What is PMaaS?
The objective of a project management office (PMO) is to ensure that projects are delivered on schedule and on budget in order to assure effectiveness and efficiency in their business operations. Businesses design PMO models based on many considerations and variables, and then applies strategies based on well-defined methodologies that may include templates, dedicated project managers, knowledge bases, metrics, and standardized tools.1 An effective PMO improves organizational efficiency, allowing an organization to do more quality work with less risk and fewer resources. Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) is an adaptable consulting service that allows clients to hire as many project managers as needed to undertake projects, scaling the number of consultants up and down as needed, with the organization still retaining responsibility for the PMO operation and performance. PMO outsourcing models include:
Supportive PMO. The supportive PMO provides support by way of on-demand expertise, access to information, and expertise on other projects. This is a more loosely controlled model, with the PMO being, primarily, a support service that collects, compiles, and reports information.
Governance PMO. The governance PMO is responsible for defining and controlling the use of standards, templates, policies, and methodologies related to project delivery. This model is desirable when the objective is to tighten control of activities, processes, procedures, and documentation.
Directive PMO. The directive PMO provides accountability for the project management function within the organization and retains responsibility for providing program and project management resources needed for projects. This model goes beyond the governance model as it takes over the control of methods and processes, as well as taking over the project by providing the necessary project management experience and resources.
Organizations often find that internal implementation of PMO models can be costly as there is a significant investment required in order to achieve the necessary levels of in-house expertise and technology development to develop a robust PMO. The goal of outsourced PMO is to bring in resources to help the organization improve the communication, control, execution, and profitability of company projects, without the need to develop and maintain these resources internally. The outsourced PMO establishes project frameworks that enable better decision-making using solutions such as staff utilization, on-boarding and off-boarding employees and contractors, timesheets, process management, benefit management, and project setup/monitoring. Evaluating outsourced PMO performance may include assessment of the individual project measures, as well as service level agreement (SLA) performance indicators that can be used to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of PMO operations. SLA performance indicators may include:
- Quality and customer satisfaction
- Resource utilization and demand management
- Project ROI
- Task/activity duration variance
1 Malik, 2014, “PMO managed services model”