Organizations rethinking their project delivery operating model must shift their mindset and rethink their approach. The pandemic, changing customer dynamics and rapidly evolving competitor landscape has significantly impacted all industries. Transformation and project (or program) management office (PMO) leaders are faced with a perfect storm of:
- Evolving the way their companies do business
- Further accelerating delivery of new services and digital products to market to stave off competition or be a market leader
- Balancing the changing demands of the new hybrid workforce across the enterprise, while
- Delivering more with less.
Adding to this complexity, these leaders are charged to improve and mature the capabilities of their project management organizations to remain relevant.
Consider this trend: Program and project management functions are expected to have stable and mature growth of approximately 1.2% over the next five years, a clear indication it is a critical function to fulfill strategic business initiatives. Yet, the dynamics of what is expected of a PMO, and its project capabilities is rapidly shifting. Here are some other project management trends:
- Significant reliance on the project manager function to drive business strategy and organizational change has increased, the lines between Transformation Office and PMO are blurred as the two continue to merge.
- Deep experience, emotional intelligence and soft skills are critical. Program Managers and Project Managers are now the change agents. They need to understand the big picture, articulate business impacts, share accountability in project team delivery success effectively across functional areas and organizational levels while building and maintaining relationships and balancing multiple projects. Yet all too often, many project team resources remain comfortable with just doing basic coordination–adding zero value to the service or product.
- Advanced collaboration technologies are needed to improve consistency and unify across highly fragmented toolsets used internally by organizations and their third-party providers.
- Digital transformation, introducing tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, has attained velocity and deep experience is critical, diminishing the relevance of how to deliver legacy platform functionality.
- Agile project management delivery methods are now the sought-after capability to support rapid speed-to-market delivery of products and services, yet unified adoption across the enterprise, both business and technology, continues to lag resulting in excessive overhead and manual workarounds to make any sense of it.
These trends have revealed six major challenges across all industries, which transformation and project leaders need to resolve.Digital transformation and PMO leaders are now recognizing their current operating models lack the capability to keep up with this rapid pace of change. Like a sports team, they are seeking to build the bench depth of their skills so they can quickly rotate capabilities on and off the bench as needed. This could range from calling upon a key talent to make a specific tactical project play for a short period of time, bringing in a ‘tiger team’ of experts with the critical experience and immediate capability to deliver by a hard date, or redirecting low-value administrative tasks to free up the time of high-performing project resources to focus upon important delivery activities.
Innovative project managers are turning to a new operating model where they choose to focus on their strengths and specialize in strategic project planning, governing and performance monitoring across programs; and relinquishing bench management to a managed service provider who specializes in transformation. This professional services provider will manage delivery across a bench of existing and on-demand talent capabilities, knowledge, skills, experience and scalability across a diverse set of business and technologies settings.
Do not mistake providers of managed project management services as merely staffing firms, as they provide significantly more value through a complete suite of services across these four key areas:
Organizations leveraging Program Management as a Service (PMaaS) providers should expect services such as:
- Managing the quality and performance of their project management teams, as well as training
- Relentlessly pursuing continuous improvements in delivery performance
- Bringing immediate value through accelerator tools focused on governance, consistency, reporting, performance and leading practices to adopt
- Working with the leading technology ranging from proprietary reporting dashboards, Azure DevOps, Teams, Project, PowerBI, Smartsheet, Jira, among other CI/CD pipeline tools
- Providing global delivery, including follow-the-sun continuous development and testing
Unlocking economic value through alternate delivery models where repeatable standardized tasks can be delivered at significantly lower cost points
- Delivering an extensive latitude across discipline capabilities ranging from PMO and transformation to business strategy, process engineering, risk management, digital, cybersecurity, privacy, mergers and acquisition, regulatory response, emerging technologies and custom software development
- Bringing direct access to world-class thought leadership insights and solutions that only a global full-service consultancy can deliver.
The project management trends in managed service benefits are clear. Transformation and PMO leaders capitalize upon the following advantages, while those who continue to rely upon legacy operating models and methods continue to experience the same pain points they do today, just like watching a bad sitcom rerun over and over and over.
In addition to these benefit trends, early adopters are achieving significant improvements in aligning value through their delivery teams to overall strategic business objectives, eliminating low-value discretionary nice-to-haves. Likewise, the resulting reduction of re-work and higher quality, combined with right-shoring of low-value tasks enables these leaders to capitalize upon significant savings and reduction in failed projects. Let’s visit an example of how managed services can benefit an organization.
Case study: PMaaS in action
The client did not have a PMO strategy or delivery plan in place, which was causing difficulty managing their budget and forecast, delivering on project management services and steering away from industry best practices. On top of this, they needed to quickly transform from legacy waterfall methods and adopt agile practices. The client proactively decided to co-source its enterprise PMO with a trusted and proven managed service provider. Protiviti collaborated closely with the client to build a three-year roadmap, then implemented a PMO strategy and agile enablement approach which consisted of assessing existing capabilities and identifying key priorities and recommendations, then on-boarding a managed team of project professionals with direct industry knowledge and agile delivery experience. Within the first three months, the team delivered six projects on time and on budget. As a result of adopting managed project management services as part of their operating model, the client PMO attained rapid benefits including saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, immediate increased agile delivery capabilities and a significant increase in consistency across delivery teams.
Take action today
Today’s transformation and PMO challenges require speed, expertise and scalability to a degree that can no longer be satisfied through traditional methods. Leaders that meet their new demands through the same outdated methods will continue to create churn within their organizations. To innovate and achieve project success, they must rethink their approach. As many market leaders reconsider their PMO operating model and project management tools, they are leveraging PMaaS to meet the future head-on.