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Is a Project Management Consultant Worth the Cost? (Use These 5 KPIs to Tell)

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Published:
June 30, 2021
Reading Time:
8 minutes
Leo Saini
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

So, you’re thinking about hiring a project management consultant. But are they worth the money?

It can be challenging to measure the worth and relevance of a project management consultant sometimes. Mainly because you have to measure both their hard skills as well as soft skills to accurately judge their competence.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 5 important KPIs for project managers, especially the ones who work as independent project management consultants, that you can use to evaluate them.

1. Budget

This is probably one of the most important metrics for project management success. When it comes to KPIs for project managers, businesses are really keen on the budget side of things, which is obvious because the extra payment will come out of the business’s bank account. A skillful project management consultant may not only complete the project within the agreed-upon budget range, but sometimes, they may also do it for a lesser cost.

A slightly inexperienced project manager, on the other hand, could cause the project budget to increase up to a manageable range, for example, around 10% more than expected. And you should know that a project manager is totally incompetent if the budget goes way higher than what was previously anticipated.

However, when measuring this KPI, you must know that a project manager is only responsible for the operational costs of running a project. For instance, if the marketing budget is increased for certain reasons, then the project manager most likely has nothing to do with it.

“Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.” ― Leslie Tayne

2. Timely Completion

“I like to wait, and I don’t mind if projects never get finished on time,” said no business executive ever. As time passes and new innovations occur in the project management sector, new KPIs for project managers will also emerge. However, timely completion of a project is one of those metrics for project management success that will always stay. And this metric is very easy to measure: If the project gets completed before time, then it means that the project manager is highly competent; if it gets completed on time, you chose the right candidate; and if the completion takes way longer than planned, you know that the project manager that you hired wasn’t the best fit for the job.

Late project completions are not only frustrating but can also be costly. For example, you may need to extend the lease of a rental office or keep temporary workers on board for longer, which may contribute to increasing the overall cost of operations. Besides this, there may also be a late-delivery penalty if the product does not get delivered on time. Long story short, delays in projects will put holes in your pocket. That’s why it’s essential to only hire the best project management consultants.

3. Risk Mitigation

How to measure the success of a project that involves lots of risks? By simply measuring the risk-preparedness of the project manager. Risk mitigation is a process that involves creating a list of potential risks accompanied by the actions that can be taken to mitigate or eliminate each of the risks. Oftentimes, even the best managers do not get props for handling risks well because they avoid risks from occurring in the first place and make the whole process seem really smooth. However, what most executives don’t see is that the project manager worked really hard to create a robust risk mitigation strategy.

KPIs for project manager, Is a Project Management Consultant Worth the Cost? (Use These 5 KPIs to Tell)

So, are there any particular metrics for project management success when it comes to risk management? Yes, indeed. You can judge a project manager’s competence by assessing their risk management plans. A project manager is highly competent if they create a foolproof risk mitigation strategy and communicate it effectively to their team. On the other hand, a project manager who creates a risk mitigation plan and keeps it to themselves is not necessarily unfit for the role, but they do need to communicate. And finally, if there is no risk mitigation plan at all, then you should probably find a new project manager.

4. Proactive Communication

Efficiency in communication is one of the most important KPIs for project managers because communication is a huge part of their job. For example, project managers may not know anything about graphic design or web development, but the success of the project will depend on how efficiently a project manager communicates with the graphic designers and web developers on the team. On the other hand, a project manager who works in a silo and barely engages with the team might not be able to deliver the project on time.

So, how to measure the success of a project that requires proactive communication? Well, that’s a tough metric to measure and you’ll need to talk to other team members and get their feedback. If a project manager actively talks to all the departments, and all departments communicate with the project manager as well, then it’s highly likely that the manager is skilled in communications. But if he/she rarely engages with other departments, then they need to work on their communication skills.

5. Process Efficiency

Most team members at a junior or intermediate level would never question or challenge a company’s process—even if the company has an open culture where suggestions from all employees are valued. Why? Because it’s not their job to create processes. The project manager should continuously review processes and make sure to have the best ones in place to ensure maximum productivity. That’s why when you’re setting KPIs for project managers to measure their competence, you must consider how much effort they put into streamlining processes.

If a project manager actively works on creating new processes and refining the old ones, then it’s likely because they are really passionate about their work. But if a project manager never puts any effort into increasing the efficiency of processes, then it could result in chaos, confusion and burnouts.

So, how do you find the best and the most competent project management consultants?

Well, here at Consultport, we have over 3,500 experts in our network and most of our consultants have worked for Fortune 500 and blue-chip companies.

Get in touch now and we may be able to find you a project management consultant within 48 hours.