Outsourcing is the practice of a company using an outside firm or contractor to handle work that would otherwise have been performed within the company. This is becoming a familiar concept, especially with small companies that routinely outsource many of their processes to firms or contractors.
Changing Business Models
Hiring talented people to do the job is a great way to accelerate the growth of your business. However, it is not always possible or feasible to hire an in house professional for a task. It may be that your business is not able to afford a salary for the professional. It may also be that the task is carried out only periodically and it therefore does not make sense to hire a full time professional.
Businesses in the past have been reluctant about outsourcing processes to third parties. This was especially evident following the global economic crisis of 2008. However, businesses are becoming more reliant on service outsourcing.
BDO USA’s recent study revealed that technology firms in the US have especially been shown to be heavily reliant on outsourcing various parts of their operations to contractors. As the technology industry continues to grow, this trend is expected to continue.
How Businesses are Benefiting from Outsourcing Project Management Administration Tasks
Many businesses are adopting outsourcing to their business model. In fact, most businesses are outsourcing many elements of their IT related process as services. As a small business, you may not have the resources to hire a professional in-house project manager. You may want to outsource this service but are unsure whether your company will benefit from the move or not. The following are the advantages of outsourcing this service:
- It’s cost effective
Outsourcing means that you will only pay for what you use. This model allows you to make use of the services only when you need them. You get to make use of the experience and expertise of the project manager when you need it without having to increase the headcount at your business. You don’t have to worry about adding a new salary to the list of expenses.
This model is especially effective where large projects are taken up by small businesses. These large scale projects often require project managers with vast experience. Hiring such a manager on a full time basis is not cheap. However, outsourcing makes it possible to access these pricey talents at a fraction of the cost.
- It allows for greater flexibility
As a small business, you may not need the project management skills always. You can therefore hire the talent only when you need it and for the exact length of time that you require it. When the project is completed, you can put a stop to the contract. There are no long term commitments like when you hire an in house project manager. It’s the perfect way for a small business to keep their overheads to a minimum while ensuring that all tasks are efficiently handled. You tap into high level talent when you need.
- It gives you access to high level skills
Outsourcing allows you to gain access to talent and skills at the highest level for the management of your projects. Many times, small businesses are unable to realize the full potential of the projects they are working on as a result of being ill equipped or not having the right kind of experience. Outsourcing allows your company to hire project managers that fit the profile for the project. This ensures better results in the project.
- Great objectivity
The project manager you outsource your project to is not exclusively dependent on your company for their income. They are also not influenced by office politics, bureaucracy or traditions. They are therefore more likely to be transparent and honest when it comes to their work. They will give you an objective view of what would work best for the organization as well as what bottlenecks they have observed.
They are more likely to notice blind spots that those on the inside wouldn’t notice. Outsourcing will therefore bring more value to your company.
An expert who has worked with various other companies will bring new ideas for increased innovation with them. Outsourcing allows you to tap into a greater pool of ideas and into a different way of thinking. You can learn a lot from the experience of the project manager and find ways to improve your own business. You have the benefit of learning from the mistakes and successes of others.
- Take advantage of experience
Experience is vital in project management. While you may be able to manage the project from start to finish, there are subtle leaks that you may not notice until the end of the project. These leaks may be serious enough to result in huge losses. Having experienced project managers on the job will ensure that these leaks are caught in time and handled appropriately.
How to successfully outsource Project Management Admin Tasks
You can only benefit from outsourcing if you do it effectively. The following tips will help you outsource project management administration tasks more efficiently:
1. Weigh the costs and benefits
Is project management critical to the success of your organization? Is it critical to the perception your customers will have on your organization? Do you have a limited selection of reliable and competent personnel to handle these tasks?
If your answer to the above questions is ‘yes’, you need outsourced services. However, you should also consider what you would be willing pay an expert to assist you. This depends on the tasks you’ll be outsourcing.
2. Determine your expectations and create a plan
One of the most common mistakes business owners make is that they don’t outline their expectations for the project. They therefore end up being disappointed and frustrated upon project delivery.
It is important to outline and plan for outcomes and accountability throughout the project cycle. Keeping the lines of communication open ought to be a major requirement. These should be presented to the contractor and agreed upon before the project commences.
3. Shop around
Remember that you get what you pay for. Avoid going for a specific service provider simply based on the lowest quote. It’s important to shop around and identify a contractor that will meet your expectations. Discuss the project with the prospective contractors and hire the one that is best qualified and has the skill to deliver on the job.
4. Hand over the reigns
This is probably going to be the hardest step. You need to hand over control to the contractor and let them do the job that you hired them to do. Provide support only when needed. You’re outsourcing to an expert. Trust them to get the job done.