6 Benefits of Using
With all of the nuances, complexities, complications, and difficulties, effectively managing IT projects can be challenging to say the least. Success is determined not only by the end result, but also by how it was achieved. IT projects must be meticulously managed and supervised to ensure they are completed on time, on budget, and within scope. If they’re not, projects run the risk of failure.
While this may sound like a typical project setup run by your project management team, the parameters of an IT project can be quite different – so much so that in-house project management teams often lack the necessary knowledge and expertise needed to guide an IT project to success. Given the importance of that success to an organization’s bottom line, IT project management is a highly sought-after skill that nearly every organization needs. But for many of them, putting a full-time professional on staff is not always realistic. One way to remedy this issue is by outsourcing IT project management services.
Organizations today are outsourcing IT project management services to help them keep up with the flow of modern business through hardware and software changeovers, cloud computing integration, advanced IT security initiatives, new technology deployment, and more. With a tremendous amount of use cases for new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and Internet of Things (IoT), organizations are investing massive amounts of resources into projects to help them take advantage of emerging technology that will soon become commonplace.
- Statista forecasts that worldwide IoT market revenue will amount to nearly $1.6 trillion by 2025
- IDC predicts that blockchain spending is set to reach $12.4 billion in 2022
- MarketsandMarkets anticipates the global AI market to increase to $190.61 billion by 2025 (from $21.46 billion in 2018)
By outsourcing IT project management services for these and other IT projects, businesses can take advantage of one of today’s most effective ways to execute new ideas and ensure results.
While specific benefits are going to be linked with each project’s unique set of characteristics, let’s explore six common benefits that can be gained by outsourcing IT project management services. But before we do, here’s a quick overview of outsourcing:
Outsourcing – A Brief Overview
While a bit of a buzzword in the IT space, outsourcing has been around since the Industrial Revolution. It’s long been a way for business owners and decision-makers to create better margins and healthier bottom lines by increasing productivity, or by receiving cheaper rates for various business-critical tasks. And while those are still valid reasons for outsourcing today, thanks to globalization and digitalization movements, outsourcing now gives organizations the ability to gain access to more advanced tools, and take advantage of a deeper and more knowledgeable talent pool than ever before.
Not unlike many other key factors of critical business decisions, it’s important to understand when and why outsourcing IT project management services could be beneficial.
Some IT projects can be quite straightforward with clear-cut objectives and easily-understood parameters. But many of them have a very lengthy lifecycle filled with constant hurdles and complex tasks that are outside of the wheelhouse of many in-house teams. Highly complex, large, and long-term projects can put a strain on internal resources, and can often result in a project that runs outside its scope. With a healthy mix of objectivity, knowledge, and understanding, outsourcing IT project management services may be an ideal way to ensure a successful endeavor.
Here are six common benefits that can be gained by outsourcing IT project management services:
Immediate Increase in Knowledge and Expertise
This is essentially the idea of outsourcing IT project management services. A dedicated outsourced project management provider will consistently keep specialized talent on hand, whereas an individual business may not have the necessary personnel on hand to manage a specific IT project.
Additionally, it may not be feasible to hire that necessary personnel full time, especially for small-to-mid-size businesses. Even if an existing team member showed the necessary traits and abilities needed to manage highly-complex IT projects, training would almost certainly be necessary – and would add to the timeline and budget. Furthermore, moving that team member into a project management role would create a void in their current role, where performance is presumably at a high level.
Even though organizations may not have the resources to train up or hire in-house IT project management help, it doesn’t mean that they can’t take advantage of the unique expertise of knowledgeable professionals. By outsourcing, you can link up with true IT project management experts that can use their diverse range of industry knowledge to develop and drive innovative solutions.
Outsourcing ensures that the people in charge of your project have relevant expertise gained through the execution of similar projects. This also helps ensure that the most effective practices and processes are utilized throughout your project – to get the result you need in the most efficient way possible.
