Project management outsourcing is not just a trend. It’s today’s necessity. And an ultimate path to successful projects. It has steadily gained traction in the US business landscape since the pandemic.
With the remote work model being tested in the pandemic and proving to be a viable mode of work for certain business functions (such as accounting, IT, and project management), it’s no wonder that outsourcing is the natural next step in the community’s mind.
The name of the game is minimizing costs and maximizing profits, and the pandemic has shown us that many of our in-house business functions can be handled just as effectively remotely. This opens the doors for outsourced, off-shore remote professionals to enter the market and offer lucrative business propositions to US entrepreneurs.
Project management outsourcing is definitely near the top of the list when it comes to outsourcing., But the statistics on the matter are a bit troublesome. According to the Wellington 2021 report, only 47% of businesses leverage the services of project management professionals, with the other 53% making do with non-certified or no project managers.
This is quite a shock, especially because the cost is the major issue for most businesses when hiring dedicated project management specialists. Project management outsourcing is the perfect cost-friendly alternative that businesses should leverage but seemingly aren’t.
In this publication, we will be delving into the intricacies of project management outsourcing. And why project management outsourcing is worth pursuing for entrepreneurs across the global business landscape.
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What is Project Management Outsourcing?
To put it bluntly, it is leveraging project management outsourcing when a business contracts a third-party project management consulting firm to provide talent for managing its business’ project management needs.
Project management outsourcing is an interesting idea because it is an entirely managerial position, unlike outsourced accounting or IT. There are definitely some concerns regarding the effectiveness of outsourcing such a role that requires a lot of communication and transparency.
Project management is all about taking a project from the start to the finish line with the most effective use of the budget and within the projected time frame. So, it is no wonder that such an intricate responsibility (involving micro-management and many optimizations) might feel like it’s too big a job to give to a project management consulting firm across the ocean.
However, these concerns are largely unfounded and based more on conjecture than statistics. Statistically, the data is inconclusive regarding project management outsourcing being less effective than onsite project management. On top of this, accounting and IT are just as intricate, and considering IT and the hardware management part of the job, it is reasonable to conclude that the perceived communication gap in project management outsourcing is a comparatively far easier problem to overcome. We also know that how you make a sale and what you do to track it can mean the difference between a big profit and a small profit.
Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can help you with all your accounting and tax needs. In addition, we can help you establish a point-of-sale system for your business to help you track your inventory so you know what’s selling and who your customers are.
Regardless of the reason, there is no denying that there is certainly an aversion to project management outsourcing in the minds of US entrepreneurs.
With the world transitioning to shorter work weeks, automation, AI, and hybrid work models, the future of project management outsourcing is looking quite bright, and jumping on the train before the competition may just be your ticket to a financially secure and growth-filled business future.
The Benefits of Project Management Outsourcing
Project management outsourcing saves you thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Let’s break down how.
Firstly, data compiled from Standish, Harvard, and other sources shows that only 36% of business projects achieve their objectives, with 45% facing challenges and not meeting all their goals and 19% outright failing.
This is a very low success rate, and the chief causes cited are the lack of a dedicated project management professional, leading to poor project management and sub-optimal efficiency. These problems stem from the absence of a competent project management professional and cause businesses to lose millions of dollars on projects that were otherwise designed to make money.
Project management outsourcing does not just save you money because such professionals come at a lower price. They save you money by boosting the success rate of your business projects.
Every project is inherently risky, whether launching a new product, opening a new location, expanding into a new industry, or anything else. The presence of a dedicated project manager is what mitigates this risk.
Think about investing in project management outsourcing not as something that will make your project cheaper to complete but rather as something that will guarantee that the money you spend on the project doesn’t go to waste. And all of this at a price that is but a fraction of the US in-house equivalent.
An Objective Approach to Project Management
One of the biggest dangers to your business projects is your project management team being too personally invested. Let us explain.
When a project is proposed, approved, and being worked on, both you, as an entrepreneur, and the project manager involved have a personal stake in the matter. If the entrepreneur is too heavily invested in a project idea, it may cloud their judgment, and the project manager may be too afraid to voice dissent for fear of rebuke.
But as history has shown us with cases like Star Wars, you always want someone on the team willing to disagree. And this is precisely what you get when you go to a project management consulting firm for your project management needs.
Being employed through a firm and by the nature of the project management outsourcing model, outsourced project managers are far more comfortable with providing an unbiased opinion on how the project is being run.
Objectivity is incredibly important to project management because if you get married to your ideas, you can easily tunnel vision and lose sight of the bigger picture. Your outsourced project manager is your canary in the coal mine to alert you when you’re venturing too far and need to reassess.
Access to Expertise and Experience
Experience and expertise are worth their weight in gold regarding project management. A lot of project management is centered around conversation and negotiation, such as:
- Negotiating better prices from suppliers,
- Communicating with a diverse team,
- Ensuring that everything works like a well-oiled machine and keeping shareholders happy.
The only way to navigate these situations is through experience and a lot of it. But that experience does not come cheap.
Finding a sufficiently experienced and proficient project manager at an affordable price is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Glassdoor reports that an in-house US project manager costs an average of $96,719 annually, and that’s just a project manager.
Add on relevant industry experience and expertise; you’re looking at a price tag most small and medium-sized businesses cannot stomach.
But with project management outsourcing, this cost is cut down by up to 60%, without compromising the quality of service.
The Risks of Project Management Outsourcing
The Communication Gap
While modern communications technology is very hard to go wrong with, the fact of the matter is that technology is not infallible. Things can go wrong at the worst times, and your project manager could be cut off from the business during a pivotal moment (such as in the middle of a meeting or on the day of the project launch).
This is an undeniable risk inherent to outsourcing and damaging should the stars align against you. However, the chances of such a situation coming to pass are highly unlikely. Short of a natural disaster, it is very hard to completely cut off someone from the internet.
Well-reputed project management consulting firms have measures to ensure that communications are never severed between entrepreneur and project manager. Measures such as backup generators and internet services like Starlink are just some measures that firms can take to keep things running smoothly.
Therefore, while the communication gap is potentially devastating, the chances of it happening are so slim that it’s worth the risk.
One of the biggest risks with any remote hiring today is the danger of being scammed. There are all kinds of scammers and fraudulent firms throughout the outsourcing landscape, and it can get very difficult to discern the legitimacy of such organizations.
While this is indeed a big concern, it entirely depends on the entrepreneur on whether they fall for a scam. You are responsible for researching your project management consulting firm choices and ensuring they are legitimate and trustworthy.
Typically, the best way to approach it is to enquire within your business community which firms people trust and can vouch for and proceed from there. Ensure all their licenses are legitimate and registered to do business in the US.
With proper research and healthy skepticism, there is no reason to be afraid of being scammed, and such things should not deter anyone from pursuing project management outsourcing for their business.
Data Security Concerns
Project management outsourcing will of course require confidential data to be shared with the contracted project management consulting firm, and this may seem very risky to some entrepreneurs, given the horror stories we have heard about data leaks.
This fear, however, is largely unfounded. For one, well-reputed firms have very high-level data security measures, and professionals are contractually obligated not to leak information.
Picking a firm with an office in the US is even better because you can directly file suit against them should the contract be breached. All of these measures are more than enough to deter firms from acting maliciously or allowing negligent data leaks.
Project management outsourcing is the future of project management., Businesses must look into integrating external project managers to handle their business projects. We are accelerating towards a future where work may very well become entirely remote, with automation and robots handling all the physical jobs. Transitioning early towards the remote work model and saving time and money can be a business-defining decision as we move into the age of AI. I, for one, would embrace the inevitable instead of waiting to be forced into it.