08 May Does Your Business Need A Project Manager?
In an ideal world, we could simply explain the expectations of a given project to our employees and they would complete it accurately and on time. We are not, of course, living in an ideal world: In reality, managing projects is fraught with challenges and potential pitfalls. In the absence of a skilled project manager, the following issues may arise:
Poor alignment between projects and business goals.
It’s not enough for a project to simply be completed; it also has to further your long-term business objectives. Think, for example, of what can occur within a web development project: The team starts out with a clear set of tasks, but as they endeavor to complete them, the client’s needs change. From there, the project becomes disorganized as various team members attempt to change their existing work to fit the new expectations. They all end up working on different areas of the project and their work no longer aligns. As a result, the project runs late and over budget and the client is not satisfied.
If you have a project manager, however, he or she will proactively step in when expectations change and steer each team member in the right direction. He or she will ensure that the project remains coordinated even in the face of workflow disruptions. This helps to stop projects from running late and make sure that financial targets are met.
Resource and dependency conflicts.
Within any organization, resources are limited. As such, conflicts over who can access which resources (and when) easily arise when projects are poorly managed. If a project runs late, for example, shared equipment and employees are monopolized to such a degree that all other interrelated projects are stalled as well. Budget problems therefore start to grow exponentially.
Skilled project managers can, barring unavoidable circumstances, keep projects running on time and prevent resource shortages. Likewise, if a delay does occur, they can restructure resource allocation in such a way that disruptions are minimized. Project managers can also weed out overlapping or redundant projects so that no resources are being wasted.
Problems with planning, execution, and overall accountability.
When teams lack strong central leadership, their ability to plan and execute projects is impaired. Arguments arise over who is responsible for which aspects of the project and people lose sight of important project milestones because they’re not directly accountable to anyone. Likewise, vital information isn’t communicated between team members, executives, and clients.
An experienced project manager will understand how to guide your team throughout the planning and execution process so that a strong central direction is maintained. They will mediate with clients and executives as well, making sure that all parties involved in the project are satisfied and connected with the information they need.
How Do you Hire The Right Project Manager To Fit your Needs?
In addition to having Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and at least several years of experience managing international projects, your project manager should have industry specific training and qualifications. A related degree (e.g. a degree in engineering, architecture, management, business, etc., as applicable) is often considered essential. If you are working with an offshore team, your project manager should also be fluently bilingual and culturally sensitive.
If the pitfalls of under-management outlined above are hindering the progress of your projects and negatively affecting your bottom line, it’s time that you seriously consider hiring a project manager. Don’t be intimidated by the expense involved: Highly skilled, experienced, English-speaking offshore project managers can be hired for a very reasonable rate.