How to Combat Resource Centric Problems with a Global Employee Management Solution

Employee Management

Thomas Friedman famously argued “the world is flat” by citing globalisation and technological advances as the main drivers behind levelling playing fields amongst economies and companies. And if we take a look around us, we know it’s true. Today, diversified teams and projects that aren’t defined by geography are the norm and trends predict it to remain that way. But globalisation has also put stress on traditional project management practices. Global project managers have to deal with issues that a domestic project manager doesn’t. What can we do to combat the challenges frequently encountered in a global project scenario?

In this article we’ll not only examine specific resource centric challenges that global project managers frequently face, but also provide solutions that one could implement. But before we jump into that, let’s understand the importance of resources in project management.

Link Between Resources and Global Employee Projects

A project can be termed successful when it meets its deliverables and stays within budget. But who makes the project happen? It’s the people — the resources. If the right person is not assigned to the right task (skill mismatch), a project can get delayed or there can be an error that blows the budget and requires reworking. This is especially true in global projects which are spanning different time zones and cultures. Therefore, we can confidently say that a project’s success depends on how resources are identified, allocated, and utilised within the budgeted time and cost.

Effective resource planning and global employee management solutions are the biggest obstacles resource managers face. But what are situations that are unique to global environments? We take a look at that next.

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Resource-Centric Challenges in Global Employee Projects
  1. Time Zone Differences

    Even minute time zone differences can add another layer of challenge in global projects. Why? Everyone’s working hours and holiday schedules are different, and in one case or another, a team can end up working longer hours. While these extra hours are okay to accommodate once in a while, constantly long working hours or on public holidays because another team member or client is from an alternate time zone or country can result in employee dissatisfaction, burnout and attrition. Without a multidimensional view of resources and varying time zones, the chances of scheduling inefficiencies increases.

  2. Inaccurate View of Global Manpower

    In global projects and organisations, recruitment is often taking place simultaneously, across the scattered locations. While hiring the right resource from lower cost regions can help improve costs, all these expected savings can be nothing, if there’s an adequate view of ALL talent available.

    What often happens in global projects is that a project manager is just aware of the talent pool at one location, thereby creating silos. If one continues to operate within this silo, they won’t have access to updates about resources profiles, skills, experience and availability. There might be a qualified person for a job that the manager might not even know of because they might be operating remotely. Eventually such lapses in information can lead to discrepancies, resource crunch, incompetent allocation and over/under utilisation of resources.

    Operating in silos also can create further divisions without the organisation. Let’s look at this scenario, a project is being completed in Department Y but requires additional competencies. The required resource is actually available in Department X, but the Department Y manager isn’t aware of them. The poor visibility of resources can restrict organisation growth and lead to unnecessary hiring, which further increases costs.

  3. Inefficient Tracking of Global Resources

    How does one measure what an employee is doing during their workday? In a physical office scenario, this task becomes slightly easier because you can physically see the employee and check on the work status, but in a global or hybrid work scenario, what tracking methodologies are relevant? Constantly calling or requesting email updates can create additional administrative burden and might not be feasible.

    But without real-time updates and productivity tracking a global project manager has no insight on how the project is progressing or if there is an issue that can be resolved before it escalates into something bigger.

    Employee Management

    A recent study by Gartner shows that 80% of employees lack the skills needed for their current and contemporary roles. Without productivity tracking, a manager is clueless on whether the assigned workload is a match for the resource’s skillset and preference. If a task is taking longer than expected, they can intervene and identify if it’s a result of a skill gap or some other issue.

    Without comprehensive tracking, there can be instances of over or under utilised resources, resources sitting on bench, lower billable hours and employee disengagement (as employees might not be getting to work on tasks of their interest or there is a skill mis-match).

  4. Country Specific Labour Laws & Regulations

    Each country has its own specific labour laws and regulations. These laws can stipulate what the maximum working hours can be, how many holidays are allowed or what even the official work days are.

    As a global project manager works with and utilises resources from various countries, they need to adhere to these compliance laws and employee-centric regulations. For instance, in countries like Iceland, Belgium and UAE, employees work for 4 days a week. Therefore, if a resource is used from one of these countries, they need to be scheduled appropriately to avoid lawsuits, penalties and other legal issues.

How a Global Employee Management Solution Can Help Overcome These Challenges?

A global employee management solution is the answer to solving these resource-centric issues. Need a bit more explanation? We got you!

These are the top features a global employee management software brings to table:

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Power Your Projects to Success - Use A Global Employee Management Tool

Looking for a global resource management tool that can power your projects? Why not test out eRS, eResource Scheduler – one of the top enterprise resource management solutions. The software is easily customisable, features simple drag and drop scheduling and provides all the top management and financial reports at your fingertips. The software will help your managers stay proactive, informed, and equipped to solve the tiniest of issues that occur in global projects

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