Our team has been in staffing mode for the last 2 weeks (Or as our HR staff says “Talent Acquisition mode”). Every time I am involved in starting up a new large program I start thinking about the people we are staffing into key project roles. I am constantly reminded by advisors that not everyone can be a “star performer” when we are choosing the project’s team and I know that to be true from years of managing people and projects.
So I always focus my attention on ensuring we get the top talent and skills in the key roles and positions. I came across and interesting blog post that summarized my reasons for this focus really well – even though it was not talking specifically about staffing a project.
Dr. Karen McGraw, President of Silver Bear Group, wrote a post on the Top 3 Reasons Key Performers are Essential to an HPI Analysis for the Human Capital Blog which performance consultants read. I figure that if performance analysts have tips on focusing on key performers, then so should managers.
Karen lists 3 reasons why key performers are essential to doing a Human Performance Analysis and they line up perfectly with why we as managers should ensure we have key performers in critical positions:
- They produce the outcomes that drive business results. Needs no further explanation!
- They have best practices and tips they can share. The top performers are going to provide leadership and practices to the whole team.
- They know how to work around barriers and across boundaries. I just wrote about forming coalitions in the last post (PMs dealing with Politics) and pointed out the need for working around barriers and across teams.
So there you go – short and to the point. Your key performers are what will define the success of your organization or project. Pick them wisely. Human performance professionals already know this. As managers, we should follow their lead!