Straight Talk on Project Management

Demand and supply

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If demand for IT Project Managers starts to outstrip supply – how to affordably resource your IT Projects

The acceleration of digital projects and the apparent “projectification” of just about every business function means the services of project managers and associated professionals are suddenly very much in demand!  

To be honest, it feels weird to be trumpeting some good news against a backdrop of so much bad. Weirder still, to have this good news and be sat here questioning how good it really is. Which I am.

It’s undeniable that there has been a ramping up of digital transformation projects and that’s got to be good for IT project managers and business analysts and the like, but …

… this increased demand is leading to resourcing shortages and increases in hiring costs – just at a time when businesses need to be agile and responsive and mindful of budget pressures.

In a recent survey by the Open University, because of the pandemic, more than half (over 52%) of organisations said that their survival depended on reducing costs. Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) had already made redundancies and, in England alone, 7 out of 10 (70%) had put recruitment on hold and cut back on spending where possible.

However, instead of spinning a good news story into a bad one, let’s explore some resourcing alternatives and be a beacon of hope for everyone else!

The Story So Far.

How did we get here?

Firstly, there has been a rapid and essential ‘switch to virtual’ for so many providers of so many services.

Furthermore, the migration to digital, perhaps on many organisations’ long term road map, has been bubbled up to mission critical status in the light of the pandemic, and subsequent changing business and end user needs.

Then, there’s the bricks and mortar retailers that have had to improve and, in many cases, create their online offer from the ground up. We were trying to think of a traditional retailer that hadn’t either considerably increased its online capability or made its first foray into e-commerce during the pandemic – the only one that we could think of that hasn’t swapped “bricks for clicks” is Primark.

Increased Demand For Project Professionals Comes At A Cost   

YunoJuno (a UK freelance marketplace) conducted a study into the impact of COVID-19 on earnings and discovered that during the pandemic, specialist freelancers working in project management had seen one of the largest pay rate increases of all sectors – 16%.

The study went onto conclude, as highlighted above, that this rise in rates was a result of higher demand for disciplines such as product and project management and an acceleration of digital transformation projects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Project Managers Were Already In Demand

Let’s remember too that all this was happening in a landscape where demand was already increasing. Most Project Managers will testify to an ‘increased projectification’ of all work within their organisations. My PM friend, Malc, joked over a year ago that everything seemed to be a project these days and that his team’s workload had increased to the extent that he wondered what everyone else was actually doing!

This was already driving a hike in demand for project managers, the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) report ,‘Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027’, had previously predicted ‘nearly 22 million new jobs’ in the project management industry by 2027, ‘seven project-oriented sectors’ were expected to grow their project management workforce by a third (33%)!

And they wouldn’t come cheap! Typically, a project-oriented professional working would be earning 82% more than those working in a non-project oriented industry. Project Management placements would continue to pay well above the average salary.

Oh boy! This was meant to be a good news blog! So, here comes the good news!!

Technology doesn’t stand still, during the pandemic, if anything, it’s sped up! So, the way you recruit talent and resource projects needs to just as adaptable and responsive. Many organisations and project teams are facing a skills shortage because of increased demand – but instead of seeing this as a challenge consider it an opportunity to access to a wider pool of talent.

£1.2 billion was spent on temporary staff in 2020, a year on year increase of 45%. When it comes to resourcing IT Projects, Stoneseed has a brilliant way to access exactly the skills that you need, exactly when you need them.

Project Management as a Service (PMaaS)

Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service (PMaaS), launched in 2011, provides access to project professionals, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost.

The Stoneseed project management services portfolio offers a true end to end service, from IT Advisory and Business Analysis through to Programme & Project Delivery.

PMaaS provides access to Flexible Resources on Demand, Project Management Office, Process and Methodology, Tool Sets and a straightforward cost model. In other words, as demand increases you can scale up your PMaaS take up to meet it without adding long term costs associated with adding to your staff headcount.

This award-winning model has proved hugely successful over the decade since it was launched, and it has enjoyed rapid growth.

PMaaS now delivers over 20,000 Professional Service days per year. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly the same number of days since England won the World Cup in 1966!! {Editor’s note – It’s taken 875 words for David to make this about football! A new record!}

Remote Project Services

We have always been experts in Remote Access Project Management, in these uncertain times this expertise has meant that Stoneseed has been uniquely positioned to support delivery of many key IT Projects. Whether it’s been helping to cover staffing shortfalls or facilitating increased capacity and capability, we’ve been able to offer a safe and reliable resource option.

Also, as this expertise is available on demand remotely and safely, we are able to offer rapid response resources and, as with the PMaaS options, you can align resources as and when you need them, on a cost effective, full-time or part-time basis.

Remote Access Project Management services flex to support your project needs … whatever they are and however they change!

In conclusion, Stoneseed was established in 2009 to provide IT-driven business solutions through well-qualified advisory, delivery and management of IT projects. We set ourselves up as uncompromisingly independent and objective, we built our reputation as a steadfastly client-side partner and avoided locking ourselves in with technology vendors allowing us to offer a ‘full market’ solutions catalogue. All of this remains our ethos to this date and it undoubtedly provided the foundation for us to deliver flexible solutions to meet the needs of our clients during these unpredictable pandemic times – and beyond into whatever the future holds.

Stoneseed’s values are straightforward and solid; we stand for an egalitarian culture and a general sense of fair play. With no external shareholders or investors, Stoneseed remains solely accountable to you, our clients and colleagues.

In uncertain times, that’s something you can be sure of.

Find out about Stoneseed’s Project Services