Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing Project Management: Pros, Cons, Examples, & How to Do It

outsourcing project management

Outsourcing project management is one of the smartest moves you can make for your business. You may like being at the helm, but you are more needed elsewhere in your business. Your position as business owner means that you are more valuable as the one who charts the course. Project management outsourcing allows you to let someone else steer the boat. This way, you can keep making all those great plans that get you to the next and the next level.

What is Project Management?

Project management entails using certain knowledge and skills to ensure the delivery of a product. Coupled with tools and techniques, this product can become of even greater value to the people you intended to serve. No matter what that project is – department expansion, office software, physical infrastructure, social services – properly managing it matters. 

The whole point of project management is creating value for others through various services, products, and processes. These can be short-term or long-term solutions, and accomplished quickly or needing more time to execute. Managing the process is all about setting up the proper structure. This helps you make sure that the people involved can do all the tasks that are part of realizing the project to a high standard.

Even with all the automation options that are available to us these days, you will almost always need someone to take the lead. This person will be responsible for initiating phases of the project and planning the smaller details. They will also check periodically that each phase is executed on time and without compromise. This is important to the success of the project, and in tandem, the success of your business.

Assigning Project Management

Now, you can do this yourself, but we think that’s not the best use of your time or talents. You can also get a partner or department manager to do it. But taking on this new role will usually leave a gap in the role they were previously taking care of. Neither of these is good for your business. 

A third option is hiring a new person to manage your projects. Since the volume and difficulty of projects varies, we cannot recommend hiring someone in-house. You may not have enough work for them to do month over month to justify the expense. This is especially true when you have projects that require different skill sets.

Outsourcing in project management means that you look elsewhere for help. Instead of drawing from your internal resources, you hire someone from outside your company to take on the role of project manager. Still, you may not be able to give them full-time work. This is why outsourcing project management to freelancers is the option we suggest you explore. You hire them for as many hours as you need, and then you part ways clean and clear.

What Are the Tasks And Responsibilities of A Project Manager?

A person creating a chart on a board.

Project management outsourcing may not be the simplest thing, but we can help you do it well. Outsourcing in project management hinges on understanding the role that you are hiring to fill. You want to make sure that you have the right person for the job so you don’t waste a lot of time. 

The first step is to become familiar with the task and responsibilities involved in project management. Then you can start looking for someone to fit the bill in a more targeted way. Here they are, along with the skills a person needs to fulfill them.


First and above all, project managers take the lead. They lead in terms of managing  timelines and budgets. They also lead in terms of managing expectations and people on the project team. Managers may not be the ones who set these targets, but they are in charge of meeting them. Everything rises and falls with the leader. So, a project manager must know how to bring all the moving parts together to ensure success at every stage of the project.

That said, we see a few vital responsibilities under this umbrella.

Timeline Management

A project manager needs to handle work schedules within the team. This isn’t just making sure people get to work on time and don’t miss too many days. Different people on a project will often have interrelated tasks to do. This means they do work that is dependent on the work that has already been done by others. If these others don’t finish their tasks on time, then the first group of people will not be able to work. That created a jam that your business will likely pay for. Project management means juggling timelines so that work flows and you aren’t paying for people to sit around waiting for other people to get going.

Budget Management

Timeline management does involve money in terms of the labor hours that you’re paying for. And, yes, people are a big part of the money spent. For example, a project manager will also have some degree of control over personnel. They are on the ground, so to speak, so they know who is needed to do what. If the current roster isn’t cutting it, they can recommend additions and replacements within the project team.

But budget management is a bigger picture than who’s on the payroll. The project budget covers all the tools that each team member uses, down to the last paperclip. It also includes the power that each piece of equipment sucks up, and the space they all occupy for the duration of the project. Computing all this and staying on top of it can be a full-time job in itself for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing!


All of the above plus setting proper expectations is part of this area of responsibility. Project managers care for the needs of the team. How well they engage and direct people often determines how well they perform. And this means better performance from the team as a whole, too. Proper motivation keeps everyone balanced to meet the set project goals without burning out.

Conflict management is in the mix as well. Whenever you put a bunch of people together, there’s no telling how they will all get along. Honestly, unless they’ve worked well together before, chances are there will be some friction. If the manager does not deal with it, you will soon begin to see the effects on productivity.

Outsourcing in project management might seem to present challenges in team motivation. We have found, however, that hiring people who don’t work in the same office can be even better. You can quickly spot the self-starters, who are always better to have on any team. You can also see how everyone makes that much more of an effort to connect precisely because an easy pat on the back isn’t possible. They actually have to find something concrete to compliment each other on, and this works much better as a motivating factor.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Project Management


outsourcing project management


Outsourcing project management means that you are letting go of a greater degree of control. This can be a benefit because it means you can’t easily grab control away from the manager. It can also be among the top outsourcing risks if you are not managing the manager. Yes, you still need to lead because you are still the top leader as the owner of your company.

