Coordinating multiple departments in a company is like trying to solve a puzzle. You try to connect all the dots for things to make sense. When a start-up gets off the ground, very small workforce and a few operations need management. As the company grows, so does the size of operations, number of people, and everything in-between. After a certain point of time, it becomes inevitable to hire a project manager, because there is only so much that one person can handle.
It is natural for a business owner to try and manage as many things on his own as he possibly can in order to save finances. But once you reach tipping point, this practice can turn counterproductive. The only way to increase productivity is to hire someone competent enough to oversee the entire workforce and manage tasks across all departments. That’s when a company starts looking for a PM (project manager). So, what are those cues that tell now is the time to hire a PM. Keep reading –
Different individuals may be busy with variety of operations, but eventually they are working towards the same goal. They need to be constantly reminded of what is to be finally achieved from all the efforts. Unless there is someone to constantly remind that, people may lose track of those goals and start having a difference in priorities. In the absence of a manager, it gets harder for everyone to direct their collective efforts towards that goal.
If you observe conflict in priorities brimming among departments, take it as a sign that it’s about time you looked for a PM (project manager). It is the PM who directs the teams across departments. He is the one who sorts things out on the basis of priorities. Otherwise, the teams may be stuck doing things that are no longer important, and forget to do things that actually matter at the moment.
Repeated failure in staying ahead of schedule
Time is money. For a company, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week just don’t seem enough. The ability to meet deadlines and deliver results in a timely fashion is what makes a company credible and governs its reputation in industry. If you feel that lately everyone is facing a hard time accomplishing things on time despite all the efforts, it may be time to consider hiring a project manager.
It is not possible for one manager to manage things beyond a certain point. There is a limit to how much one person can do. After that it will become a necessity to deploy more managers to iron out the project details in a better way. No company wants to lose its credibility among clients. But, consistently failing to deliver output on time can damage that reputation. Don’t let that happen. Let a manager guide teams to always complete tasks ahead of schedule.
Work becomes easier when there is harmony in professional relations and everyone has agreed to the same style and division of work. In a stressed environment where everyone seems to be having a difference of opinion, quality of work will automatically go down. Even a small task will seem like a huge challenge. When there is no one to oversee things, disagreements are bound to grow. However, a project manager is someone who helps people tackle these challenges in the easiest possible ways.
Managers decide the levels of hierarchy, authority, and responsibility, and who reports to whom. Lack of such arrangements can give rise to personal conflicts, and disagreements will rise. A project manager does more than just distribute work and assign responsibilities. He also sees to the fact that there is harmony within the team. A manager knows how to resolve interpersonal issues in a work setting before they become grave and start affecting productivity.
Exceeding budget limits
Nobody will ever face a problem if we had unlimited resources for accomplishing things. That’s where the challenge lies – to get things done under limited resources and budget. It’s natural that a company would want to cut down the costs of operations in every possible way. Not hiring a project manager is one of the ways in which companies try to save funds. But, for how long? Once the level of operations, workload, and number of employees start to increase, there is going to be need of someone to manage things on a bigger level.
Otherwise, the loss due to being unproductive and failure to meet goals on time will exceed the funds that the company was trying to save in the first place by not hiring a manager. If the company is having to constantly put in more funds than estimated to achieve same output, this may be another cue to start interviewing candidates for the designation of project manager. Managers can get things done in a way that time and resources don’t get wasted. Employees will notice an instant jump in overall productivity and performance when a manager comes in the picture. This will ultimately avoid wastage of funds and all other resources.
You may ignore all other signs. But, this one is the most clear indicator that now is the time to look for a manager. If you run a company, ask yourself, what’s the maximum number of people that you can practically manage on your own. Or, how many employees can one manager handle? If the ratio of workforce to the number of managers is increasing, don’t think twice before you start looking for competent project managers. Don’t wait for the counter-productivity to start showing in work. Hire someone before that happens. Increasing number of clients, projects, and divisions – all these things call for a bigger workforce and more managers to manage them. All and all, as the company branches off further and departments expand, expand your network of managers too.
Let me just wrap it up by saying that if you sense the need of a new PM, take it as a positive sign. Because, it simply means that the company is growing. It’s a sign of growth and development. Isn’t that what every single business strives for?
What are your thoughts about this post? Do let me know in the comments.