Project management is defined as the effort of planning and controlling resources to meet project requirements. Basically there are two types of management: in-sourced and out-sourced management. Both have they own benefits, each used for a different scope, but both have distinct drawbacks. In-sourced management puts in the work personally while out-sourced management puts the work out. Different roles, management and accountability are defined in the terms of in-sourced and out-sourced respectively. It has been commonly accepted that out-sourced Management is a better model to assume the time and resources involved. In-sourced management has its own pitfalls. As outlined on a prince2 training ireland qualification.
The main characteristic of out-sourced management is “We’ll try it out. “Every time the decision makers get naive and jump into something without the support of an objective analysis, it’s a bad Idea / bad decision / bad investment. This is where historically “out-sourced” management has shown its limits. The danger in the scenario is hidden.
An ideal example is an in-sourced project; the managers had a feel for the textures and nuances of the project. They built upon the provided and the existing plans to increase the scope and scope of the deliverables. In this scenario AND in-sourced project management, the managers agreed at the outset about the framework of the project (typically a page of T&C’s or a linked web-site). However, when out-sourced is implemented and the manager/direct reports started working on the project without expecting to get anything out of it, then the work gets delayed, gets complicate and gets lost in a void. One of the limitation in this type of project is the lack of change control when doing parallel work. Other case to point is collaboration and information sharing; it is much easier to share information between different approaches than between similar ones. There’s also no way to track the progress nor process changes, the managers are involved in a stage of win-win (think climbing a mountain) and most of the time the specialists are working on other projects which means effort goes back into the original one. Change is the bane of all out-sourced project management.
Most of the time the outsource project is intended for a team or a division within a company. Does management control everything? Absolutely not! They can control on key resources but in most cases they can’t control task because it’s been outsourced. But this kind of management is quite alright if the team trust and respect each other in terms of logic, authority and accountability.
Another component of the out-sourced status is flexibility. If the whole team fully supports the project or project team is not a match, implementation can go wrong, sometimes no work is outsourced due to lack of competence and scope creep.Sometimes out-sourced projects are outsourced to a department (for example marketing) and there is no connection to other processes within the company. Our out-sourced management strategy is engineering interested 3rd party which bring expertise and capabilities based on the given specifications.
So that it’s obvious that we have huge problems once you have your expectations met. How to avoid such pitfalls? Well, we prepare the project managers to excite the team and prepare them for the project budget, a clearly defined task focus and a clear message about change management process at the start. Although cost is important, quality is more important. Remember, projects is usually limited, resource constraints is a key problem, and adjustments and ad-hoc process sometimes no longer consequence of successful execution. Often outsourced projects turn out to be the most expensive, at the end.
Any project manager held under the appropriate responsibilities is capable of maintaining profitability and it (project) management is therefore not a human factor but a resource. Which means that project management should be seen as something similar for both in-sourced and out-sourced projects.
Choosing the right team with the right attributes is the key to success in project management. Why?