The Grant Doctors 365

The Grant Doctors 365 / 100320

I’m often asked what’s the maximum number of federal grants a project manager can manage. There’s no set rule or standard to follow. That’s going to be up to you and how many active grant projects you have. Ideally, you would have enough large federal grants that you could assign a full-time (1.0 FTE) project manager to each one, but that’s not always possible. Either the grants aren’t large enough to justify the expense or you don’t have enough qualified people to manage them—in which case you need to split one person’s time across several projects. And, that’s fine. I believe the maximum number of grants one person should manage is five. If it’s possible, and it makes sense, allocate the project manager 20% to each grant—or one day per week. When you go past five grants, the documentation starts to become a pain in the neck. You end up spending a lot of time just documenting time. That’s not fair to the project manager or to the projects because you’re pulling that person in too many directions to be effective at their job.