Companies that have taken on very difficult projects usually find themselves in a stalemate. If internal human resources cannot perfectly manage the projects there is always one very important question that comes to mind. Should they consider outsourcing the company’s project management? That idea, of course, is quite challenging all by itself.
It is a risky step to take and before you do so, you will need to assess all the potential dangers and understand if a particular move is a smart move for your business or not. After all, variables change and, something that might be very good for your business today might be very bad for it tomorrow. Project management outsourcing could be that something.
Of course, no matter how you think about it you will realize that, outsourcing project management could have a lot of benefits for a company. You could find a person who is truly talented in project management, a person that could bring real changes to your business. However, at the same time, you run the risk of actually choosing someone who might not be the best to take on the project from you.
One thing that you’re always going to want to take into account is going to be the type of business you have and the type of project you want to have completed. A little bit of online research is going to show you that there are a lot of different project management methodologies. Each methodology follows different risks and different advantages in different ways.
Depending on your business, you will need the appropriate project management methodology, appropriate project management approach, and of course, a specific type of project manager. However, before you go on choosing between outsourcing the project management or keeping it within the company, you will need to use a project management methodology to assess the project on your own and tried to pinpoint all the risks.
The risks will be able to give you a good idea regarding the difficulty of the project and most importantly, help you understand whether you should outsource it or not. Do not just jump into the decision. Make sure that you will have enough data before you move on.
Why should you outsource project management?
There are a few different reasons why you might want to consider outsourcing the project management of a specific project within your company. Usually, those reasons affect the project both short-term and long-term. For example, one of the main reasons a lot of companies are outsourcing project management is because they do not have enough staff members to deal with the project. If you have a very small business but you are on the verge of expanding there is a good chance you have a lot of ideas, a lot of projects but not enough members of staff to take on those projects. This could be a potential factor that will lead you to outsource project management.
Another very important reason as to why you might want to outsource your project management is because you don’t have the appropriate staff. If your staff is not highly experienced and you are aiming for a very high-value project then, perhaps you might want to think about outsourcing it to a project manager with a lot of experience. That way, the project will not fail easily, and, your staff members will have the opportunity to learn from the project manager. That way, in the future they will be able to take care of their projects.
As mentioned above there are many different project management methodologies and of course, there are many different types of businesses. For example, a lot of businesses out there decide that project management outsourcing is the business model they are going to be choosing. It can be a lot cheaper, it allows the staff members within the business to work on more administrative tasks while projects are being managed by professional managers working outside of the company. Of course, your company will need to qualify for such a complicated model so make sure that you will not jump into conclusions. Determine the business model of your company first.
Benefits of outsourcing project management
Let’s assume for a moment that one of the factors mentioned above or even all of them was the reason why you decided to outsource your project management. It is completely reasonable to assume that in the beginning, you are going to be quite afraid of the process. You will not be certain whether you have found the right project manager. At the same time, you will know that you will not be able to keep an eye on the course of the project all the time which could make you feel a bit insecure.
However, what you need to think about is the fact that there are indeed certain benefits in project management outsourcing. The very first benefit is the lower cost. Try to imagine it like this. If a member of your staff was responsible for a project you want to run than all of their time and energy would go to that project. In other words, you might have to hire more staff to cover more positions if you want to implement your projects within the business. By outsourcing them you are going to be paying a fixed amount to a project manager to complete the project and at the same time keep your current staff available for internal tasks.
By outsourcing the project management of a project, you could end up hiring a real talent. There are a lot of project managers out there who truly are talented and will be able to provide you with excellent services. Nowadays, the world of the Internet allows us to hire people from all around the world. In other words, you could hire someone who can give you amazing services but is not located in your country. You will still be taking advantage of their expertise and experience and this can only be good for your business.
Another very important reason why outsourcing project management might be a good idea, especially for a small business is objectivity. As a small business owner, all you are thinking about is that you want your business to flourish. You are certain that your business can take care of everything. However, there are a few projects or parts of projects that your business might not be able to accomplish.
External project managers can look at things a bit more objectively. They will not try to cushion the blow for you. If they believe your internal staff is not able to complete the project’s objectives or that the company will not receive high value from the completion of the project, they will tell you so. They will try to change the deliverables focusing on ensuring all business requirements and potential profit but always based on the business’s abilities.
Potential risks of outsourcing project management
Of course, this would not be a complete article without mentioning the most important risks that you will need to watch out for if you decide to outsource project management. The first and most important one is the lack of awareness for business objectives. Yes, you might hire a project manager who could be excellent at what they do but they are still not going to be a member of your staff. In other words, they will not know exactly what the company is aiming for. This could potentially affect the course of the project in a way that will not be the company’s priorities.
Exposing sensitive company information is also a great risk. The moment you allow an external project manager to manage a project for your business, you will need to give them access to a specific part of the company. Perhaps, the server or even information of your clients. The risk of exposing valuable information is real therefore if you do decide that you want to outsource project management you need to be very careful of the people or person you will choose for the job.
Fake CVs. We can all understand what that means. A project manager could appear with a great resume, presumably having a lot of experience and expertise that, it might turn out that they are not what you are looking for. However, you are going to allow them to start working on the project. You might be losing valuable time as well as money only to end up realizing that, that person might not have been the right one for the job. This is a risk you should also watch out for and again, make sure that before you hire a project manager they do meet the needs of your business.
Last but not least, relationships between employees can also be a problem. It is quite a common phenomenon for a lot of projects to fail because employees working on the projects were not able to have a good working relationship. A project manager who is an external collaborator might not see I to eye with certain members of your staff. In project management, whether you are outsourcing it or not, teamwork is important. A project manager was not a team player or staff members were not willing to work as a team could be a potential danger to your projects and of course your business.
Project management is a complicated process. Not everyone can do it. People have gone to college for it and they are still not able to give businesses the best possible results. Project management requires a lot of skills both professional and soft skills. If you do decide that you wish to outsource project management then focus on three key elements.
You need a project manager with experience and expertise. The kinds that can be proven by a strong portfolio and a good reputation. You need a project manager who is going to be a team player. Someone who will not try to take all the credit and will focus on nothing but the implementation of the project based on what your business needs.
Last but not least, you need an objective project manager. Someone who will not be afraid to change the entire project if they have to to make your priorities. In the real world of business, there is no room for excuses and missed deadlines. Everything should be done on point.