Startups and small businesses often think that they do not have enough people or customers to need a project manager. That might be true for smaller or more insignificant projects, but the moment a business has to deal with a critical or bigger project, it needs to consider hiring a project manager.
For Recruiters (Part 1): Does Your Business Need a Project Manager?Linh Tran, Friday 07 August 2015 | Reading time: unknown
The next hiring round is just around the corner and college graduates and businesses are busy preparing for it. Which is why our August blog series will deal with all aspects of onboarding in project management. This week we begin with tips for recruiters, specifically how to tell whether your business needs a project manager or not.
5 Signs you need a PM
Do your projects fail, but you’re still unsure whether a PM could help you? Ask yourself the following 5 questions and if the answer to one or more is “yes” then that’s a surefire sign that you need a project manager.
Does your project have a clear objective?
And do you have anyone who can not only envision it, but also create a plan and decide on the steps needed to achieve your goals? If the answer to both questions is no, then this might explain why your projects fail. Without a clear objective and someone to steer you towards the right direction, your team is probably working extremely inefficiently, putting in more effort than they need to..
Does your project keep expanding, because you constantly have to change your plan?
Not having a clear objective often leads to constantly changing the original project plan, causing a so-called ‘scope creep’. Even small changes can quickly add up and you’ll end up overrunning your budget and missing deadlines. A scope creep can also occur if you don’t know or understand what your customers’ requirements are. A project manager would have added controls which can contain a scope creep.
Do you keep missing deadlines?
Working inefficiently usually leads to missed deadlines because things are not going according to plan. To be fair, nothing usually goes as planned, but a project manager can often anticipate these unplanned events and counteracts them so that the team can still complete the project in time. Missing deadlines does not only have financial consequences, but customers and other project stakeholders will start questioning your credibility and reliability, which can be very damaging to your business. A project manager is not a guarantee that you can finish all of your projects in time, but the risk of doing so with one is considerably lower because PMs usually plan buffer times to avoid delays.
Do you constantly overrun your budget?
Every project has three constraints and changes in one inevitably lead to changes in the other two. If you’re constantly behind schedule, then that can get very costly very fast. For example, if you’re a software developer and you keep postponing your release date, you are not only losing the money the product would be making if you had released it on time, but can also not gain new customers. Every excess day will drive up your costs and you’ll quickly go over budget and lose money at the same time.
Does your team have problems communicating with each other?
Effective communication is one of the most important drivers of business success. Ineffective communication can lead to misunderstandings and create conflict between team members. If there are constant disagreements, the team’s motivation will decrease and the quality of their work suffers. A project manager will ensure that the communication between team members is always transparent and that conflicts are dealt with in a timely manner.
Project managers are not magicians and can’t work miracles. Neither does having one guarantee success, but it will significantly increase your chances of succeeding. Remember that implementing project management into your business is a commitment and must not be done haphazardly, but hiring a good project manager is the first step towards increased productivity, effective teamwork, and troubleshooting when need be.
Stay tuned: In part 2 we will explain how to find a great project manager.