Selecting the right person to manage your project is a crucial decision. They must ensure the project stays on schedule, adheres to deadlines and remains within budget. Before choosing a project manager, you should consider their qualifications and experience, as well as their attitude and skill set in relation to what is needed for the project. Ultimately, you must determine if you want someone in-house or outsource the responsibility to an external organization. In this article, you will find more detailed criteria for assessing potential project managers, as well as tips on how to find someone who fits your team and project best.
Understanding your project requirements
Before hiring someone to handle your project, you need to understand the project essentials yourself. This does not mean you have to document the project requirements as professional PMs do – that would take too much time and effort from you. However, you should make a list of must-haves to communicate to the PM and, thereby, reduce the chance of getting a poor result.
Some things you need to consider include:
1) What is the project scope?
2) What are the deliverables?
3) What are the deadlines?
4)What are the key milestones?
5) What are the budget constraints?
6) What are the customer’s expectations?
7) What are the specific needs of the project?
By having a clear understanding of what you need, you can avoid costly miscommunications and hiring mistakes. So before you start interviewing candidates, make sure to create a project requirements list.
Qualities to look for in a project manager
When a candidate is hired, their hard and soft skills are evaluated.
Hard skills are closely tied to the specifics of the profession. For example, you cannot hire a Java developer without Java knowledge, a tester without the ability to write test cases, and a designer without an understanding of user experience principles.
Soft skills, on the contrary, are not unique to any job. They include the ability to organize teamwork, negotiate with colleagues, express creativity, adapt to changes, etc. According to the latest LinkedIn survey, 57% of employers value soft skills more than hard skills. Also, the demand for soft skills is growing fast, so candidates should contribute time for personal development.
Strong hard skills are essential for a good project manager. A professional PM should be able to handle project budgeting, task planning, and workflow organization. They also need to be comfortable with documentation development, risk assessment, and task distribution in a team. Some tools that PM should have experience with are Monday.com, ClickUp, Wrike, and Smartsheet. The PM must also deeply understand the software development process and have basic coding and testing skills.
With all that, there’s a lot more to being a great project manager than just having appropriate hard skills. In order to be successful, a PM should be able to effectively manage communication and relationships, as well as navigate through complex systems. The PM must be a strong leader, an efficient problem-solver, and an enthusiastic team builder. They should manage projects on behalf of the client while maintaining positive relationships with their team.
If you’re looking for a great project manager, make sure to hire someone with appropriate hard and soft skills. Finding a person with the right qualities is already half of project success.
How to vet the possible candidates
As a CEO or business founder, you know that finding and vetting the right candidates for the PM role is essential to your company’s success. But what are the best ways to do that?
Here are a few tips:
1. Understand their work history and experience. Make sure they have a solid track record of success in leading and driving projects.
2. Assess their skills and abilities. They should be able to demonstrate strong problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills.
3. Check references and reviews. Make sure they have a good reputation and that previous employers or clients were happy with their work.
4. Have a conversation. The best way to get a feel for someone is to have a conversation with them. Ask them questions about their experience, their goals, and their thoughts on project management.
Benefits of outsourcing project management
Business owners are usually wearing a lot of hats. They are responsible for marketing, sales, product, and operations—not to mention all the day-to-day tasks that come with running a business. So how can they possibly find time to manage a project?
That’s where project management outsourcing comes in. By outsourcing your project management needs to a qualified and experienced team, you can focus on the bigger picture and let domain experts take care of the day-to-day details. This can be a huge relief for busy CEOs and founders, and it can also be extremely cost-effective compared to hiring an in-house PM.
According to the Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey, 57% of companies believe outsourcing allows them to fully focus on core business activities and increase productivity. Additionally, business owners receive the following benefits from project management outsourcing:
- Optimized workflow. When you outsource your project management, you’re tapping into a team of experts who know how to get things done quickly and efficiently. This can help you avoid costly delays and mistakes.
- Cost savings. By outsourcing your project management, you’re saving money on salaries, benefits, and office space. You’re also freeing up your team to focus on their direct duties.
- Access to specialized skills. Not all project managers are created equal. When you outsource your project management, you have access to a team of specialists who have the skills and experience you need.
- Speed to market. An experienced PM will lead your project so that you get a quality result in the shortest possible time. This will help you reduce your time-to-market and fasten ROI (Return on Investment).
- Access to tools and processes. Outsourcing project management means entrusting the team leadership to a person who already has the necessary experience, a set of PM tools, and an understanding of how to make your software development process as fast and efficient as possible.
Managing your relationship with a project manager
Now that you’ve decided to outsource project management, it’s important to know how to manage the relationship with a remote employee. After all, this is a key person in the team who will be responsible for ensuring the success of your project. So, it’s vital to put your communication on the right track.
Here are a few tips:
Set clear expectations from the start. Be sure to communicate your vision, goals, and deadlines to your project manager. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page from the beginning. Document requirements to both parties in the outsourcing contract to avoid misunderstanding and unjustified expectations.
Some things to keep in mind when negotiating the contract are as follows:
- project manager’s responsibilities
- your (client’s) responsibilities
- project timeline
- work deliverables
- project budget
- payment terms
Stay involved. Even though you’re outsourcing the project management, it’s still your project. Be sure to stay involved and check in regularly to ensure that things are on track. However, you need to strike a balance and allow your project manager to do their job.
Trust your project manager. Yes, you need to stay involved, but you also need to trust that your project manager knows what they’re doing. If you micromanage, you’ll only end up frustrated. So, try to rely on the skills and expertise of the person you’ve selected.
How Softensy can help you with project management
At Softensy, we understand that project management is essential for every business, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why we offer our expert project management services to help businesses lighten the load.
With our team of experienced PMs, we can help you manage every stage of your project, from planning and execution to closure and review. We’ll work with you to create a customized project management plan that fits your specific needs, and we’ll be there to support you every step of the way.
So if you need help with your project management tasks, or if you simply don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself, contact us today and let Softensy take care of everything for you!