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How to Spread your Resources Effectively

Christian Körner, Head of CM Global Coordination Office, Thyssenkrupp, explains how his company manages resources for optimal results. Can Do is a sponsor of the Nordic Project Zone and presents an interview with Christian Koerner. Within the framework of the Nordic Project Zone Christian will give the presentation „Managing Program Resources – How to Spread your Resources Effectively“.

Nordic Project Zone (NPZ): What are the main challenges in resource management in your business?
Christian Körner: In the project business we face the challenges that our project durations are up to four years and people are not available for other projects during that time. In parallel the workload is highly volatile. The economy is going up and down and so does our business. Hence, on one hand the number of required resources / personnel need to be very flexible. On the other hand people are looking for continuous employment.

NPZ: How does your company deal with these challenges?
Christian Körner: In the past we have employed a basic number of people to cover the medium anticipated workload. Special qualifications and top workloads have been hired from the market, either locally or from the global market.

NPZ: What experience have you had with freelancers? What are the advantages / disadvantages?
Christian Körner: The advantages are obvious: You have the flexibility to cover top workloads while keeping the fixed cost of the company at an acceptable average. Freelancers might even be of benefit for the project cost. Hiring of freelancers provide also the opportunity to “test” the skills, knowledge and experience before offering a permanent employment contract. On the other hand, hiring freelancers bears various risks: Are the required resources available in the market? Does the person fit into the organization / team? Is she / he as qualified as expected? Do I need to invest in training and does it pay off at the end? Does the freelancer follow companies for his / her own interest (“another day, another dollar”)? etc.

NPZ: What could be a possible solution to mitigate the risks and disadvantages?
Christian Körner: It is difficult to deal with external resources without having the mentioned risks. Thus the question to be asked might be a different one: “Do we really have a lack of resources or are we just weak in managing our resources?” This is a very aggressive question, I know. But think about it for a moment. There might be a lot of resources available in our own organization and we need to discover them.

NPZ: That makes me curious! What is your answer to this question?
Christian Körner: Well, that is what my presentation will be all about. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Nordic Project Zone in Copenhagen, on 26-27 November 2013. “There might be a lot of resources available in our own organization and we need to discover them.”