Project Managment Spotlight in Business Process Outsourcing
by Marcia Caringal, PMP
(reprinted with permission)
In Business Process Outsourcing, there are many niche businesses. I am a Client Project Manager supporting customer service contact centers and further specializing in financial services.
Most projects in this industry are responses to operational business problems such as customer experience and process improvements. Functional managers typically handle small projects and projects with a limited budget. Project Managers are assigned to large-scale projects such as global, multi-site implementations and IT.
I am involved in all phases of Project Management when the project is operational in nature. I specialize in client relationship so when I co-manage with a dedicated Project Manager, I own and lead project communications. Dedicated Project Managers are shared, so I may also take ownership of other phases.
I learned very early that lack of communication will negatively affect the success of the project.
I have a collaborative leadership style and I build relationships with one-on-one discussions with team members. While having regular meetings for updates is very helpful, I learned very early that lack of communication will negatively affect the success of the project. This happened on a global training project that I was assigned to. Because of my other projects and my lack of topic expertise, I relied on the team and subject matter experts. Better communications would have improved the project outcome.
Challenges in this industry typically occur on the client side when external influences are affecting the project, such as the client’s IT infrastructure. We interact with our functional counterpart on the client side, typically the client’s business operations group. Challenges occur when other factors, such as the client’s IT group have different priorities than the client’s operations and this can affect the project.
Carving out time to study and take the Certification exam is the best investment you can make in your career, and in yourself.
Advice I would have given myself five years ago is to take the PMP exam. The Business Process Outsourcing industry requires Project Managers to be available 24x7, so long hours are the norm. Carving out time to study and take the Certification exam is the best investment you can make in your career, and in yourself.
Five years from now, I think things will be very different than they are today. Change is inevitable, and it is coming at a more rapid pace than ever before. I plan to attend Project Management seminars and learn from other Project Managers, so we can navigate the unknown instead of reinventing the wheel.