Recently, I came across a new approach from the Recruiters. They are seeking Contractual Project managers rather than a Full-time Project Manager!
As of today (2nd - Jan- 2023), there are around 2030 Job postings related to the Contractual Project Manager Jobs.
Does this seem like these Organizations are looking for a pro project manager on their team, but only for a short time? But for me, we can define this approach as fractional project management!
Let's see what this term means to the project management world. The Fractional PM approach involves hiring a dedicated project manager for a specific period rather than hiring a full-time employee or outsourcing the project management to a third party. This can be an excellent solution for organizations that only sometimes have project needs or need more resources to manage projects in-house.
Fractional project management is an effective solution in several situations. For example, I once worked on a marketing campaign that required a high level of project management expertise, but only for a limited time. We hired a fractional project manager to oversee the project, and they were able to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They were able to keep the project on track and deliver it on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
The term "fractional" was first used in the context of project management in a 1999 Harvard Business Review article by Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle. In the article, the authors argued that fractional project management could be a cost-effective alternative to traditional full-time project management, especially for organizations with intermittent or part-time project management needs.
One of the enormous benefits of fractional project management is saving money. By only hiring a project manager for the duration of the project, we avoid the overhead costs of a full-time employee, like benefits, office space, and equipment. We can often negotiate a lower hourly rate with a fractional project manager since they're typically independent contractors and not tied to a specific organization.
Another advantage is the flexibility fractional project management offers. We can bring on a project manager as needed rather than committing to a full-time employee who may only sometimes have work to do. This is especially useful for organizations with fluctuating project workloads or need project management support part-time.
But there are some things to keep in mind with fractional project management. You'll need to carefully plan and coordinate the project manager's time and workload to ensure they can effectively manage the project. You may also need to provide additional support or resources, like access to company systems or data.
From my experience, such a Project management style can be a cost-effective and flexible solution for organizations that don't always have project management needs. By carefully planning and coordinating the project manager's time and workload and providing the necessary support and resources, you can leverage the expertise of a fractional project manager to deliver your projects successfully.
Another advantage of fractional project management is the ability to scale up or down as needed. If your organization has a sudden increase in project workload, you can bring on a fractional project manager to help manage the additional projects. Similarly, if your project needs to decrease, you can scale back the number of fractional project managers working on your projects. This flexibility can be beneficial for organizations that have unpredictable project needs.
It's important to note that fractional project management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be more Cost-Effective to involve a full-time project manager in case of a significant workload for an ongoing project.
However, for organizations with intermittent or part-time project management needs, fractional project management can effectively bring in the expertise and support needed to deliver projects successfully.
In my Future Blog posts, I will analyze some modern approaches to Project Management in more in-depth. Stay tuned!