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Give your IT Projects a sporting chance. Make Project Management as a Service the first name on your team sheet.

Dan Yurman, Senior Project Manager at Affinity, Inc. has written an intelligent LinkedIn blog about the pros and cons of Project Management as a Service. I particularly like his elevator pitch for the concept which he says ‘offers cost containment, control in delivery of projects with dedicated PM professionals. You get fast ramp up to full PM / PMO / Portfolio capabilities v. time to design and execute an in-house “roll your own” effort.’

Nicely put Dan.

With the appropriate service provider you can, indeed, address the challenge of improving your own project management capabilities and your IT Project Delivery success rates. Whether it’s skilled resource provision or a fully Managed Service, Project Management as a Service can help maximise your project function.

I have written many blogs on the pros of outsourcing Project Management as a Service and would happily sit with you to discover how doing so might benefit your organisation – in fact let’s arrange a date to do just that. In the meantime, a couple of specific experiences recently have added to or amplified my list of pros and I wanted to share both of them with you. They’re both a little sporty, perhaps inspired by the start of the winter sports seasons here in the UK.

1) Do you find yourself relying on contractors? PMaaS allows you to outsource the position rather than the player!

Imagine yourself as a football manager with a squad comprising a player and a reserve for every position. If your goalkeeper and his understudy were both to get injured you’d either have to wait to buy a new goalie or move someone from a different position to deputise, perhaps not quite so well and perhaps leaving a hole elsewhere in your team.

Businesses are increasingly reporting that projects are delayed while they wait for a trusted contractor to become available. By outsourcing Project Management function as a Service, you are buying in the solution to your project requirement rather than just the person who will actually fill the vacancy.

If the football manager were able to call upon a ‘PMaaS like resource’ he’d ring and ask for a goalkeeper – the role he needed filling – and they would fill the gap with a competent person from the bank of goalkeepers on their books.

In business, say you need a skilled project negotiator who is fluent in German and competent in your specific required project methodology, you could spend hours searching yourself or weeks waiting for the contractor you usually call to be free. In a PMaaS partnership you either call up and ask for someone who fits your brief, or the more intuitive partner, will have already carried out gap analysis on your operation, predicted your requirement and costed it ahead of the project starting.

2) PMaaS could stop you getting bruised and battered in the scrum.

Scrum methodology, the agile way of managing a project has seen some amazing results. For the uninitiated (and in a very quick nutshell), Scrum is a method where everyone touches every part of a project with a laser-like focus on the outcome – like a scrum in a rugby match. A number of companies which saw early gains managing ‘in the scrum’ are now reporting fewer headline-grabbing project successes and like the scrum in a rugby match some are getting hurt – by delays and budget over-runs.

Looking into this with some clients we have learned that it is down to two main factors.

i) Lack of governance. It was fun to throw the rulebook out of the window and many initial successes were, it seems, the result of enthusiasm for a new way of working, unfortunately the rigour that the methodology actually requires was often also thrown out. By introducing Project Management as a Service to the mix, your Scrum team still has the freedom to be creative but within a framework that is focussed on your project’s business case.

ii) One firm found that its adoption of the scrum methodology was too successful! Its PM talent kept getting poached by rival organisations. Project Management capabilities and therefore project outcomes can fluctuate wildly when teams are broken up. Consistency is key and Project Management as a Service allows you to buy in specific capabilities when you need them without increasing your headcount at times when you don’t.

If you’re not sporty – apologies for the sporty metaphors! This Autumn I am really excited about two things – watching my lad put on his boots and take to the field again (while I shout from the touchline) and, of course, helping your business IT projects succeed.

I believe that with PMaaS you are giving your IT project a greater sporting chance of success.

 Find out more about Project Management as a Service

Dan Yurman’s blog

About David Cotgreave

If you like David's blogs - he is now a published author - Straight Talk on Project Management - Free eBook. Why not download your copy today. http://www.stoneseed.co.uk/ebook David Cotgreave MBA, BSc (hons), PRINCE II, is Professional Services Director at Stoneseed, with over 20 years’ experience in IT Consulting. David has worked with organisations such as BT Engage IT and KPMG, before founding Stoneseed in 2009 and has gained considerable business experience whilst working with a wide range of organisations across the UK and Europe carrying out a range of strategy, review and implementation projects. David is currently responsible for leading the Programme and Project Management services offered by Stoneseed. Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) from Stoneseed offers clients access to Project Management staff, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost via a fully Structured Managed Service. www.stoneseed.co.uk

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