One setback that you need to watch out for stems from the fact that an outsider won’t automatically understand your business. This means that you’ll need to take some extra time in the beginning stages to help them acclimate. A good freelancer will always do their best to use whatever information you supply them with to learn about your brand and goals. But, you need to fill in the gaps because they can’t learn in a few days what it took employees months and years to get the hang of.


One definite advantage of project management outsourcing is the cost. When you hire from outside the country, you usually pay much lower rates. This is because the cost of living is often cheaper elsewhere in the world. So, even if you’re a startup, you can afford proper help from professionals to ensure the success of your projects. 

The level of savings you can enjoy only doubles and even triples when you factor in skills and experience. Just because the cost of living is lower in other countries, it doesn’t mean that intelligence, educational level, etc. are lower, too. In fact, many countries in the third world boast more college graduates than the west! This means you can hire top talent with loads of experience for half the cost. 

Don’t forget the much larger talent pool you get with outsourcing. You can not only find excellent managers, but those with experience in the various niches you need for each project. And when you’re hiring freelancers, you can engage a different manager for each project. This way, if the technical level of your projects requires it, you can get perfect matches in terms of skill sets every single time.

Important Things To Know When Outsourcing Project Management

We have three non-negotiables when it comes to outsourcing project management: infrastructure, communication, and agreement.

By infrastructure, we mean the technology they have available to support their work. The minimum here is a stable internet connection and a reliable computer or other internet-enabled device. This connection and device must of course be capable of sustaining all the aspects of their work. Specifically, this can include the CMS apps you use, and the communications channels you prefer.

For communication, it can be minimal or more complex, depending on your systems. At the very least, as hinted at above, the manager must be able to use the communication channels your business has set in place. This is because they need to be able to keep you updated and promise seamless contact with every member of the team. Communication also touches on working times. They will most likely be in a different time zone, so they will need to have a level of overlap with everyone else to stay in touch.

In terms of an agreement, it again depends on what you’re comfortable with. We just want to make sure that you are doing your best to make sure you are on the same page with anyone you hire. As the business owner, you will set the expectations for the project manager. When you’re confident that you understand each other and know what’s expected, work should go smoothly.

How Do I Hire A Project Manager?

outsourcing project management

The best way to handle project management outsourcing is through online channels. You can engage a hiring agency, join virtual assistant websites, or reach out to individual freelancers. 

If you go the agency route, you can find agencies that will do everything for you, and you talk to one contact point. You can also find agencies that will simply connect you with candidates. This is more like how a freelance marketplace would work. The difference is that you have more control with an agency. They are better equipped in most cases to provide more personalized service and security. With freelance websites, you have larger talent pools, but not necessarily the highest levels of security.

The owners of Outsource School have hired several project managers for their other businesses over the years. They have mostly gone with these two options. The third option, hiring one on one, is possible, but risky. You are contracting with an individual overseas. You have no third party running verification or backing you up. So, we don’t recommend this unless you got a referral from a trusted associate.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


Project management outsourcing is definitely not the same as outsourcing for other positions. This is a management role, and it comes along with greater expectations. This means that you need to be more careful when selecting a hiring partner as well as selecting the actual manager. Managers also have access to higher levels of your company, so security around them must become tighter.

Partner Spotlight

Partner Spotlight: Simplify Complex Legal Ideas with Dan Nguyen from CANEI™ Law

Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Spotlight interview at OutsourceSchool.

My name is Connor Gillivan. I’m the CMO and an Owner of Outsource School.

We’re on a mission to help 10,000+ business owners master hiring virtual assistants and freelancers, and industry partnerships is a big way that we’re able to make it happen.

We’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce, agency, SAAS, and online space.

In this exclusive interview, we interview Dan X. Nguyen from CANEI™ Law.

Dan is a graduate with a Juris Doctor, and Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration, Finance. He is an Orange County Native, with a passion for developing and executing strategies to starting, protecting, and scale your business.

He’s had 100s of LLCs and corporations formed, 70+ trademark applications filed, advised 5+ franchise systems, multiple time best selling author, 150+ law firm internet reviews. His next goal is to get 1000+ parent entrepreneurs to hire their own kids for tax write offs, legacy creation, and and financial literacy education.

In his free time, he loves to golf, camp, and spend time with family and friends. He specializes in brand protection, business entity structuring, deal structuring, and marketing.

We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an agency business owner.

