Outsourcing Project Management: Challenges

In my own practice I faced several challenges of outsourcing project management. Operational stuff, but worth having in mind, in addition to previously mentioned advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.

(This article is part 4 of a set of articles about project management outsourcing) 

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gregepperson

Here's what I have found so far to be some of the challenges of outsourcing project management.

  • IT compatibility. In my daily work I use a Mac. To increase IT compatibility with some of my customers I also use a virtual machine with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Project. However, one of my clients uses Primavera, and I don’t, so sharing project information both ways between our systems creates a slight administrative overhead as it is not fully automated (i.e. requires some manual data exporting and importing). Nothing too dramatic, but if it applies in your case too, it is worth considering when planning how to outsource.
  • Need for restricted access to sensitive organizational information. Being a “hired gun” from outside, my clients don’t always want to share every little detail about their business with me. This is fine with me, as long as it doesn’t hurt my work on their projects. However, implementing this restriction properly also presents some overhead as organization needs to define the necessary access levels and give me the appropriate access permissions.

This list will probably grow with time as I keep learning more about this topic from my own experiences, as well as from expert literature, from my colleagues, and from you who are reading this website.

If you’d like to share some of your experiences with other readers, either from a client or provider point of view, feel free to send it to me. 

But back on the topic of deciding about outsourcing the project management function, with having all these previous considerations in mind, organizations would be better off to perform a make-or-buy analysis.

Such analysis needs to take into account both strategic and operational factors, so let's discuss that in the next article: Strategic Factors of Outsourcing 

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Very True! Just like everything else in this world. Project management outsourcing apart from all its benefits, it also has a lot of disadvantages. You …

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