For any business or project, a clear structure and understanding of responsibilities are important. A project manager not a clear set of responsibilities, the job also involves understanding and managing the responsibilities of others. Like so many other fields, stakeholders sometimes weigh the options of internal project management (IPM) and external management (EPM). This is not a simple answer, as this often has to do with the specifics of the project and the nature of the company.
External Project Managers
External project managers are usually considered specialists in the field, having undergone the requisite training. They tend to have much more experience since they usually only focus only on these types of projects. An external project manager is considered an expert in the field, and may well have extensive knowledge of another related field. They tend to be more effective as they do not have to get involved in the day to day operations of the client or stakeholder.
Internal Project Managers
An internal project manager understands the inner workings of the company. This sometimes makes it easier to meet goals based on the company’s targets. An internal project manager may have more at stake and may, therefore, try to do a better job for the benefit of the company. This could also improve the internal project manager’s standing within the company. In some respects, this arrangement is better for the company since sensitive data does not have to be shared with someone from the outside.
Which is Better?
While a company using an internal project manager will benefit from having one that is always on site, they may be less objective than an external manager would be. Outsourcing project management is usually the more cost-effective option for companies. External project managers have greater access to resources and are usually better trained. They also have the advantage of keeping up to date with new developments in the field.
There may be instances where a company would prefer that an external project manager not have access to proprietary information. An external project manager may also take a while to become acquainted with the company’s culture. Ultimately, the decision depends on the company’s internal structure and needs, however, experience in the field should always be a prime consideration. As specialists, external project managers are usually in a better position to meet goals due to their extensive training.