Coming Out of the Pandemic, Project Management Consultants Are More Valuable Than Ever

Regular readers of our blogs (and why wouldn’t you be?) know how passionate we feel about the use of a consulting project manager to navigate the complexities and pitfalls of a project. Now, as the industry swings from the depths of the pandemic-induced recession to a hopefully long upcycle, that partnership becomes increasingly important.

Why? In short, it is a case of too much work and too few workers. For example, in the data center industry, the construction market for data centers is projected to grow by 4.8 percent annually through 2026, according to globenewswire.com, a projection that we find is on the conservative side. In addition, Gartner pinpoints the CapEX on infrastructure at a staggering $200 billion this year alone–an increase of six percent over 2020. Clearly, this will be a busy year for data center construction.

As we stated last September, owners are facing immense pressure to deliver the most effective and efficient facilities and to do so on time and on budget. It might seem on the surface of things that having the inhouse expertise to shoulder the load of increased construction implementation might be the way to go. But let’s look a bit more closely under the hood.

Inhouse Capabilities: A Study in Diminishing Returns

The inhouse expertise that can deliver on those quality and budgetary goals (not to mention the ever-present need for speed to market), is lacking in this employment environment. Some 26 percent of US workers are in the midst of a career change or are planning one in the not-to-distant future, says Forbes, whether that wanderlust is due to career advancement, greater financial stability after a year of mounting debt or cultural upgrades.

With every position vacated, employers are left with an expensive replacement search, followed by a still more expensive onboarding process involving benefits, training and cultural adjustments. Until the business normalizes and profit margins stabilize, that might be an expense that by necessity needs to be postponed.

If the work cannot be put off, hiring a full-time project manager poses other risks. There is little promise that the highly specialized experience demanded for construction will be part of the package. And, unless there is a long queue of projects that leadership is planning to bring online in short order, the returns on that personnel investment will be difficult.

But these are not the only reasons why corporations rely instead on the benefits of partnerships with outside consultants. For years, the freelance market–no matter the discipline, be it sales, accounting or project management–has proven its worth both for the expertise (assuming here, of course, a proper vetting process) and the economies of scale they bring, while freeing up the costly overhead and care and feeding full-time employee demands.

The Value-Add of an Ongoing Consultant Partnership

There is also the market familiarity. A well-established project management firm by necessity understands the local market, the infrastructure and most important, the competition. From the start, clients gain the expertise of the project manager’s track record and broader market view. This provides a good-as-gold context in which to analyze the specific and unique needs of the client. Then, over time, as the relationship grows, so do the synergies that come from an increasing familiarity between the two businesses, the cultures, the communication patterns and their approaches to business.

A project management consultancy lives and dies by the relationships it fosters. It is by necessity focused on the needs of its client base as opposed to a new hire, who will understandably have one eye focused on advancement, either in your shop or outside of it.

We live in interesting times. As business pivots toward recovery, there are sources that can speed that process. Partnerships with a consulting project manager for the next project can help fast-track that growth.

Call Verity Commercial today to hear more about the expertise we can bring to your next project.

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