Why should you employ a Project Manager? What is the point of having someone responsible for delivering defined projects, rather than just a series of managers in separate departments?
Within a traditional company, executives may argue that the manager of HR and the manager of marketing and the manager of IT are all project managers of sorts.
However, there is a distinct difference that a project manager can bring to a company. No matter which type of a project manager you decide to hire.
Project Managers bring a patchwork of skills, but at the base of it all, they are excellent organisers and communicators. They might not specialise in one area of a company, but they have skills to complete most tasks in most areas.
A skilled project manager is invaluable to the business. They will help balance a timeframe, a budget and the overall scope of a project while managing a team or coordinating a group of teams.
The project manager takes ultimate accountability for the completion and success of the project. More than this, they will be the person with the vision at the start of the project, and they will see it through to its completion.
They will be responsible for defining the concept, the goals and the approach and then they will work throughout to amend the plan if necessary. They will then be there at the end to reflect and respond to user experience to potentially make it even better.
Do you need any more reasons why an organisation should have a project manager? Well, here are ten more reasons why a company might want to hire a project manager!
10 Reasons Why a Company Should Hire a Project Manager
Number 1: Your customers will feel better
Today’s business world requires the customer experience to take priority over all else. It takes up to seven times more money to win a new customer than it does to retain the loyalty of an existing customer.
Therefore, working to create a loyal, lifelong customer base needs to be at the heart of a company’s strategy.
A Project Manager is in the position to deliver a set project for a customer within a time limit and to a set budget. They will offer excellent communication skills, which means a nervous customer will be kept reassured throughout the delivery of the goals of the project.
This means that your customer will walk away satisfied and happy and more than likely to return with the next project needing completion.
A satisfied customer is also your best asset in marketing. Testimonials from clients who have received smart project management will push a reluctant customer passed their scepticism.
Number 2: The project will be more efficient
When a company works in department silos, it is likely that a lot of time is spent in meetings than in production. Each department will also bring its concern about accountability and budget and its perception of project scope.
The unifying vision is going to be difficult to gain. Therefore, a Project Management can provide a map that can be quickly followed by everyone involved in project completion.
A smart PM will also identify potential risks and mitigate these, avoiding costly delays and possible failure of the project by using the project management best practices.
The focus of the PM is solely focused on bringing the project to fruition and not on the internal politics that can sometimes define a company organised exclusively in distinct departments.
Number 3: Increased flexibility
At the start of a project, there is a substantial plan with a precise scope at the beginning of the project.
This will be based on a firm business case, with a prominent opportunity for growth. This could be delivered at the executive level, and then the different departments could work to fulfil the various elements identified by the executive.
If a project manager is tasked with delivering this project two things happen – the job-specific planning can be done gradually as the project emerges rather than finite and potential pointless preparation being completed at the start.
Or, if the project begins to drift or the outcomes are no longer valid or relevant, a project manager is on hand to redirect and redefine the scope of the project.
Number 4: Increased focus on risk assessment
A Project Manager is wholly focused on mitigating potential risk to the outcomes of a project. Some risk may be worth taking, and the result managed, but equally some risk should be avoided by careful guidance and direction of team members.
Efficient management of a project by a person singularly focused on its success means that there is a warning time before starting work or as the plan is executed.
Number 5: Increased quality
With a better plan, which is flexible and adaptive to the demands of time and budget and success criteria, comes a better quality outcome.
Also, with a single person accountable it is likely that quality is improved as a series of managers are not pointing in different directions as to who is to blame.
A customer and an executive know who to approach if the quality of the outcome is not to standard and more needs to be done, and this person has no room to wriggle, it is their business to get it done.
Number 6: Increased quantity
A person in charge of delivering projects can deliver more because they will be working more efficiently than a group of managers trying to coordinate their specialism.
There is less likely to be drift passed deadlines and therefore more opportunity to undertake more projects.
This, in turn, means that outcomes produced by the project manager will mostly pay for his or her salary.
Number 7: Opportunity focused
A great project manager will be entirely focused on bringing new projects and new opportunities to the company. They will understand the whole strategic goal of the company and will know how each separate function within the organisation works.
This means they are in a position to identify any new projects that can move the company forward. It is in a project manager’s best interest to bring new projects to the company.
Depending on the tolerance of executives to risk, this means that a great Project Manager could take the company in a direction that is highly profitable and great for the whole company.
Number 8: Learned processes
The best project managers will make themselves unemployed to a certain degree. With each project, they will implement a methodology for successful project completion that the team will learn and apply more independently each time.
The organisation of workflow and the means of negotiation and delivery will occur more organically. This is done through performance review and process reflection, as well as the preparation of clear policies and instructions.
With this learning of processes opens opportunities for services to be expanded and the growth of development within the company.
Number 9: Improved employee morale
Within sound processes and excellent communication comes outstanding employee morale. A project manager can make sure that everyone knows what they are going, how they can be successful and deliver a sense of purpose to a working day.
This is invaluable. Anything that reduces conflict and confusion within a company must be significant. In fact, such improved morale can improve profitability. Win, win you could say.
More than this, the project manager acts as motivator and mentor. The project manager will reduce stress for the team reducing staff attrition.
A productive team is motivating for workers to be part of and the careful questioning and probing of the best project managers can make team members feel as if they are performing in their role.
A project manager who takes issues seriously and offers speedy resolution is inspiring for colleagues. It is the sense of being provided with a clear direction.
Number 10: Connection between senior executives, clients and workers
The project manager can become the linchpin that connects the different stakeholders within a company.
They function as an intermediary between the various interested parties, managing their different needs and keeping confidence in the outcome of the project.
The project manager will provide the buffer between executive and worker, containing instructions that interpret the needs of managers and how this is communicated.
A project manager is clearly an asset to a company. Strong project managers will have strong accountancy skills, be able to delegate and organise; they will have technical ability in the area the company specialises in and be successful communicators.
As well as this skill set, a successful manager will bring other qualities. They will be flexible, assertive, have tolerance for risk and composure under pressure, yet confident at all times. And he or she will be able to teach others on how to become a project manager.
More than anything, bring a project manager into a company will provide someone who is decisive and open at all times to potential opportunities.
Ultimately, an excellent project manager will increase productivity and profitability because their eye is entirely on the budget, the deadlines and successful delivery of the scope of the project.