Woo-hoo! Congratulations. You did it. You convinced your CEO/boss/manager to move forward with that next big project. You’re excited. Giddy, even.
Once the adrenaline level drops, however, reality hits. You need to make it happen.
It’s true: you may be able to complete the project on your own. You may have the skills, experience, and time to devote to a new initiative or event.
If you don’t, however, it may be time to hire a project manager.
Hiring a project manager may feel extravagant or luxurious. But, like any investment, it makes sense to bring in someone who has the experience and professional skills to make sure your project succeeds.
Kayla Gefroh, owner of Purpose Learning Group in Fargo, describes it this way:
Imagine you’ve scheduled a trip to Spain and find out that a close friend lived there for several years. Now, imagine that you invite him/her along on your trip and they agree to take over the planning.
You give them a budget, the dates of the trip, and other important details. Your friend, having lived there previously, has a great sense of how far the budget will go. He or she tells you which airport is best to fly into and whether public transportation is reliable. Your friend suggests hotels and identifies the must-see sites.
Now, the time has come for your trip. Your friend (who is now your tour guide) has planned each day. On the first day you expect to visit an incredible tourist attraction that is outside, but it’s pouring rain. Since your friend is a great guide, he/she has a “plan B” ready. In fact, he/she even expected that rain was likely on this day and suggested alternative activities the night before – just in case.
In addition, your friend speaks Spanish!
Indeed. A great project manager has been there, done that. She’ll have backup plans to mitigate any unforeseen risks and will pack an umbrella. She’ll help you stay within your budget.
Best of all, she speaks the language!
That’s one reason Brady Helland, a project manager with Sundt Construction in Tempe, Arizona, recommends hiring a project manager.
“Project managers often have a unique ability to speak the language of both an individual contributor and the client or stakeholder,” he says.
This is an often unrecognizable and undervalued skill. “Take note of the collaboration and communication environment the next time you have a chance to work with a project manager,” he adds.
After all, project managers are skilled at being honest, fair, and flexible with team members. They know how to listen well to the needs of a client while keeping the project within scope. These skills mean that project managers can communicate in ways that get all team members working together to accomplish the same goal. They can speak to the writer, the graphic designer, the software developer, the electrician.
Combine these abilities with a project manager’s ability to simplify complex projects, and you have a winning combination – or more importantly, a solid plan for completing your project.
Even better: when projects hit obstacles or something doesn’t go quite as smoothly as planned, Brady reminds us that effective project managers have already identified possible risks (or rain on the plains on your trip to Spain). He or she is ready with possible solutions (and umbrellas!) for you to review and consider.
At Reach Partners, we are grateful for Kayla’s and Brady’s perspectives and their willingness to share.
We believe in the power of good project management. It doesn’t matter if your project is in IT, communications, construction, or an event. Every project benefits from having someone on the team who sees the big picture, someone who can effectively break it down for everyone else and keep an eye on the end goal.
Do you need a project manager? Contact us at Reach Partners and let’s talk!
As project managers, we need to be flexible and versatile. Those skills were important when we assisted Sanford Health in Fargo with the launch of its pilot concierge services.
A framework for the program was in place, but few people within the sprawling health system knew about the plan. The manager of guest services, tasked with overseeing the program in Fargo, needed help sharing the details.
Reach Partners was asked to help inform departments and staff. We then identified how to use each department’s communication touchpoints to distribute details of the new services to patients and their families.
The new concierge services were designed to meet the needs of patients beyond the medical care that happens in the hospital or clinic. For example, the concierge helps out-of-town patients and their families identify nearby hotels and transportation options.
“The patient is taken care of when he or she is in the hospital,” Anita says. “The concierge services are an added value to assist the whole family during that time.”
To bring the project to success, we needed to understand how departments communicated with patients and their families. Anita met with stakeholders who included everyone from the nurses who call patients before day surgery to the hospital’s patient advisory council to emergency room personnel.
She spent much of her time asking questions and documenting feedback.
“We needed to find the best way to get this information to patients and asking good questions was important in doing that,” she says.
After meeting with key staff and determining how best to inform patients and their families, Anita coordinated the completion of communication materials. These included updated phone scripts used for pre-scheduled surgeries, flyers for patient packets and website updates.
“She showed professionalism with her presentation and communication skills, and through this project continues to demonstrate versatility in the ways that Reach Partners can provide business support,” says Chris Hames, guest services manager at Sanford Health.
Sanford’s pilot project was a success.
Thanks, in part, to feedback gathered and information distributed by Reach Partners, the guest services manager justified adding a full-time position to staff the concierge service.