Connor: Hey Dan, thanks for taking the time to chat with us here. We love getting to know our partners better so that our community can benefit from what our partners are offering and doing in the industry. To get started, can you give us a high level overview of CANEI™Law and how it got started? 


Dan: I opened my own law practice in 2007 and I’ve always wanted to work with business owners and entrepreneurs.  When I had a chance to open my own law firm, we focused on doing business law and eventually became an award winning law firm serving businesses and business owners in the areas of new company formation, trademarks, franchising, and virtual in-house attorney membership program. We are based out of Orange County, California, and have clients all over the world, from new consulting startups to ClickFunnels 2 Comma Club Award Winners. I personally have been practicing law since 2005 and love working with business owners and entrepreneurs. 


Connor: Love that! Can you dive a bit more into how you help entrepreneurs to start, protect and scale their businesses? I’m sure our audience would love to know exactly what problems you could solve for them. 


Dan: We help entrepreneurs pick the right type of business entity (start), help them maintain their entities, prepare and review the right contracts, secure their intellectual property (protect), and guide them through expansion through purchasing another business or using the franchise model (scaling). We also help them get connected resources where we think it would help them achieve every one of these goals. For instance, one of my clients was looking to bring on their first employee, and in California, one wrong move can cost you a lot of money. So I made sure they connected with a colleague of mine that focuses on employment law to help them navigate their first hire.


Connor:: Jumping off of that…if there was one problem you’d say that CANEI™ Law solves best for your clients, what would it be? Why? 


Dan: I think our ability to explain complex legal ideas into plain English terms really helps the client understand some of the work we do for them. Sometimes businesses think that legal fees and advice is just a money pit with no return on investment, but if we can ELI5 (“Explain Like I’m 5”) that will help provide some understanding why certain things are important and they way they are.


Connor: As the company continues to grow over the next year, what are your plans for expansion? Any new products or offerings or enhancements to your current products? 


Dan: We are looking to bring on another attorney or support staff this year. In addition,  we just re-launched our Virtual In-House Attorney membership program for business owners and entrepreneurs that want that on-going legal support. Much like accounts that provide fractional CFO services, our Virtual In-House Attorney Membership program provides on-going support to clients that desire to have regular access to an attorney without worrying about getting billed by the hour. 


Connor: And how specifically would you say that CANEI™ Law and your team is different from other similar businesses in the industry?


Dan: At the risk of sounding too cliche, we try to provide a holistic approach in advising our clients. This means we don’t only provide legal advice and services, but as entrepreneurs ourselves we try to share non-legal resources that would help our clients grow their business.  Additionally, we work primarily on a flat fee basis so the client doesn’t have to worry so much about overbilling, and we do a lot of education through our YouTube channel and we have received almost 200 five star reviews on Google. 


Connor: What’s your outsourcing story? We find that everyone has a different experience when outsourcing and hiring online. What is your first memory that comes to mind?


Dan: I bought a package of hours  from a virtual assistant agency many years ago, but honestly I didn’t know how to properly manage them and delegate tasks. I hired another one several years after that, but it was when I signed up for Outsource School where I really learned how to hire and manage VA. I now have five VAs that regularly work with us.


Connor: Love it! Talking more about outsourcing, what advice would you give to yourself if you were just about to start outsourcing and hiring online? 


Dan: Figure out what your hourly value is and learn how to delegate early on in your business. You’ll find out that you’ll make more money as you offload some tasks to your VA and you can focus on revenue producing activities. Get out of  the mindset of “it will be faster if I just do this, rather than explaining the task to  them.”


Connor: How about this one…how do you communicate with the people you hire online? What’s your best practices there and how has it changed over time? 


Dan: For real time communication we use Slack. It’s so much more comprehensive than other chat programs like Skype and WhatsApp, and there are a lot of software integrations to make things easier if you use different types of software. Other must haves are screenshot software and desktop video recording, so that you can give feedback to your team easily and effortlessly. We use Markup Hero and Berrycast as our daily tools. Just understand that that real time communication is somewhere in between walking down the hall to your teammate and sending an email. Don’t always expect a response right away because they could be focused on something else. If you need answers right away, then consider setting up an Urgent channel for immediate needs.


Connor: Finally, this is one that I think our community will love, who’s been your best online hire? What do they do for you? Why are they your best hire? Tell us all about them and that story!


Dan: I think both of my administrative assistants have been my best hires; they keep things running smoothly, including filtering out emails, booking my appointments, collecting payment. 


Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today? 


Dan: You can search Legal Tips For Smart Entrepreneurs on Youtube where I have over 200 videos. I’m also on LinkedIn where you can search for “Dan X. Nguyen, Esq.”