3 Things to Know Before You Look for a Freelance Project Manager

Many businesses need an effective, experienced project manager to take the helm of their next high-priority project. According to a 2016 PWC survey, more than 97 percent of organizations consider project management crucial to their business’ performance and success. It’s also been reported that fewer than a third of all projects are completed on time and on budget.

A freelance project manager could be the solution: They can organize, budget, schedule, or plan a specific project, acting as the go-to person for all parties involved to help ensure the project runs smoothly from start to finish. They can also help refine the project scope, delegate responsibilities, collaborate with other partners, and keep everyone in the know as the project goes on.

Whether you connect with them at the start of a new project or part-way through, here are three things to know about working with a freelancer project manager.

What are some of the top benefits of partnering with a freelance project manager?

  • Reduce risk: Projects are often complex, changing entities that can devolve into chaos and inefficiency if they’re not properly managed.
  • Increase efficiency: Speaking of efficiency, project managers can continually identify redundancies, delegate tasks, and encourage progress.
  • Encourage communication: When there are multiple parties involved in a project, communication is key to help keep the work focused and organized. A good project manager helps encourage productive, relevant communication.
  • Save time: You’ve set the project’s parameters and goals, but maybe you don’t have time to oversee every single step along the way. A freelance project manager can learn the ins and outs of your project to help save you time.
  • Find peace of mind: With a project manager working hard to help ensure the project is running smoothly, you get peace of mind to focus your time and energy on other aspects of your business.

With constantly shifting deadlines, unclear expectations, unplanned difficulties, changing priorities, and tight budgets, keeping a project on track takes talent. Here are six traits a project manager should have.

Ability to organize and delegate. Every project starts with a jumble of data, requests, deadlines, and objectives. Once a project manager has been able to shape the disparate elements into a cohesive plan, they should be able to delegate tasks without micromanaging or interfering with progress.

Flexibility and wits. Look for a quick thinker who takes on their project’s inevitable delays, setbacks and issues with grace and stamina. It’s often up to the project manager to help instill strength and guidance in times of uncertainty, so they should at least appear unflappable.

Capability to balance logic with creativity. Understanding the bigger picture and identifying the individual details that make it up takes someone who can easily switch between left- and right-brain problem solving.

Communication mastery. From politicians to CEOs, effective leaders should be good communicators. This holds true for project managers, too: They should inherently understand how to communicate with all types of professionals so everyone feels valued and satisfied.

Leadership, competence, and experience. Being an effective, competent freelancer with relevant experience doesn’t mean simply having a list of big projects in their work history. They should know how to balance their passion with profession, clearly describing deliverables and setting firm expectations while still keeping everything on track.

Leadership that inspires. A freelance project manager who has an optimistic, charismatic leadership style can help keep everyone involved encouraged, empowered, and excited—even over the course of the most time-consuming and arduous components of a project.

There are many different project management apps that can help keep everyone on task and productive. Especially if your project partners are distributed, it’s crucial that the project operates on a single platform that everyone can access.

“Tools can be key to getting things done effectively. Since work is becoming more and more mobile, project management mobile apps are gaining popularity because they help users monitor and control project processes from anywhere.”
– Anastasia Sidko
9 Best Apps and Essential Tips for Project Managers

One popular task management app is Asana, which was recently named the fastest growing skill on Upwork so far this year. However, it’s just one of the tools available. Other widely used apps include:

  • Basecamp
  • Trello
  • Wrike
  • Podio
  • Zoho Projects
  • Pivotal Tracker
  • Teamwork Projects
  • Freedcamp
  • Mintent

With the right freelance project manager and effective tools in place, you can help make your next project a success.

Ready to get started? Create an awesome job post that attracts the freelancers and skills you need.

Megan Parry

Freelance Writer

Megan Parry is a copy and content writer based in Philadelphia, PA who writes about everything from natural wellness news to digital marketing trends. As someone who has consistently worked remotely herself, she understands the importance of a client-freelancer relationship and hopes she brings that insight to her writing at Upwork.

Source: Upwork’s Blog
3 Things to Know Before You Look for a Freelance Project Manager

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