Do you need an extra function of the Project Manager?
Approximately 70% of IT projects fail every year in the companies that don’t have the clear Project Management structure. In the top ten reasons for this, are not clear timelines, lack of planning and communication, inability to adjust the project’s outcomes to the changed conditions on the market, or in the organization’s objectives. From our own experience, we can add to that – lack of experiences and qualification of the person leading the project – the Project Manager. When the business in need doesn’t have a Project Manager function within their structures, they tend to appoint someone from internal employees, whose primary function however is doing something else. That was exactly the case of one of our clients.
When one of our clients contacted us some years back, they initially only needed an experienced Project Manager to help them manage the projects within their structures. Of course, we were not their first resource, because before they approached us, they attempted to manage their projects on their own. Because they are operating in the financial sector, their environment is very delicate (you wouldn’t want the systems with your clients data to suddenly turn off because of a preventable error), they tried to keep their business within already established structueres, but they soon get burdened from several reasons:
1. Our client’s market is going through continuous changes, and all projects must be led flexible enough to reflect those changing trends. That wasn’t the case;
2. Projects were run within our client’s structures in parallel, and it was very hard for one individual to keep an eye on them, and run them efficiently. Often, the projects overlapped, their benefits were not clear, and it was hard to distinguish between what was beneficial, and what kept going out of a habit;
3. All internal resources – including those appointed to manage the new projects – were occupied with their daily operations. Even with the best intentions, there was always imbalance, and one of the two areas suffered – either the project, or the daily operations.
All the factors above caused many delays, overburdened the internal staff, and wasted the financial resources. Imagine, how much it costs when you pull your employee away from his daily job, and you add extra responsibilities on his plate. Our client requested us to “come onboard”, and help them.
When our own Project Managers started to manage the projects, we established the clear communication pathways, mapped all processes within the organization, and suggested potential improvements in efficiency. One of the things, we recommended was to establish the function of the PMO that would overlook over the whole portfolio of the projects within the company of our client.
Of course, we struggled at the beginning. We were facing the opposition from internal departments that felt threatened by addition of the foreign element to their structures. To overcome that, and get all onboard with us, and make the other team members to collaborate rather than see us as a competition, we established very clear communication channels since the beginning. We realized that the opposition we were facing was caused by the lack of understanding of the benefits of a such model of cooperation, and also fear from the lack of understanding of the new processes. To overcome that, we facilitated a series of trainings targeting the Project Management Methodologies, and Soft Skills workshops. At the end, not only the employees started to collaborate better with us, but their communication improved also between the departments.
So, going back to the beginning of this article. Should a company have an experienced Project Manager to run their projects? Yes, absolutely. 70% ratio of the failed project is too big to ignore, and while none of the Projects will ever run with zero disturbance (hey-ho to all my fellow Project Managers, you know what I’m talking about), the risk of failure dramatically decreases when the proper processes are followed.
In DEV PACK, we have a database of experienced Project Managers following Kanban, Kaizen, Six Sigma, Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Lean… – basically you can pick which methodology suits your area of the business the best, and we can provide someone that will fit your needs. And if you’re not certain about the methodologies, don’t worry – we are here to give you a hand. Prior we take on any project, we always evaluate our particular client’s situation, and the specifications of their internal environment. Get in touch with our company if you’re in need of someone with the hands-on the solution.