In last 13 years that I have been in the consulting business I have been pitching clients to outsource their project management activities. Its not very easy to convince a client to outsource their project management activities if they have not done it before or if they have a bad experience in the past. So during the last few years I have changed my sales pitch. Rather than me telling clients why they need to outsource their project management activities, I ask them the following questions first :-
- Do you have all the skills in house required for the upcoming project ?
- Is there enough bandwidth for accommodating more projects.?
- How important is the new project for the organization.?
- What will be the impact if cost/schedule/quality goes sideways?
These questions will help the clients self-realize what they are capable of (which they already know). The doubt or fear created in the mind will become a solid ground for your pitch. Now its the time to pitch in with all your regular sales pitch.
Here are my 2 cents on why you should look for outsourcing your project management activities :-
- Skill-Set – If you already have a PMO then you must be having project managers in the team. If you have a salaried person PM then it does not imply that he can manage all the new projects. HE CAN FOR SURE MANAGE but maybe not the new project that is coming up. He may not have the skill set required for the new project.
- Cost Effectiveness – A person who is a hired contractor specifically for your project is always cost effective, he is gone the movement the project is over. He is not benching and burning a hole in your payroll. The talent like this always deliver on time and thus provide far better ROI.
- Experience – The outside talent brings experience, if you already have a PMO but looking to outsource some of the work then you are definitely looking for someone with more experience and the similar accomplishments in the past. Hence you are also reducing risk for your project.
- Transparency – This is very important, outsourced contractors are more transparent in every aspect of the project. Their next project depends a lot on your review so if they screw up something they aren’t getting a new project. With salaries staff there is a bigger chance of things going under the carpet, this does not happen with your outsourced project manager he will be transparent with you in every aspect.
- Bandwidth – You might have a PMO and enough staff with experience to handle your future project but you have enough bandwidth. Is your staff free or are they busy and already overloaded with project. Will they be able to handle another project. How much extra work pressure it will add on them. The outsourced project manager will take care of that, he is there just for your project and he will put his best effort thus also not burdening your existing team.
- Out of the Box – Have you every heard of this saying and its true. When same team works on projects you get same kind of ideas and same time of philosophy and you need some new ideas that and for that you might need an outside person who has worked with several teams. Your outsourced project manager might bring that outside experience and new thinking to the team.
- Diversity and Connections – Now if you outsourced your project management activities and hire a project manager with more experience it is for sure he has great diversity in his portfolio of experience. He would have worked in several industries and just yours. He could bring in experience from various sectors and not to forget the connections he brings with him. Previous vendors supplies, contractors etc.
I am pretty sure you already mention these advantages to your clients and to be honest the advantages of outsourcing are not just limited to these but extend further and if you are an organization still deciding on whether to outsource your project management activities then I hope this list has provided you with enough information to take a firm decision.