I feel like this is one of those topics which is like opening a can of worms, but here we go! Yes, I do feel like there are different Pro’s and Con’s.
Pro’s: Lower level of risk. If a staff member leaves, the exposure to the business is lower, while not fully limited to that team members own portfolio it is somewhat “ring fenced” your then dealing with 120 clients in flux, as apposed to 250 - 350 if you were running “Pod” and your Senior PM left.
Con’s: the biggest one is lack of opportunity for growth and development. We try to overcome this by creating side tasks for PM’s (like training, or Blog Creation, Fleet Management etc) but ultimately they will not progress out of this role unless they move into New Business or Management.
Squad: (or in our case team leaders)
Pro’s. You have an added layer should that PM leave, so chance of loss due to staff turn over is reduced significantly. Also, when a team member goes on leave there is continuity of care and a chance for the Team Leader to “Audit” that Pm’s work and identify any areas of additional training needed.
Con’s. One really, this is expensive! You are essentially double paying at various points for this, and a Team Leader layer can really eat into your margins. In our business, we are happy if we are getting a 50% wage cost.
Department or Task:
Pro’s: In our model it allows for a high level of accuracy by the team members. Our accounts team have a 99.9% accuracy rate, (meaning there is a mistake in 1/1000 invoices or transactions) this also means that PM’s can confidently “outsource” to this department a lot of the admin which would take them away from their core role of Relationship Management.
Con’s: In our model, this is a cost issue also. Given our department is not VA’s, were paying top dollar for inner city realestate and high level admins to get the accuracy levels. The only other con here is that it can create a “Silo Effect” which not managed can bread a “Not my Department or Problem” attitude between the roles. This has been something we have had to watch for and manage carefully.
In my experence, business need to adapt and change from time to time as it will depend where they are in a growth or profit cycle. Personally, I dont mind jumping between strategies as long as we are clear as to why we are doing it, and keep our service levels high, and our end goal in mind.
Hope this helps someone out there, and thanks @adam for posing the topic.