Mobilising Available Resources is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Mobilising Available Resources – published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.
What & Why
Mobilising Available Resources is about ensuring your team’s capacity to deliver is balanced against demand. At any point in time you need to determine the true resource available. You will need to prioritise what’s important and put the right resources on the right work at the right time to meet the expectations of key stakeholders. You are both a match maker and a juggler.
Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is quoted as saying: “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
Here are some practical principles you can follow for Mobilising Available Resources:
Take Stock of Resources. This is about how you utilise the resources – mainly people – you have at your disposal. And this is not merely limited to the immediate team reporting in to you. You will be negotiating for additional resources when necessary for peaks in workload and for critical tasks and initiatives. When you take stock of the full resources currently available to you, be sure to cast your net wide. Start with your immediate team. Moving on from your immediate team, what are the reasonable prospects of drawing in extra resource if and when you need them?
Understand Demand. This is about having the right resources in the right place at the right time required over multiple initiatives and workflows. It’s about understanding what needs to happen and then ensuring the best resources are matched to meet demand as quickly as possible – and stay on budget. If the work being done by your team is defined by standard operating procedures (SOPs) it should be relatively easy to identify your customers and suppliers, your inputs and outputs, your independencies and time frames. If however your team’s work is not defined by standard work, then your leadership task is trickier.
Prioritise Resources & Schedule Activities. Your focus now shifts to identifying more critical and less critical activities consistent with organisational goals and demands. The key is about how you utilise the (mainly people) resources you have at your disposal to meet that demand. You need to be skilled at forcing the agenda towards the key activities they should pursue to achieve business goals. You will narrow things down to the few critical priorities that are important. There are a number of crucial factors and pitfalls you need to take into account when scheduling work. You will need to read my book for more information on this.
Track Progress and Adjust. This is about the saying, ‘What gets measured gets done’. It means regular measurement and reporting keeps you and your team focused. You use information to make decisions and improve your results. You turn the critical measurements into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and use these to track work, progress and people. There are some factors you need to take into account when tracking work. Again, read the book for my list of factors.
Facilitate Understanding. This is about another saying, ‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn’. Your role as a leader is to facilitate the full understanding of all people involved in the workflow so they know what is happening, why, when, where, who is involved and how things should be done. That’s 4 Ws and an H. When you turn these into coaching questions the great thing is all the answers have to be precise and factual. There can be no room for misunderstanding. They are all open ended, have scope for supplementary questions (‘tell me more’) and none of the questions can be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Ask: What, Why, When, Who & How.
The LARA Leadership Learning series consists of 10 short modules published as Kindle eBooks and Paperbacks on Amazon. They are organised against the Leader of Others leadership competencies. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read these eBook for free.
On this Blog Battle Readiness, Domingos Silva’s article from 2016 where he looks at Operational Realities, Key Tasks and Resources.