With the increased knowledge and expertise of having led successful IT projects before, organizations often gain added value from working with outsourced IT project management services providers, including:
- Increased technical expertise
- Effective budget monitoring
- Asking the right questions at the right time to minimize errors and corrections
- Proper reporting
- Data center design and construction
- Knowledge and preparedness to work with new technologies and tools
- Optimal communication
- Understanding of key network design differences and requirements
- Step adaptation to create a better workflow
- Efficient resource coordination and allocation
The 5 Most Common Mistakes That Plague IT Projects.
Access to Leading Skills and Experience
There are many IT projects that don’t reach their full potential or that fail, not because they weren’t worthwhile, but because the project management team leading them was ill-equipped or inexperienced to guide them. When this is the case, a project that looks good on paper can often end in disaster.
If your in-house team lacks the suitable skills and experience for the scale of your project, critical gains can be left on the table throughout the project’s lifecycle. This can also lead to poor detail management and subtle misses that add up to enormous losses in timeline and budget.
Achieving project success requires a lot of careful planning, guidance, and documentation. With experience, IT project management professionals have learned how to effectively respond to erratic changes, manage risk, work around budget constraints, and deal with persistent time crunches. Additionally, they have refined critical soft skills such as evaluating, mentoring, and motivating – which are critical to a project reaching its final objective within its defined scope.
While an inexperienced team member might be able to handle all of those issues, along with the complexities that come with an IT project, it may be less risky and more effective to lean on the skills and experience of IT project management pros.
IT project management services providers can efficiently align all phases of a project with the defined parameters and requirements, including:
- Meeting Critical Deadlines
- Managing the Budget, Timeline, and Resources
- Proper Task Assignment
- Effective Collaboration and Communication
- Conflict Resolution
- Optimal Workflow Coordination
Skills and Experience in Real-World Examples
Throughout the course of managing a variety of IT projects in an assortment of industries and organizations, IT project management services providers gain experience and skills in areas that many in-house teams don’t have – simply because in-house teams don’t deal with this assortment on a regular basis, and they don’t have an opportunity to reach outside their own organizations. Here are a few real-world examples:
- Office Relocation:
An outsourced team will have experienced the rigors of coordinating and planning a relocation. With careful preparation and organization, they know what to look for and where potential pitfalls might be. In the process, they would also gain the necessary understanding of equipment, connections, wiring, networking, and anything else required to ensure a smooth relocation.
- Infrastructure Design and Management:
Between a project’s inception and implementation, there can often be changes to resources, supplies, products, and more. IT project management services providers have the skills and experience to work quickly with vendors and designers to replace obsolete equipment or software.
- Vendor Coordination:
Arranging product deliveries, shipping, lead times, and then coordinating installations and connections is like putting together an enormously complex puzzle. Experienced IT project management services providers have the high-level management skills needed to ensure everything occurs in the proper order.
If you have a short-term need for specific IT project management expertise on a specialized project, it can often be a wasteful burden to train in-house team members to handle them. Outsourcing short-lived projects to an IT project management services provider that already has the necessary skills and knowledge can save you time and resources.
Outsourcing is the ultimate solution for flexibility and agility. By outsourcing IT project management services, there are no long-term commitments. No permanency or prolonged overhead. You’re able to hire the high-level talent you need, when you need it, and for a specified amount of time. Then rinse and repeat when you need it again.
Resource spending and outflow can be scaled up and down accordingly to meet project requirements, adding further elasticity to the process. This increased scalability can be put to use in between projects, as well as during projects themselves, as they change, evolve, or if it’s discovered that more resources are needed than originally anticipated.
Furthermore, utilizing only internal IT project management resources limits the abilities and talents to those particular resources that are involved. By partnering with an IT project management services provider, you broaden the scope of projects you can explore.
By providing an opportunity to broaden the skills of your in-house teams, outsourcing can also potentially enhance future project flexibility. With the increased skills and knowledge learned from shadowing the processes and best practices of outsourced professionals, in-house team members could potentially take on additional responsibilities, or guide smaller, more straightforward projects to completion more quickly – better positioning your organization for quicker and more efficient future innovations.
Time constraints are a common source of angst and stress – consistently undermining the project management team’s ability to deliver successful projects within scope. With limited resources, this can often result in less emphasis being placed on the completion of less critical tasks. Outsourcing IT project management services can help increase capacity in both the short term on a per-project basis, as well as part of the long-term digital transformation strategy.
