Organizations seeking to reallocate talent may be challenged to understand what expertise and skills reside within the business. Here’s how to quickly pivot resources during times of crises.

As the COVID-19 pandemic tore through the U.S., organizations found themselves rapidly thrust into a business environment for which few had prepared. To weather the storm, corporate leaders needed to decide which projects and programs should continue, be put on hold or shut down to conserve capital or redeploy resources to new priorities.

Yet in reallocating talent, many organizations have very little understanding about what expertise resides within their companies – making it difficult to determine where to reallocate resources. With a clear understanding of available resources and associated skills, you can redeploy talent to meet your evolving needs now and for future crises. Here’s how.

Identify Skills & Experience

Many organizations have no clear process to track what skills and expertise reside within its talent base. To help resolve this disconnect:

  • Begin with the end in mind – clarify what business outcome you are trying to achieve. Revisit your business objectives and strategies to help determine your next best course of action. Convert strategy into action and adjust execution plans and roadmaps as quickly as possible. Focus on value delivery, not just project delivery.
  • Design a clear process for gathering, analyzing and maintaining talent data over time. Use surveys, focus groups, workshops, on-the-job observations, or assessments to analyze employee skills and match to your business needs.
  • Leverage technology to assist in the identification of skills and expertise within the company. Consider tools like Teamatics to track associate skills and expertise or implement data mining to extract skills and experience data from LinkedIn.
  • Build good will. Make sure your people understand what’s in it for them. Good communication has never been more essential. Positive, human-centered change management calls for transparency and a single voice of truth.

Clarify Roles & Responsibilities

As you begin the task of revamping roles and responsibilities, clarity is critical; people need to understand the “why” of any changes in their roles and responsibilities. Anticipate people’s worries, proactively address questions, and fight any headwinds that could impede effective communications. Address unclear job expectations and assignments or decisions that could lead to a political tug-of-war. Create balanced and effective incentives to foster productivity. Some best practices to help accomplish these goals:

  • Use an agreed-upon approach to answer big picture questions about roles and responsibilities. Consider leveraging the “Do, Decide, Deliver” framework to clarify scope of responsibility and decisions.
  • Make sure key leaders agree on decisions rights and authority.
  • Select a standard decision-making model. Use decisions rights worksheet and RACI chart to provide additional clarification about roles and eliminate confusion.

Allocate & Deploy Talent

Once you’re ready to kick-off projects and programs and start assigning talent to specific roles, challenges around conflicting goals and objectives across departments, unclear rules of engagement in interactions, and lack of priority and clarity around the work are bound to occur. To avoid these conflicts:

  • Determine the reporting structure – network, team, integrative, and matrix – by leveraging org charts and other internal tools.
  • Work with the team to build a team charter.
  • Leverage workload analysis tools to clarify any ambiguities with leaders.
  • Create a plan for collaboration – near or remote, degree of technology – and use collaboration tools such as Teams, Asana, Slack, or other technologies to foster collaboration.
  • Observe and reward new behaviors through social media and other internal communications to celebrate your teams’ successes.

The Bottom Line

With a clear understanding of available resources and associated skills, you can successfully reallocate and redeploy talent as needed to meet the needs of your organization both now and in the future.


Read more about how to quickly pivot your PMO capabilities.