Can you imagine working to execute a project with defining character for your business and then letting a person, whom you have never met, take responsibility for the execution of this project?
Maybe you immediately jump to listing the risks of everything that could go wrong, arguing that it is an impossible task for anyone with no prior knowledge about your work structure or company DNA to successfully execute a project of this character. There is simply no margin for error in this project.
This is the attitude, which Head of Projects in idoc, Morten Ford believes makes it challenging for external project managers to get jobs.
“Generally, there is a lack of trust in people who are not integrated in companies´ structure” he says.
Morten understands the business owners´ reservations toward hiring external project managers. Yet, he wishes that more business owners would acknowledge the benefits of professionals, who have a wide knowledge of general matters, and therefore are able to create value through their experience from other cases similar to the current one.
“A project manager working on consultant basis simply has a more wide experience, because he or she has been working with many different business structures. They know how to adjust to new environments quickly, and they can provide a wider knowledge about project management, than someone who has been working with the same company for many years,” Morten explains.
Even though outsourcing project management is not a one-size-fits-all solution, more companies could benefit from opening up to the risks, and letting an external partner in on their projects. Project management is just as much about managing people as it is managing projects. This human aspect of the assignments presents some interesting benefits in hiring an external consultant to manage projects. Knowing who´s doing what in a project is key to operating a well-oiled machine. Yet, knowing each other, and having personal relationships internally can backfire when it comes to placing people accurately in a given project. Personal relationships might – maybe even unintentionally – alternate the professional assessment of each person´s optimal placement in the project. An external consultant naturally brings a more objective outlook, not only interpersonally, but also within the organization. Objectiveness inevitably provides a higher margin of success, as the consultant is not biased by either personal preferences or usual company protocol.
Why not engage in dialogue?
Previously in this article, we equalized hiring an external consultant with hiring a complete stranger, whom has no prior experience with or knowledge about your company. Yet, one can speculate whether this is the truth about the hiring process? Morten Ford argues that it does not have to be.
“Engaging in dialogue about expectations and desires is a very profitable way of getting to know each other in a possible cooperation. It is completely acceptable to ask the candidate about his or her suggestions to executing the task before making a decision.”
Furthermore, Morten suggests that the whole process of hiring the consultant could change, and that the candidate could create a key-point solution plan for the execution of the project. In this way, both parties ensure that they are the right match for each other, and the benefits of working with a consultant can play their role.