Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Making the case for resources, part of Building High-Performance Teams.
One of your greatest responsibilities as the leader of a high-performing team, is making sure your people have the resources they need to execute against all the projects and initiatives you've put on that prioritization list. So what I'd like to do is offer you some techniques for getting those resources because resources are scarce. Just because you ask doesn't mean people are just going to give you more cash, or more people, or more time.
You have to make a clear and compelling business case to get those resources allocated to you versus them being allocated to other parts of the organization. Just asking isn't a viable strategy. First, take that list of priorities that you've built with those initiatives laid out from highest to lowest priority. Also layout here are the business-as-usual resources that you need to run the engine every single day and perform the tasks that are required of your team operationally.
Once you have that list, that's when you're ready to start going to your stakeholders and asking for resources. It could be your boss. It could be a steering committee. It could be a monthly prioritization meeting. And you're going to go in and say, "Here's the list of initiatives. "Do you agree that this is the priority "that we should pursue these in?" You want to get that explicit agreement from those stakeholders that, "Yes, we want you to do this one first, "and then this one, and then this one." Also, you want their agreement that the business-as-usual work is work that they demand you do.
Once you have that list, go back and assess what each of those projects is going to take to complete in terms of people, dollars, time, access to leadership, and layout the resource case to achieve each of those initiatives and make sure they're properly resourced. Next, you're going to go back to those stakeholders and work down from the top of that list until you run out of existing resources. Be able to show them, "I have a team of this many people.
"If I start at the top of the list, "I can get to the fifth initiative. "After that, I'm out of people." Then, it's up to that stakeholder who's always going to say, "No, I want you to do more." You're going to have to make the case to them and say, "That's great. "I'm happy to do more, but I can't do more "unless you give me additional resources, "and if you do here's what those resources will buy you." Allow me to offer an example of when I personally used this approach for making a case for resources.
I had a team that was great. They were extremely high-performing. They got more stuff done than you would ever believe was possible from a team that was that small. And we wanted to do more, but we needed more resources to do that. So I went to my boss and I said, "Here's the base level stuff you want us doing "on a regular basis. "This is business as usual. "Do you agree that these tasks are important "and that we should continue pursuing them?" He said, "Absolutely, that's the bread and butter "of what we do.
"That's what I want your team to deliver on." I said, "That's great. "Here's the resources it takes on a regular basis "to deliver on those business-as-usual commitments." I laid out the cash required, the technology required, and the people required to deliver on those tasks. I said, "Does that make sense?" He said, "Absolutely, I can see exactly "why you need that many resources "to deliver on those tasks." Next, I went to the prioritization list, and I said, "Here's the list of initiatives "that we're pursuing, "and here's the priority of them "from most important to least important.
"Do you agree, Boss, that this is the list "of things that we should be doing "to achieve the vision and mission of our team?" Again he said, "Yes, that's the right set of priorities. "I want that project done, and then that one, "and that one." I was able to then say, "That's great. "For each of those projects "here are the resource requirements. "Here's how much money I need. "Here's how many technology hours I need, "and here's how many people I need "to achieve those initiatives. "Does that make sense? "Do those initiatives require that many resources?" He said, "Yeah, I can see why you would "make a case for each of those initiatives "requiring that many people." Then this is where I closed the deal.
I drew a line, and I said, "Hey, Boss, "here's how many resources I have, "and I can get this deep on the initiative list. "The last time we talked, "you wanted me to do another three or four projects. "I would be really excited to do those projects, "but with the resources I have, "I have to do the business-as-usual stuff "and you want me to do these top few projects, "so for me to get deeper on that initiative list "here's my ask. "I'm happy to do it, but I need this much money, "this many people, and here's when I need it." Now, did I get all the resources I asked for? No, but I got some of them, and we were able to pursue another couple of initiatives.
He also understood why he couldn't hold me accountable for doing even more unless he gave me those additional resources. So as you think about gathering resources for your high-performing team, I encourage you to try that technique of laying out here's the day-to-day operations, here's the prioritization list, and then get agreement from your stakeholder that that's what you should be working on. Then, layout for them here's what it's going to take to achieve those things.
If they really want you to do those things, they're going to give you the resources, or they're going to make that tradeoff and say, "You know what? "I'm not going to give you additional resources, "but I understand here's what I'm giving up "by not doing so." Laying out that resource plan is really the lynchpin in making sure that your team is properly resourced to execute against the initiatives that you've been given.
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- Creating a compelling vision and mission for your team
- Understanding the resources your team needs to succeed
- Recruiting the right people
- Balancing workload
- Setting goals
- Empowering people
- Resolving conflict
- Building bench strength and succession plans<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.