Clear Direction & Sustained Focus
When you start a project, it often feels like everyone is running in different directions. It can be challenging to get your head around what needs to be done first in a project or which teams need to tackle which tasks. You may wind up wasting time and resources while trying to figure out a clear direction for your team.
Adding a project manager can help you eliminate the early confusion and get you on the right path sooner. Like a good coach, they have a series of playbooks that can help you tackle any situation. They’ll adapt these plans to your needs, delegate beginning tasks, and help you establish a clear roadmap for your project from the start.
Equally as important, a good project manager will keep the team focused on the core deliverables, limit distractions, and drive accountability for all team members. They become the anchor for the project team.
Lower Operating Costs
Operating expenses can be a perpetual drain on cash flow and, ultimately, the bottom line. Cash is king and one of the biggest benefits of leveraging Project Management as a Service is you’ll only use project management when you need it with zero downtime or sunk cost.
Intuitively, if you build out a project management function in-house, you end up paying for the salary, benefits, training, and software costs. These costs are fully incurred, even if the position is not fully utilized. The organization has limited bandwidth to take on new projects so a project management position tends to have lower levels of utilization.
Conversely, when you use PMaaS, you only have project management costs when there is an active project, which results in extremely high utilization rates.
Efficient Projects and Predictable Outcome
Project managers are skilled in executing the project plan and delivering predictable outcomes. Predictable outcomes mean you are able to rely on the expected completion dates. By consistently delivering successful projects, you build trust with your employees and your clients and drives a results-oriented culture throughout the entire organization.
Even when a project has an unexpected issue or delay, your project manager will identify and escalate those quickly. They will work with the project sponsor to identify possible solutions and, if more time is needed, will quickly reset expectations around the timeline. This effort reduces wasted time and provides transparency so that key stakeholders are not blindsided by an unforeseen delay.
Better Prioritization & Resources Management
No matter how well you manage your projects, there will always be new “requirements” that are identified in the middle of a project. For your team, there are only so many hours in the day and only so many things they can focus on at one time. If new requirements (scope) are not managed diligently, your team can quickly get overwhelmed and the broader project will begin to suffer. A skilled project manager will isolate new scope and will work with the key stakeholders to determine if this is a critical deliverable or can be focused on as a “Day 2” item.
The project manager will also manage resource availability and utilization. Often times within unstructured projects, a small number of resources handle most of the work while others only attend the project status meetings. It’s the goal of the project manager to ensure that all team members are engaged and supporting the project with their available skillset. Ultimately, this allows for increased parallel processing while also reducing unnecessary stress or burnout from key team members.
When you’re running your own project management, you’re limited in the size and quantity of projects you can take on. Your team can only handle a finite amount of work and taking on too many projects with the existing team could compromise your customer experience and put the project at risk. Unfortunately, to increase the size of the team means going through hiring/recruiting processes that can cause significant delays. In some cases, the project is canceled and leads to a missed opportunity.
With Project Management as a Service, you can tackle projects of larger sizes without straining your team resources. Generally, within days, you can have a project manager engaged and starting their scoping process. As quickly as you are able to scale up, you are able to scale down. This allows you to run your business at your speed with little downside.
Better Customer Service
On the subject of a great customer experience, using PMaaS can help you to provide the best possible customer service. When your team is overwhelmed, they may not be able to make deadlines or respond promptly to client concerns. They may miss small mistakes or come in over budget on their project.
A consulting project manager can help you to keep your team organized to prevent mistakes from happening. They can help you set up systems to double-check work to ensure that mistakes are caught and corrected long before they reach the client. They can also free up time for your team to communicate with your customers and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Improved Project Estimation
Providing accurate project estimates is one of the most important parts of creating a positive customer experience. If you estimate too low, your team will wind up having to go back to the client later and ask for more money or time. If you estimate too high, you may lose clients to your competitors who can provide a more affordable and timely service.
Project managers can help you to improve your project estimation, both in terms of time and money. They have worked with dozens of projects like yours before and are well-versed in both cost and time requirements for different project steps. They also know how much pad to build into estimates to keep your clients satisfied from start to finish.
No matter how well you manage your projects, you’ll always wind up having to decide which projects need to take precedence. There are only so many hours in the day, and your team can only focus on a limited number of projects. You’ll have to decide which projects you have resources to take on and which will be best for your company.
A PMaaS consultant can help you prioritize projects to make the best decisions for your company. They can help you evaluate which projects generate the greatest return on investment and will grow your business opportunities. This can help you keep your business growing and thriving well after the project is over.
It may sound odd to think that an outside consultant could help your internal team work better together. After all, wouldn’t having a project manager who already has rapport with the team improve your work environment? But bringing in a third-party consultant can actually do a lot to improve your company’s teamwork.
A PMaaS consultant can act as a neutral mediator when challenges or conflicts arise during your project process. They can show your team ways to communicate more efficiently to resolve issues before they even start. And by delegating tasks to everyone, they can help you avoid frustration and confusion, keeping your whole team on one harmonious page.