Do Not Use 3rd Party Project Management Services Until You Know The Pitfalls

Pitfalls of using outsourced services for managing your projects

by Rod Dunne on March 28, 2011

in Biz Dev, Creative

Picking the right construction or IT project management services requires careful consideration of many factors. In this article, I’ll step through four of the major pitfalls that are made in strategic leadership decisions when failing to choose the right consulting service.

#1: Using project management services that use different methodologies to yours

If executive level managers are choosing which project management service you go for based on budget then they often overlook the critical factor of what methodology they propose using.


This is essential as you wish to align their methodologies to the one that you use, or wish to use, in-house. Otherwise project management training of your staff, using even short seminars, may be required before projects can begin.

In the worst-case scenario you may secure construction project management services specialists for working on an IT project. Likewise, IT project management services use a number of different methodologies (e.g. scrum methodology, waterfall, etc.) which simply are not used in the management of construction projects.

Establish the methodology which should be used as part of your terms of agreement and RFP process (in fact, include it as part of your business proposal template requirements when putting the project consultancy out for tender)

#2: Securing a good project management service, but failing to get your own in-house project managers

One glaring omission that can happen is that you secure your project management services but then omit to have corresponding project management staff in-house to pair up with the consultants.

The problem is that you are failing to have individuals in-house who can actually transition this work and understand fully the project management software used after the project management consulting services are long gone. The consultants will also act as on-the-job trainers for your project managers.

Hire or train in-house project managers to work alongside that of the consulting service to ensure your project is not left in the lurch if the project management consulting services decides to up their rates or finish the contract

#3: Being tempted by offshore project management services

The ability to outsource sections of work can certainly improve the scalability of many companies. However, using offshore project management services requires a lot of careful consideration.

You have to be concerned that managers are not going to be located close enough to manage the actual team staff. This affects the reporting and communication channels (and trust) within your team which is a crucial part of all projects. Time zone differences may mean that they may not be contactable during certain periods of your business day.

Offshore managers may actually work quite well in IT project management services where you already have a dispersed team (i.e. they’re not located in the one central location). However, you have to weigh up the reduced costs of such services against the communication difficulties that can so easily occur.

#4: Not evaluating several project management consulting services

This issue can often arise as a result of inpatient executive decisions. Realize that choosing the right project management services for your firm requires due diligence and evaluation of several project management consulting services to evaluate their methodologies, levels of involvement, industry knowledge, costs, scalability and synchronicity to your work methods.

Don’t just go for the first project management service you find or the cheapest one available in Golden Pages. After all, this is one of the most strategic cost management decisions your executives will need to make  and you will have to work with these individuals over several months and the success or failure of your projects depends on this key decision.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on Product-ivity.com. This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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