Project Management in Private Sector Versus Public Sector

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Project Management in Private Sector Versus Public Sector
John Edward Griffiths, Manager, United Kingdom

What are the differences and similarities expected of project managers in the private sector versus the public sector?

Project Manager Differences - Public versus Private
Craig Zimmer, Project Manager, United States
Both sectors expect COST SAVINGS from their PMO. But the methods of ACQUIRING these savings vary greatly:
- Often within a public sector arena, there are no time tracking programs for sunk cost participants, so costing is guess work. Time spent on an effort might be tracked for some, but not all. As an example, SME's in public sector often have a time tracking system but management does not. Right there, you truly do not have an accurate cost. Also, funding in large public sector projects can vary with each election cycle. Political parties move out, others move in, and priorities change. Sometimes it takes so long to accomplish an original end goal that when it's achieved, it is far behind the market.
- In the private sector, kill points would have stopped the last scenario. Time / benefits are major factors. And costs are tracked much more closely to ensure there is a true ROI for doing the project.
On top of the above, a PM in public sector is often more of a coordinator.

Systems of Processes
Michael Holford, Project Manager, South Africa
I agree with you John that differences exist. However the more systems become available designed at public sector officials the more synchronized and efficient the public sector can become.
Many overseen delays are caused by officials with overloaded desks. Entering detailed information is what keeps the public sector moving sluggishly.
Oversight in the private sector can be less rigorous as money is thrown at the problem and cost of delivery is escalated as a consequence.
My belief is that systems are needed and, as they now develop, task breakdown can make the need for special skills less demanding. There is a balance and as public advisers there is a need to find this balance, for greater efficiency.



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