Project Consulting vs. Project Management

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

A project manager is one who leads the project, providing oversight of the work and implementing a framework that guides how that work is successfully accomplished. If a consultant is hired, they often provide expertise in an area that is not represented by the organization—such as business process modeling, software architecture or other knowledge sets that are not part of the organization’s current structure.

When consultants start to encroach on the project manager’s purview, there can be conflicts and issues. Dealing with that and moving forward together can make the entire project and organization stronger in the long run.

Leading
It is important to understand who is leading the project. In most circumstances, the consultants are not hired to lead the project, and they should not be filling that role. The leader of the project is the one who is responsible for the execution of the project plan and answers to the stakeholders and executive governance committee.

While it is possible that a consultant could be hired to lead the project directly, that role is different than merely consulting for the project team. In the organizational structure of the project, there should be a clear line indicating who is leading it. That responsibility should be respected by all resources, including the consultants. Without an understanding of that, the project …

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