Monday, November 19, 2007

Resource Management (part 1)

Resource management is supposed to handle all the resourcing requests for the project execution. Were you thinking the resources in this context meant resources like money, systems, assets, time etc? You are mistaken; resources here mean “humans” – the same folks who are supposed to be working and generating revenue for the company.

The day people are treated as resources, that needs to be managed, that is the day, which gives a sure shot signal that the company is on its way to rot.

The fellows are humans after all, with lots of passion, emotions, what not.

“Human Resources” – I do not know who invented this word or the new version of it “Human Capital” to be make sure it is soft; but the main intention is to bluff the fellows into being money generating machines, whom the sales guys can pitch in wherever needed. Last month I sold 100 washing machines (or cookers or mouse traps etc) this month I need to sell 120 washing machines. Instead, in the IT world, it might translate into man-hours; last month around 30 person-days was sold to customer X, this month let me sell 35 person-days.


Here are few stories that can demonstrate the “human apathy” in the name of “human resources”

I met Dr. G after a long time, say six months, at a marriage reception. He was
bit disturbed about his work, and then I prodded him to talk out.

Apparently G’s company sent out mails to all its employees about
the approaching dates when the office would be moved to an “up-market” area and
suggested all its employees to make necessary arrangements to start working out
of that location.

This story is around 6 months old and G told me
the last time when we met. As usual, the cynic in me told him wait till the
office really moves to the new location and then make his moves only after one
month of the new premises.

However, as with everyone, G too was
new to this corporate crap and paid heftily to realtors to get him an apartment
in the near-by area. His new apartment is around 1-km from his company’s new
office, which also made a severe dent in his pocket. Rent was double that of the
old house, due to its up-market label, but the trade off was, he can walk to his
place of work.

G moved to his new apartment and his company never
moved to the new location. Next month, on his enquiry it was mentioned that the
plans were cancelled long back. Now, G is left with a baby in middle of nowhere.

No wonder G is now pissed off… unlike the IT consultants in US, people do not shift houses every quarter in India.

N.K.Ramamurthy joined us with promises of onsite trip then his resume was placed
with many customers for their requirements.

An Australian
sales-person was very happy to get NKR’s profile and we even got his Work-Permit
processed so that he is ready to travel once we get a “go” from customer.
Somehow it never worked out.

Next his resume was given to a
European client, NR attended three rounds of interview and his work-permit was
again processed. Once again, customer never gave a go ahead for the project.

Finally a “happening” customer was eager to get him on-board. Once
again our travel desk got his visa readied. There was customer “go”, this fellow
surrendered his system at the local office, removed his bag and baggage from his
rented apartment, visited his native to meet his parents (seems to have had a
farewell party too) and gave a party to all the local office folks (lost around
15K INR). The next day forex was readied, tickets issued, his roomies and he
started to airport in a cab.

A call from account-manager, that the
project was scrapped due to certain budget constraints.

NKR, next
day walked back into office like a headless chicken.

NKR definitely is pissed off that no-one at least cared to explain what happened. He was just shuttled between office and various consulates and finally between airport and his home, with out any proper explanation.

Here is the case of Ms.D

Ms. D was selected for replacement of another Ms.R at onsite. I was the one
handling the customer at that point of time and I made all the arrangement
readied for her first visit abroad.

For her work, customer made
all the arrangements like, system, user-ids, access controls, KT documents etc.

But in the evening of the previous day, customer called me to his
room and informed me that we wont be needed Ms.D as the work she was supposed to
be doing was postponed for another quarter.

I duly relayed the
information to the offshore resource-manager and thought it was end of my duty.
But next day, I got a call from her, that she was starting to airport and wanted
to just to inform me.

This sent me into action and I called the
resource-manager at offshore to know what the situation was. It seems he was
aware of the fact that her travel has been cancelled, but “forgot” to tell her.
I firmly asked him to inform her of cancelled travel, which I believe he
did not do. Finally I called her just 2-hrs before the flight take off, she was
at airport already (poor thing) to tell her that her travel is cancelled.

Later that day, someone called me from offshore that people were cursing me for the cancelled travel.

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