Project Management

At its most fundamental, project management is about people getting things done.

Dr Martin Barnes

President, Association for Project Management [2003-2012]

What is a Project?

A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. A project is usually deemed to be a success if it achieves the objectives according to their acceptance criteria, within an agreed timescale and budget.

 

What is Project Management?

Project management is the activity of overseeing the successful development and execution of a given project. It involves management, communication, planning, coordination, and problem solving, and occurs throughout the course of the project.

Do you have a project that needs managing, but lack the resources and/or skills to do it effectively?

Project management can be handled in-house by your existing staff – either employees wholly dedicated to this function, or others who may be partially or fully seconded to a particular project for a period of time.

Alternatively, it’s becoming increasingly common for small and medium-sized businesses to consider outsourcing some or all of their project management requirements to external providers.

At BusinessLinc we have wide experience of managing a range of project types and sizes, and apply a disciplined and focused approach to ensure that all elements are tightly controlled, delivered on time and to budget.

Reasons to consider project management outsourcing

Here’s a few reasons why your business may consider outsourcing project management:

  • A lack of sufficient staff to successfully accomplish project objectives within the required timescale. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have sufficient staff in place to set up and support a project management office [PMO]. Many businesses simply do not have adequate staffing levels to dedicate one or more employees to focus solely on projects; often existing resources may already be overstretched, and – realistically – only able to focus efforts on daily operational duties.

  • A higher level of experience and competence. Project management is a specialised area of knowledge and skill that requires significant attention to detail, as well as the ability to see the ‘wider picture’ to ensure alignment with the rest of the business. In addition, individuals with the ability to effectively manage multiple resources, juggle hectic schedules, deal with difficult situations and keep within scope are in high demand – and often hard to find. An outsourced project manager provides high-quality project management, enabling businesses to execute projects successfully whilst allowing internal staff and management to focus on what they do best.

  • Objectivity. External project managers often bring a level of objectivity that – for various reasons – may not always be present with internal staff. This objectivity can be of great value when it comes to the actual project outcomes and deliverables, and ensuring that all business requirements are met.

  • Clarity of focus. When properly executed and managed, projects facilitated by an experienced outsourced project manager can allow opportunities for businesses to achieve clearly defined expectations with single-minded focus and less internal friction.

  • Pressure from senior management to produce more results with less resources. This can be an ongoing concern for businesses regardless of type or size. As budgets shrink and competition grows, businesses often struggle to find the capital to fund projects. Finding additional financial resources to hire permanent specialised staff like project managers can be difficult, especially when those resources are already earmarked to support operations. In this case, it may make sense to consider buying-in project management services on a per-project basis.

  • No long-term commitment to retain staff when a project is complete.  If you don’t have a continuing requirement for project management within your business, employing permanent full or part-time staff in this type of role can be expensive.  With outsourcing, you only pay for what you need, when you need it.  When a project is finished, the outsourced project manager simply leaves the business and no further costs are incurred.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Some of the numerous benefits that can be realised through outsourced project management include:

 

  • The in-house team can focus on core competencies, thus realising productivity gains.
  • The business can achieve a higher project success rate at a lower cost.
  • Typically, a consultant can put in significantly more man hours than the in-house team.
  • The business can enhance its in-house project management competency.
  • The outsourced project manager can plan, control, schedule, and track from a neutral perspective.
  • The outsourced project manager can ensure that best practices are adhered to throughout the project.

Outsourced Tasks

Typically, an outsourced project manager can assist with any or all of the following key tasks:

 

  • Development of project requirements and reports.
  • Preparation of budgets and cost estimates.
  • Preparation of Request for Proposals, solicitation of bids, review of bids, and development recommendations.
  • Selection of project delivery team and management of implementation.
  • Selection and management of third-party vendors and services.
  • Validation of performance and integration.
  • Management of the transition from project completion into business-as-usual phase.

From the short summary above it’s clear that there are often many benefits to outsourcing project management requirements, particularly for small or medium-sized businesses without dedicated internal resource.

If you would like to discuss assistance with any type or scale of project, please contact BusinessLinc today. We work with a number of highly experienced project managers, and can provide cost-effective outsourced services that are tailored to your precise requirements.

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