The Cost of NOT Having a Project Manager

It’s relatively straightforward to calculate what it costs to have a project manager on a project. But have you considered what it costs not to have one. That thought doesn’t occur until a problem arises and you are pulled away from your work to put out a few fires. Unfortunately, the company working on our back deck and I are learning the cost of not having a point person on a project. (Can you hear hammering in the background?) Here are some things to consider before you start your next project:


When I reached out to who I thought was our main contact for the deck rebuild, I was told that there was no one person coordinating the project. When I asked who was responsible for the project, I was told “The entire company.” Well that sounds good in theory but not having one person in charge of all the moving pieces means if a piece gets dropped, nobody will know, well, except the customer. And that is not good if you want a referral or repeat business from them. I never liked the saying “one throat to choke,” but I get it.


Some parts of a project need to happen before other parts of a project. But when nobody is watching the 30,000-foot view, everyone works in their own silo. So the deck footings may be set, but if the electrician needs to dig up something under the footings before they were set, we run into rework, delays and timelines being missed. That means revenue for this project gets delayed, and your next project starts later or gets bumped, and you can’t do as many projects this year as you wanted…


Rework and delays cost money – not only for the vendor doing the work, but for the client waiting for the work to be done. When the upper deck framing did not pass inspection, a workaround was implemented – no problem. But two weeks passed, and other work continued. When we asked how the workaround was coming along, we found out the ball was dropped. But again, no problem. It’s being handled. Well the workaround didn’t pass inspection. So now we need to undo some things and redo other things. What should have been one more week to complete the finishing touches became another week to fix the problem. So this will cost the deck company additional man hours and materials. But it also cost them our trust in the company. This delay cost us additional doggie daycare expenses, aggravation, hosting a family get together in a less than desirable outdoor space, and other inconveniences encountered when running your business from home with construction going on.

Lessons Lost:

If you had a point person to deal with all these issues, they can gather the lessons learned and tweak the plan or put processes in place to avoid some of the pitfalls so next time the project goes smoother. A more efficient plan will likely lead to a more effective outcome and a happier customer. If you’re looking for a recommendation on a deck company, I can’t help you. But if you want to discuss affordable project manager options for your next project, please reach out to me at