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.