The benefits of a project manager can seem somewhat murky and something that only “big” business really needs to take advantage of.
In fact, one of the most common questions I get from potential clients is how having a project manager will help them on specific projects and in their overall business — especially when it comes to the bottom line.
Because the benefits of a project manager aren’t always immediately apparent, there’s a common misconception that it’s an unnecessary expense for most small businesses. In reality, project management is an essential part of successfully completing any large-scale projects — regardless of the overall size of the business.
One of the primary benefits of a project manager is a dramatic increase in the efficiency of the team — and consequently — the bottom line.
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Here are three benefits of a project manager:
1. Project Management Ensures Complete Execution
How many times have you started a project only to get 75% completed before getting derailed by something else? A common obstacle to project completion is allowing other tasks to pop up and take precedence.
Without a project manager to keep tabs on the project tasks, it’s very easy to step away for “just one thing.” And, then, that one thing becomes ten, and the project gets completely derailed.
Getting off track in this way is much more likely to occur when there isn’t one person in charge of completing the project. Because a project manager’s primary job is to ensure completion, they can help refocus the team’s energy on the project as needed.
This is one of the most important aspects of a project manager’s role that contributes to the bottom line because it gets projects done and shipped so they can start generating revenue for the business.
2. Having a Project Manager Ensures That There Is a Primary Source of Contact — Besides the Business Owner
Generally, on a larger project, there will be at least a few people involved. Sometimes, depending on the scale, there can even be more than ten.
Without a primary contact in charge of coordinating communication, there is likely to be lost messages, delays, and missed deadlines.
Very often, the business owner attempts to be the point of contact — which usually isn’t a great idea because it often leads to the owner being the bottleneck to getting things done. While the business owner is generally essential to the creation and review process, it can slow things down if they’re the primary contact for all the little pieces involved in completing a project.
Maintaining a primary point of contact whose sole job is to coordinate the project is much more effective. This doesn’t mean the Project Manager can’t have any tasks beyond coordinating, but that should be the bulk of their duties and focus.
This focus allows the project manager to hone in on the big picture of the project goals, and make sure that everyone has the information they need to complete their tasks in a timely fashion.
One of the biggest benefits of a project manager is that they help the business owner get more done on this project and on other parts of the business. Plus, it helps everyone on the team work more productively.
3. Project Managers Help the Team Meet Deadlines
During a project, a source of many delays is basic questions that go unanswered.
How often do you send someone a simple question via email and never get a response? Or it takes days or even weeks to get that one detail you need to finish something?
With a project manager, there’s one person focused on following up to ensure those “little” questions get answered quickly. This helps keep the project timeline intact and ensures deadlines are met.
This is one of the immeasurable benefits of a project manager because when deadlines are met, projects tend to stay on budget and contribute more to the bottom line!
4. Project Managers Provide More Consistent Support to Your Clients
Depending on the size of your team, your clients may be interacting with a variety of different people at any given time. This can create confusion if there’s no clear point of contact for them to go to if they have questions about their project. This may lead to a less than stellar experience for them (as well as delays) if projects go off track.
By providing a clear point of contact for all questions and concerns, you better support your clients and ensure they know who to go to for information.
These are four ways a project manager helps you get bigger projects done more efficiently, more quickly, and more productively. These are all major benefits of a project manager that contribute to the bottom line.
Professional project management ultimately helps you grow your business not only through specific projects but also as it allows you to accomplish other goals instead of being busy coordinating tasks.
Bonus tip: If you’re concerned about how to pay for a project manager, consider building the costs into your project fees. When you are scoping out a project, be sure to add a set number of hours for project management on top of the normal time it takes to execute the project. Depending on the scope of the project, this could be just a few hours, or it could be much more substantial. If you’re unsure what to estimate, start with 10% of the execution time, and see how that goes! Track your team’s time for a few projects to see if that’s an accurate estimate or if you need to increase the project management budget.