Demanding workloads are another issue that hinders an in-house team’s ability to appropriately manage, control, and guide projects successfully. Even if your in-house team does have the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to manage an IT project effectively, they may not be able to – given their current workload.
By partnering with an IT project management services provider, you gain access to the latest technologies that can help drive successful project completion. Well-suited tech also allows you the opportunity to investigate other potential projects that you may not have previously been able to pursue.
Managing IT projects can easily consume vast amounts of time and resources. This can distract those that have responsibilities outside of project management activities from completing those other tasks. Leveraging outsourced IT project management can allow your in-house teams to continue their focus on day-to-day tasks and business-critical operations not associated with new project deployment.
If you were to lose a project management team member in the middle of a project, the result could be devastating if appropriate back-up was not planned for, or proper training was not provided. For an IT project management services provider, however, turnover rarely impacts a project.
Since a provider’s focus is on the project’s execution and not on who is executing, resource losses are often quickly filled to prevent breach of contract, and their existing team members can also be utilized across multiple projects in the interim to ensure projects stay on course.
A Fresh Viewpoint
Simply put, an external IT project management professional can view your project objectively. As with many areas of your business, past experiences, pressures from other departments, habitual procedures, and even misinformed opinions can easily influence the internal decision-making process when exploring a new IT project.
An IT project management services provider, however, isn’t persuaded by the same forces. They can offer an unbiased set of eyes, and a transparent view, based on facts and data that paint a clear picture of a project’s impact on your organization. Risks that may have been overlooked or brushed aside, for example, would be given full attention, and valuable feedback would be provided to help determine a project’s viability and potential direction.
Partnering with a provider also gives you an opportunity to invite fresh, new ideas into your organization. Given that these IT project management professionals spend their time working on similar projects for other companies, they may be able to offer improvements, or better ways to reach project objectives through different sets of ideas, processes and procedures that have previously proven to be successful. Conversely, they will have seen the mistakes that other organizations have made, and can help you avoid them in your project.
If accepted and continually used, these best practices and improvement offerings often remain fruitful long after a project’s completion.
Cost Control & Effectiveness
For many organizations, hiring full-time IT project management staff is simply not feasible. No matter what size the business is, budgets are budgets – and they’re typically tight. With those constraints in place, making multiple hires, or even one hire, that may not produce results for months is hard to justify.
Upon comparing the costs of onboarding IT project management staff versus outsourcing, it’s not likely that many organizations will find a cost savings making full-time hires. Considering the benefit packages, health insurance, training, and more, that are avoided when outsourcing, the savings makes sense – and with multiple outsourcing payment contract models and options available, the option becomes even more appealing.
By outsourcing IT project management services, you take immediate advantage of an experienced project management team, without the expense and time needed to hire and train full-time staff. Additionally, the workflow efficiencies gained with an experienced service provider can boost time and cost savings by driving quicker and more effective task completion.
Vendor Cost Savings
Because IT project management services providers utilize similar products and resources for multiple projects, they often develop close and loyal relationships with a variety of suppliers, freelancers, contractors, utilities, and more. This relationship can help you secure very competitive pricing for necessary purchases.
Only Pay When You Need It
Experienced IT project management is in high demand. According to research by the training company, Parity, 64% of IT sector businesses consider IT Project Management to be their most desired skill. If you are able to put one on staff, it won’t come cheap – and if that high-priced talent is idle or between projects, it can have a significant impact on your IT project management cost effectiveness.
All projects will end at some point. Outsourcing allows you to utilize and pay for the necessary expertise only when you need it.
Streamlined Projects with More Successful Outcomes
Outsourcing IT project management services is a beneficial solution to getting projects completed within scope in the most efficient way possible. By considering variables such as cost, time, and resources, you can get a better understanding of what outsourcing arrangement would be best for your organization.
The demand for IT project management talent far exceeds supply. With digital transformation needs growing rapidly across nearly every industry, it’s critically important for organizations to develop a plan for achieving their goals. While developing in-house IT project management capabilities can be costly and risky in the face of constant change, outsourcing offers a viable option for businesses to keep pace with the flow of modern business.
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