One of the most common questions I get asked when talking to business owners about their launch plans is:

when is the right time to hire a Project Manager?

After doing this for about 10 years, I have experience jumping in during all sorts of stages — 6 months ahead of time, 1 month ahead of time, thrown in RIGHT in the middle of the freakin’ launch (sink or swim style), and the list goes on.

The truth is that the timing for YOUR project will vary depending on what type of project you’re launching and the specific areas where you need help. HOWEVER, there is one universal answer that I want to share with you.

What do you need help with?

First, let’s ask some questions:

Where are you in the process and where are you getting stuck?

Let’s say you are creating an online program.

Do you need help developing the program:

  • creating the content and structure
  • organizing the systems
  • managing your VA, graphic designer, and web developer

OR

Is the program complete, and you only need help planning & managing the launch:

  • creating a launch plan
  • setting up launch systems
  • marketing plan
  • affiliate program
  • managing your team

OR

Do you need help with both?

After being called in to manage projects at all stages, I must say, the most successful projects are the ones that I’ve worked on from IDEA to FINISH.

Now, let me clarify what I mean by successful — I’m not necessarily talking about sales. Don’t get me wrong, sales is a HUGE component, but I measure project success on more than JUST sales…

There are the quantitative components, like:

  • Sales
  • Budget
  • Goals/Targets

Then there are the more qualitative factors, like:

  • Communication flow
  • Stress levels
  • Team workload balance
  • Overall project organization
  • Level of client and team satisfaction

When’s the right time to hire a Project Manager?

So in order to achieve a HIGH LEVEL of project success, you need to hire a Project Manager earlier than you think for a few reasons:

  1. You are bringing a PM in for their expertise. They create plans, and identify risks & potential roadblocks and nip them in the bud BEFORE they happen. This most certainly will save you time, money, and a LOT of stress (think — extending your lifespan, minimizing the grey hairs 🙂 ).
  2. It takes TIME for a project manager to develop a working relationship with you and your team — to understand your workflow, how you like to see things organized, the ways you like to be updated. When I am hired to manage a project, my clients consider me their “right hand.” Fulfilling this role requires a HUGE level of trust. The more insight a Project Manager has into your project, your business and YOU, the better they will be able to help. This takes some time to develop.
  3. You want your Project Manager to be the project manager — not you — so if you find yourself making a project plan by yourself, take a step back and consider bringing on a PM.
  4. You want the time spent with your PM to be the most productive. If you’re already half way through your project, your PM will spend more time playing catch up than actually managing your project. This will leave you feeling frustrated because you’ll be wondering why you even hired a PM if you’re the one doing all the managing. If you’re feeling this way, it’s time to take a step back and see how you’ve structured the relationship. View it as an opportunity to step into your leadership britches, take ownership, and figure out how to change the dynamic.
  5. And lastly, launching can get a bit chaotic regardless of how many people you have on your team. Therefore, you want to hire well before it starts to become busy. You will be more present and patient and less frantic. The point of hiring a PM was to decrease your overwhelm, right?

Does any of this ring true for you? Let’s have a quick chat about your project! Apply for a clarity call here.

xo Nicole