More and more companies are either outsourcing project management or hiring professionals to handle this task. With the changes in the industry, it can be difficult to find qualified people who are on top of the latest trends and strategies. Only 2.5 percent of organizations successfully complete all of their projects. A staggering 70 percent of projects fail. Considering these numbers, you might wonder whether or not it's worth hiring a project manager. Just like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. A skilled project manager can reduce your expenses, streamline workflow management and help grow your business.
Project Management Pros
Whether you're running a small business or an established organization, you might not be able to handle all types of projects from start to finish. Certain projects are extremely complex and have a tight deadline or require special skills that your team may not have. A qualified project manager can help you organize and manage the most time-consuming tasks. An experienced project manager will also motivate your team, manage resources, measure outcomes, provide feedback and find ways to increase quality and cut costs or time. Other project management skills include enhanced scheduling techniques, responding to change, improved communication, quality control and risk management.
Efficient Goal Setting
Most projects fail simply because managers lack a clear goal. In 2013, less than a third of all projects were delivered on time and within the allocated budget. For this reason, setting SMART goals is paramount. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. That's what the acronym SMART stands for. SMART goals will ensure that your projects are delivered on time without exceeding the budget. Professional project managers have the expertise and tools needed to create forecasts, manage project costs and determine the risks across an entire project life cycle.
Project management allows for more efficient communication between leaders and other employees involved in the project. Experienced project managers are effective at managing stakeholders who are critical to project success. Project managers maintain team cohesion, facilitate meetings, solicit subject matter experts, brainstorm ideas and monitor feedback in real-time. Communication is easily the most critical aspect of any project, and is a necessary skill for every project professional.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
Projects can deliver new features and open up new services or products to delight customers, or projects can contribute to reducing costs for customers. Since project management methodologies prioritize quality factors, such as features that customers want, companies with successful project management experience greater customer satisfaction. This translates into more revenue and business growth. Your organization will be known for delivering excellent results.
High Level of Expertise
By hiring a project manager or outsourcing projects, your company will benefit from a high level of expertise. The people within your organization will learn new things and gain a new perspective that will contribute to their professional growth. Additionally, project management will free up your time so you'll be able to focus on the core aspects of your business. An experienced project manager will be able to articulate the project process and manage all areas of the project including personnel and compliance.
Accurate Risk Assessment
Over 75 percent of companies lack confidence in project success. Excessive rework, scope creep, poor communication and unclear objectives are often the culprits. Project management allows you to take calculated risks and allocate resources more efficiently. You will identify what the risks are before even getting started. This way, you can plan for any problems in the early stages and make smarter decisions as risks arise throughout the project life cycle. Effective risk management also allows you to seize on positive risks or opportunities when they arise.
Project Management Cons
If a project manager does not have the right experience or knowledge, there are a lot of problems that can arise. Loss of resources, scheduling problems, security issues and interpersonal conflicts are major disadvantages of project management. Additionally, your organization may incur high costs by outsourcing work or by hiring new employees to complete the project. Sometimes, project management can interfere with your daily operations or go drastically wrong.
If you're hiring a project manager, expect to invest in specialty software. These programs can be costly and difficult to implement. Since your team will use them too, they may need training. Depending on your needs, you may also have to hire subject matter experts or specialists to help with a project. Often, there will be a push from stakeholders to include features that were not initially planned. All of these issues can quickly add up the cost of a project.
Project management is a complex process with multiple stages. Some experts have a tendency to complicate every process, which may confuse your team and cause delays in project delivery. They can also become rigid or precise in their plans, creating a stressful environment within the organization. Typically, projects with a large scope will be more complex to deliver, especially if there is not a team dedicated solely to working on the project. Cross-functional team members might fall behind on their daily work, adding a further layer of complexity.
When you hire a project management team, new employees join your company. This adds an extra layer of communication and may not always match your organizational culture. That's why experts recommend keeping your team as small as possible. The larger a team is, the higher the communication overhead. Sometimes, a large team is required for a project, so it is important to find project managers who have strong communication skills across a diversity of people.
Lack of Creativity
Sometimes, project management leaves little or no room for creativity. Team leaders either focus excessively on the management processes or set tight deadlines, forcing their staff to work within strict parameters. This can discourage creative thinking and hamper innovation that might benefit the project. It is important for a project manager to know when to inspire creativity and when to strictly follow the project plan.
An organization can grow and achieve success without a project management team in place. However, hiring a skilled professional to handle these aspects can open up new opportunities and help your company reach its goals faster.
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.