The time has come and your company has decided to implement new software, roll out a new product line, or is undergoing a new business initiative. Whatever the reason may be, you could really use a project manager to execute your vision. A project manager plays a vital role in overseeing project plans, task allocations, mitigating risks, and ensuring the entire project team focus on their duties. Having a skilled project manager dramatically increases the potential for a project to be profitable, successful, and delivered on time.
The question is, do you hire a full-time project manager, pull existing team members away from their current assignment, or bring in an external contract project manager?
Project management focuses on specific business operations that have a defined end date. The temporary nature of these roles causes many organizations to bring in outside contractors. Contract Project Managers are a great way to gain access to the resources you need for a specific project. The benefits of working with a contractor are far-reaching and can be customized for an organization's needs and goals.
1. Specific Skill-Sets
What do you do if your upcoming project requires a particular skill set or expertise that can't be found within your organization? Many companies struggle to justify bringing on a full-time employee with that specific skill set when they only have a limited amount of need for them. Once the project is complete, you are left with an employee that you have no work for.
This is an excellent example of a scenario when a contract project manager may be the perfect fit for the situation. An external project manager can bring the necessary knowledge and skills that will help ensure the success of the project.
Impresiv Health's network of consultants are dispatched regularly to help organizations who need project managers with specific product experience with core systems such as TriZetto Facets, QNXT, and Clinical CareAdvance, HealthEdge Payor, Altruista Guiding Care. MHK, and other leading edge systems.
Contract Project Managers can provide a type of flexibility that you aren't able to have with permanent employees. These people can be remotely based, giving you access to a broader range of talent outside your geographical location. Their work hours can be flexible and varied based on the needs of the project and the company. Employing a contract PM can also be a way to "try before you buy," allowing you to see how they perform before deciding to hire them on a full-time basis.
Additionally, contract Project Managers can be hired for a specific project, meaning that you don't have to continue paying them once the project is completed and you no longer have any work for them. This can be a great advantage when a project is completed ahead of schedule or, on a rare occasion, canceled. Their contract can be for as little or as long as you like, giving you flexibility with your staffing needs and your budgetary restrictions.
3. Best Practices
Contract Project Managers spend their time going from project to project at organizations throughout the country. While they are usually bound by confidentiality, and won't reveal secrets from their past engagements, they gain an understanding of what works, and more importantly, what doesn't work, within your industry. They can be a fantastic guide for understanding the best practices of your specialty.
4. Save Money
Hiring a contract PM can actually save you money. With permanent employees, you commit to paying them a certain amount each year—even if you don't have anything for them to do. With contractors, you can customize the length of the contract based on how long it takes to complete the work.
Even though most employers pay contractors more per hour than they would pay a regular employee, it usually costs employers more to hire permanent staff. These expenses can easily increase your payroll costs by 20% - 30%, making it far more cost-effective to utilize contract Project Managers.
When you hire an employee, you will have to pay several expenses that you don't have to pay for contractors, including….
- Employer-provided benefits
- 401K matching
- Workers' compensation insurance
- The employer's share of the employee's Social Security and Medicare taxes, which totals 7.65% of the employee's compensation
- State unemployment compensation insurance
- Office space
5. Quicker Time-To-Value
For larger projects, when speed is of the essence, hiring contract Project Managers quickly can be vital to the success of the project. A firm like Impresiv Health has a squadron of consultants available to start working right away. The specialization and skills of these experts ensure that they start adding value from day one. This means that you don't have to wait weeks for someone to give notice to their previous job, and then wait even longer for them to be trained and brought up to speed.
A contract PM won't have the administrative or operational responsibilities that a full-time team member will have. You won't be pulling them away from their regular duties to work on the project. This gives a contract PM more time to spend working on the project with higher speed and efficiency.
6. Unbiased Talent
Contract project managers are a clean slate free of drama and bias. They won't have any of the internal predispositions which employees usually develop. If they are a career consultant, they will have experienced enough different cultures and environments to understand and avoid falling into the office politics traps common to many organizations. Their advice or recommendations are likely to be balanced, subject only to their own internal (and not political) biases.
7. Contingent Workforce
A contractor is someone who agrees to fulfill a pre-defined project for the consulting firm's client in exchange for compensation. Generally, the individual is an employee of the consulting firm but is working onsite for the client.According to a recent report, more than 80% of large corporations plan to increase their use of a flexible workforce substantially. The report predicts that by the end of the year, contingent workers will exceed 40 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Is a Contract Project Manager Right for You?
Hiring a qualified project management firm takes the stress and complexity of a project off your shoulders while giving you better results. You'll reap the benefit of a project with reduced risk, cost, and schedule while gaining a trusted partner whose committed to your success. Just ask your executive team the following questions:
- Do you need a Project Manager for a short-term role?
- Does the project require expert knowledge or a specific skill set?
- Are you under-resourced but don't have enough work to require a full-time role?
- Do you need big results on a small budget?
- Do you need results rapidly for a time-sensitive project?
- Do you have a project that needs to be rescued?
- Do you have a need to cover extended leave on a project?
- Who can help you hire the best and most cost-effective Project Manager?