Outsourced Project Management
By Matt McGew
Outsourcing allows a company to subcontract a particular area within the organization. A company may outsource project management or any other task or department for one or more reasons. However, in general, organizations commonly choose to outsource to save money or make use of expertise outside the company.
Trends in Outsourcing Project Management
Historically, companies outsourced processes primarily as a cost-saving technique. For example, they outsourced basic labor functions to places where employees were cheaper and easier to replace. Today, however, because of continuing advancements and the merging of information technology with other business areas, companies have other reasons to outsource. For important and high-level roles such as project management, an organization typically gains value from outsourcing as opposed to simply cutting costs.
The Various Roles in Project Management
Project management involves more people than just project managers, and companies can outsource many project management functions. These include training for project management and support individuals who contribute to the project management team. Additionally, project management roles include individuals responsible for completing the project and individuals responsible for the actual delivery of the project. With outsourcing, coordinating the varied individuals involved with the project management process places additional pressure on organizations, and businesses should make sure all the people involved coordinate and communicate effectively.
Drawbacks of Outsourcing Project Management
One of the primary disadvantages of outsourcing project management has to do with the physical location of the project and the distance involved in outsourcing. Even if the outsourced work takes place in the same country as the company’s primary operations, subcontracting project management responsibilities can potentially create problems within the organization. For example, issues can arise when individuals perceived as outsiders are asked to manage internal staff members.
Making Big Decisions
Deciding how to outsource project management tasks is complicated for most companies. Before deciding to outsource, the organization must have a clear understanding of what it hopes to accomplish by outsourcing. This includes evaluating the potential benefits and costs associated with hiring project managers outside the company. In some cases, companies may also choose to use outsourced project managers on a temporary basis. In this case, the company must clearly identify the specific functions it wants to outsource and determine how to integrate these functions back into the organization once the company no longer uses the outsourced project managers.
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Since 1992 Matt McGew has provided content for on and offline businesses and publications. Previous work has appeared in the “Los Angeles Times,” Travelocity and “GQ Magazine.” McGew specializes in search engine optimization and has a Master of Arts in journalism from New York University.