When to Hire a Project Manager
As a business owner, you don’t want to pay the salary of unnecessary staff. However, the absence of key personnel may cause you to spend more money and energy because of disorganization and a lack of productivity. Before you decide to undertake a major project, or even if you’re already in the midst of one, answering the following questions in these key categories will help you adequately assess your needs to decide whether you should hire a project manager.
Vision and Objectives
Do you, or someone on your staff, have a vision for completing the project? Just because you’re the owner doesn’t mean you’re the best person to lead every major project. For example, if you own a floral company, it’s possible that neither you nor anyone on your staff would be the best person to oversee a major technology upgrade that could disrupt your inventory system and affect your clients and vendors. However, a project manager has a clear vision in addition to the ability to formulate a plan and decide the best course of action to reach the desired goals. This person guides the project from concept to completion, so they have the time and skills to take on the responsibility of it.
Relationships and Communication Skills
Is there someone within the company who has the time and skills to manage relationships with clients, members of the team, contractors, and other parties? The project manager works successfully with different personalities. In the face of inevitable conflicts, this individual diffuses the tension. In addition, this person is comfortable having unpleasant conversations with clients or team members, and they are firm enough to ensure that everyone adheres to the guidelines. The project manager also has good presentation skills and can conduct effective meetings.
Project Management Skills
Is there someone in the company with project management skills? The project manager ensures that deadlines are met along the way. This person catches problems before they snowball out of control. In addition, they are organized enough to stay on top of the team’s progress and knows what is going on at any given moment.
The project manager is skilled in controlling costs and decreasing inefficiency to bring the project in at or under budget. They know enough about the project to recognize if someone is trying to inflate costs or otherwise take advantage of the situation.
In addition, this person has a successful track record of managing other projects. They’re also enthusiastic about being a project manager, which is important because passion is contagious, and a lack of enthusiasm can also be infectious and demoralizing.
Honestly answering these questions and assessing the needs for this position will help you determine if you or someone on your staff has the time and skill set for project management. Although an affirmative answer to every question or statement is not necessary, a significant number of “no” responses may indicate the need to hire a project manager.