This is a guest post by Rachel Peralta. Rachel is a Content Coordinator at WhyDoesEverythingSuck.net and is always actively seeking great content ideas. She studied Communication Arts and ironically took a (long) side trip to the financial industry. Outside of work, she is a beach lover and aims to explore the different coastlines in her country.
Running a business can sometimes be overwhelming. There are many things to oversee, plans to reassess, and goals to achieve. Often, the in-house team isn’t capable of handling all the tasks. That’s when outsourcing comes to mind.
According to outsourcing statistics and surveys, 24% of respondents claimed that the major reason for outsourcing was efficiency. However, there’s a lot more to consider. Outsourcing is affordable, the talent pool is wider, and teams are ready to tackle problems. What’s more, anything can be outsourced, including project management tasks.
What Is Project Management?
In simple terms, project management is about team organization and resources used to complete a project or achieve a goal within a specified timeframe. It has concrete final deliverables constrained to fixed funds and a completion period.
Project management has five stages, and each serves a unique purpose. The five stages are:
- Project initiation – the company decides whether a project is feasible
- Project planning – creating and developing a roadmap for everyone involved in a project
- Project execution – the essential stage of the project where most of the work gets done
- Performance monitoring – ensuring that everything’s happening according to the plan
- Project closure – the project is finalized and analyzed
Problems With Project Management
The phases mentioned above in project management couldn’t be completed without a solid project management team. Project management is far from simple. Team members should always be aware of deadlines, resources, potential risks, and other facts. One way to improve collaboration and transparency is by using a project management software. Whether your project management team is entirely in-house or outsourced to external venders, choosing the right project management tool will keep everyone informed and on the same page.
Take Hive for example. With Hive, employees in an organization can invite external users to collaborate and contribute to their workspace. Hive’s time-tracking and resourcing features are also useful features to manage and allocate work to specific team members. This added visibility is extremely important when some team members are outsourced — and for any team with distributed workers, for that matter.
So when does it make sense to outsource work to external employees? Outsourcing is especially useful when project managers can’t find employees with specific skills or experience. That’s one of many hurdles in PM that can be overcome with outsourcing.
8 Benefits Of Outsourcing Project Management
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all in outsourcing. Each company can benefit from it, but each should create its plan and assess whether it should outsource PM. Here’s how outsourcing can help.
1. Solving Problems With Understaffing
Setting up a project management office demands more staff. Many businesses don’t have enough staff to assign project management tasks. Outsourcing can bring in a much-needed helping hand. What’s more, outsourced PM team members are focused and ready to start immediately.
2. Hiring Skilled Team Members
Some operations require workers with a specific set of skills. One example is IT. Companies of all sizes need to follow the most recent IT trends in PM, and the existing employees rarely have enough knowledge to assist. Training them could take time. Outsourcing some or all tasks to a team of experts yields instant results.
3. Reducing Operating Costs
Businesses might need additional equipment or location to run their project management operations. This can result in higher expenses and a smaller budget for the project itself. Outsourcing simple tasks is often less expensive than expanding the office. It can also help businesses save on healthcare costs, onboarding, and payroll taxes.
4. Ensuring Continuity
Outsourcing project management tasks allows for continuity when employees take some time off. This reduces the risks and enables the outsourced team to pick up where the in-house team left off. There’s also no need to rush into hiring a replacement who may not be a perfect fit for the job and lose more time training them.
5. Gaining a Fresh Perspective
Hiring an outsourced project management team usually means better transparency. Outsourced teams don’t work for only one company. They have more experience in the industry and might be more willing to share industry’s tips and tricks.
6. Drawing Attention to Core Functions
Having an outsourced team means that the in-house one is free to focus on the core tasks. Management can allocate resources and employees strategically without having to worry about overburdening them with work. With an outside team, the inside team can get some breathing room.
7. Increasing Access to Resources
Considering the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing, businesses that practice it can have a bigger budget. They can then spend that extra money on other operations. Besides the budget, outsourcing frees up employees’ work schedules, enabling HR to assign other essential tasks to improve productivity.
8. Saving Time
Outsourcing companies are led by experts who are good at leading their teams and meeting deadlines. Therefore, the turnaround time for each outsourced project is reduced while the end result is satisfactory. Even if the service wasn’t as advertised, there’d be enough time to correct the mistakes without missing deadlines.
Drawbacks of Outsourcing Project Management
Outsourcing is undoubtedly appealing. However, there are some drawbacks to consider before making the final decision. Exposure to sensitive company information and risking data breach can wreak havoc on the company. This risk can be mitigated with clear policies and measures to prevent security issues.
Written instructions can be interpreted in various ways. Communication is essential for proper project management, but sometimes emails may not convey the right message. Expectations may seem unclear, and feedback can be misunderstood. Improving communication is key to preventing problems.
Another issue that in-house teams can face is the lack of control. When a project is outsourced, the core team depends on the outsiders to deliver and loses authority. Hiring experienced outsourcing teams and discussing all steps beforehand is a way to tackle this problem.
Outsourcing brings many benefits to all types of organizations, especially when it comes to project management. It helps improve the efficiency of project management teams by allowing access to a wider talent pool and better resources. Skilled team members are always available and ready to scale and follow business’s needs.
While the outsourced team is working on smaller tasks, in-house employees can focus on core operations and achieve other essential goals. Outsourcing also saves time and helps solve many other issues with project management. However, there are some downsides.
Communication needs to be clear at all times, and companies looking to outsource tasks need to be precise about how they want to protect their confidential information. There’s always a possibility of a poor outcome. This risk can be mitigated by choosing the right outsourcing company to work with. Organizations of all sizes can utilize outsourcing and increase the productivity of their project management teams.