Getting experience in a project management position is one of the fastest ways to realize that this is a task that requires a lot more skill than one might have initially thought. It takes a good understanding of the people on your team to know how to motivate them and keep them on target without distracting them or applying too much pressure. But, seeing the project management side of target management can give you an alternative perspective on how the dynamics of a team can affect their pacing. In a HR role, you need to put together efficient teams and hire employees that are compatible with the company and capable of meeting their targets. When you study project management, you can achieve a better understanding of what it means to put together a strong team and see for yourself how the dynamics of a team can affect their progress.
In HR, you have the livelihoods and careers of employees in your hands, which means that you cannot afford to make petty mistakes. You need to stay organised in your work, keep track of what’s going on and implement strategies quickly. The same can be said for project managers responsible for valuable projects. You need to regularly track and report the progress of a project and manage the processes involved in a project as well as the transitions between them.
Assessing Risks & Resolving Issues
One of the most complex parts of HR is assessing volatile situations and finding ways of resolving them. Concerns raised by both employees and management need to be approached and assessed with caution. As a project manager, similar issues such as these can become more complex and ‘grey’, so to speak. You need to find solutions that satisfy everyone, including management, the team, and the project. These situations can be incredibly delicate and training is one of the best ways to understand how to recognise certain problems. The Knowledge Academy’s PRICE2 training course clarifies the importance of recognising risk and using forward thinking as a means of averting it, using group exercises to test students’ understanding and their ability to apply what they have learned to a range of scenarios.
Talent management is often an aspect of HR that is overlooked, and this is a skill that, if not trained, could result in a loss of valuable employees. Data can only tell you so much, and relying on bad or insufficient data can often lead to poor management decisions. That’s why it’s important to understand yourself how to manage talent within a company effectively and in a way that allows employees to feel fulfilled in their job role and on the road to continuous growth. This is something that can be learned in project management. Project managers need to learn exactly how to allocate jobs within a project and how to create a workforce that plays to people’s strengths. Depending on the methodology you use, your teams might be given separate roles or perhaps share responsibilities. Depending on the type of workplace as well as the type of project, different strategies are needed.