There are many reasons organizations choose to hire a contracted project manager versus using someone internally. It could be that they are a smaller scale organization that can not take on the financial overhead of a permanent project manager or have a short-term need for one to handle a temporary project. Or if an organization's project manager is out on a temporary leave and they want an expert to assure the project still runs smoothly. The possibilities of scenarios are endless but what are the pros and cons to evaluate when deciding if hiring an external project manager is the best fit for your organization?
Hire an Expert
Outsourcing allows you the ability to hire a project manager that is an expert for the project at hand. Someone who more than likely has a specialized skill set and extensive experience handling projects of this nature, therefore, has been able to learn from their experience and knows the best practices to follow. Utilizing an internal team member as project manager who does not have this expertise could result in costly and timely mistakes.
Employee Burn Out
Your team members already wear too many hats and have their plates full. Distracting them with the added responsibility of handling a project could have a negative impact on their regular responsibilities and they would not be able to devote the focus to the project that is needed to assure all deadlines are hit. It can also cause staff burnout by loading the employee with more than they can successfully take on.
Between salary, benefits, equipment, office space, and overhead cost of keeping a project manager in-house is very expensive. Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to only pay for the hours and timeframe you need for the project therefore costs much less than keeping a project manager in-house.
A temporary project manager has the advantage of a fresh outlook. They are able to look at the business with an unbiased perspective with no knowledge or emotions involved in company politics. This perspective allows them to see problems that are often overlooked by internal team members as well as be able to make tough decisions such as ways to cut costs or improve a process without fear of the impact on the company politics.
Lack of Relationships
It’s no secret that an external contractor will not have those pre-established relationships build within the team. This can be a challenge when establishing leadership and trust. Similarly, everyone has their own unique communication styles and there can also be a learning curve when understanding the best way to communicate with each person.
While external project managers come with the knowledge and expertise related to a specific type of project, they will need additional time to be explained internal procedures, stakeholders, resources, and company operations. As previously stated, this will allow an external contractor to offer an unbiased perspective, but they will need to take the initial time to learn and understand the unique functionalities of your organization.
Curious if hiring a temporary project manager is right for your organization? Check out our page on project management services or contact us to schedule your free initial consultation at [email protected].