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How do I outsource project management?

When you have a project, there are some things that can be outsourced, and some that are very difficult to outsource. Due to its nature, and the amount of involvement a manager has, it is difficult to outsource project management, but not impossible. So if you want to outsource your project management, here is what you need to do:

Step one: Get someone who is currently involved in this type of business. While Betty Sue may be a great manager for a restaurant, she would likely make a lousy project manager for a technical or engineering project. So, find someone well versed in the industry. You may even want to find someone over qualified as they could handle your stress better. For example, if you hire a NASA engineer to complete your IT project, they may find that even your most stressful situations are far more relaxing than the environment they are used to working in where everything is planned to the minute 2 years in advance. So, look for someone capable, and knowledgeable.

Step two: Find someone who is praised highly. Do not just hire any Joe Blow off the street to be your project manager. In order to work towards a project's success, the project manager needs to have a reputation. They need lots of courses in project management and a reputation for being organized. So, ask around, check references, and make sure the person you hire has a record of successful work-for-hire project management. People with a reputation will work harder and better because they have to maintain that.

Step three: Have a centralized project support office, with people who will manage the resources and provide scope management, risk management and operations for the overall program. You need someone who has been around a while to get the manager up to speed and help them see what has worked, and allow them to add their fresh ideas. So, give your outsourced project manager ample support.

Step four: Look for someone looking to climb the corporate ladder. Without an upward career path for project managers, it's hard to get the most capable people to take on the job. So, to outsource a project manager, you need to indicate possibility for future work should they prove themselves, or at least find someone who is trying to establish a name for themselves. This will ensure higher quality work.

Step five:Hire someone who may have worked in another complex industry that is downsizing, as you can usually find someone over qualified, and great for the job, and not have to pay too much. Also, while you may hire them on a trial basis, you may find they have a lot to add to your staff, and their experience is something you can't find elsewhere, and thus you have a gem, and a valuable addition to your team.

Basically when you decide to outsource a project management position, you are putting yourself at risk for failure if you hire the wrong person. So, put an ad out, recruit from places that are downsizing, or go with someone well known, but regardless of how you find your person, make sure you check references, capabilities, personality types, etc. You want someone who is organized, who will work well with your staff, and who has goals or a stake in what you do. You want them to be successful by having it benefit them as well as you. So, the potential for long term work, or bonuses depending on profitability of project etc, is the kind of motivation you would want to offer a project manager to encourage their best work.

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