27 September 2022 | 11:00
Jiwat Ram

Project Management as-a-service (PMaaS): Time to think from within the box

❝It is not what you sell but what you solve that really matters❞

Project Management as-a-Service (PMaaS) is an emerging concept and is seen as a shift in thinking and mindset in how project management can be used. It is touted as a new business model in line with a series of on-demand cloud-based service offerings such as Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform as-a-Service (PaaS), Desktop as-a-Service (DaaS), to name a few (Harrin, 2014).

The question remains, what PMaaS is? Whether it has any practical utility? Apparently, it is a suite of cloud-based solutions that allow project planning, and assist in project execution, monitoring and control.

For the purpose of developing an understanding, we define PMaaS as an approach to improve the effectiveness of project management within an organization by integrating internal capabilities with expertise and technological solutions of external service providers for demand-driven resource procurement, utilization and management; real-time project monitoring and on-demand troubleshooting of issues and known risks throughout the project life-cycle.

It is a contractual arrangement that is expected to provide options to sponsor organizations or individuals to achieve cost and investment efficiencies on the projects by reducing capital investments associated with the management of an army of project management professionals and development of internal project management capabilities—something that they may consider a non-core business activity.

The proponents of PMaaS approach boast a number of benefits of adopting this approach. These include providing correct resources at the correct time, trimming down the number of project management staff and saving costs, getting staff with varying levels of experience and skills based on the needs of specific tasks in the project lifecycle, and cutting costs on having human resources staff and capabilities to hire project staff on an on-demand basis, enjoying the flexibility of initiating wide-range of projects with little in-house expertise to execute such projects, transfer of risks by not having people on the pay-roll but still working for the projects (Harrin, 2014; Habibi, 2020).

From a practical implementation and operationalization perspective, PMaaS based arrangement could be complex or complicated or both. Organizations may outsource tactical or operational part of their project management efforts and exercise control on the strategic part of project management, including decisions on launching new projects and setting criteria for benefits realization management, level of involvement and coordination with the external on-demand PMaaS provider and the level of inputs and feedback of PMaaS provider going into decision-making process of top management project committee, e.g., steering committee.

However, given that the level of maturity of project management in a typical organization is not very high, the use and operationalization of PMaaS could be challenging. Those organisations that are project management mature may face resistance from their internal project management staff, who may see embracing PMaaS as a threat than an opportunity.

In addition to operationalization challenges, organisations involved in PMaaS arrangements will also face other challenges. These include, but are not limited to, ownership of project data when a PMaaS provider is involved, issues related to abandoning of projects mid-way through the project life-cycle by the PMaaS provider and the legal and project-related ramifications of such occurring, legal issues when PMaaS provider is outside the geographical jurisdiction of the sponsor organization, security or project related data, data privacy issues etc.

While the concept of on-demand project management seems appealing, no doubt a lot needs to be done before it can realistically take off from a practical utility perspective. There are more unknowns than knowns at the moment in using on-demand project management. The situation offers an opportunity to build further knowledge on the concept and document the experience of those who have used PMaaS to make sense of things and ease out some of the operational bottlenecks.

As Michael Dell of Dell Inc. said, “Ideas are commodities. Execution of them is not”, and perhaps that could be a starting point to develop some thought leadership around the value proposition of PMaaS and build knowledge-based confidence for the use of this new concept for further developments in project management.

Acknowledgements: This article was previously published on projectmanagement.com

 

References:
Habibi, B. (2020), Why project management as a service makes sense, https://systelligent.com/why-project-management-as-a-service-makes-sense/
Harrin, E. (2014), Project Management as a Service: The New Model, http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/288782/Project-Management-as-a-Service–The-New-Model

© 2022 Jiwat Ram, All Rights Reserved.

 

Written by
Jiwat Ram

Jiwat is a Professor in Project Management. He has considerable experience of working internationally in diverse cultures and business environments.

He has a growing portfolio of work on issues related to artificial intelligence, machine learning and large language models (LLMs). His work has been published in top scientific journals.

Jiwat actively contributes to project management community. More recently, he has published a number of articles on some of the contemporary issues confronting project management and business management in various industry based outlets.

Privacy settings

Decide which cookies you want to allow. You can change these settings at any time. However, this can result in some functions no longer being available. For information on deleting the cookies, please consult your browser’s help function.

This page will be:

  • Essential: Remember your cookie permission setting
  • Essential: Allow session cookies
  • Essential: Gather information you input into a contact forms, newsletter and other forms across all pages
  • Essential: Keep track of what you input in shopping cart
  • Essential: Authenticate that you are logged into your user account
  • Functionality: remember social media settings
  • Functionality: remember selected region and country

This page will not be:

  • Remember your login details
  • Analytics: Keep track of your visited pages and interaction taken
  • Analytics: Keep track about your location and region based on your IP number
  • Analytics: Keep track on the time spent on each page
  • Analytics: increase the data quality of the statistics functions
  • Advertising: tailor information and advertising to your interests based on e.g. the content you have visited before. (Currently we do not use targeting or targeting cookies.)

This page will be:

  • Essential: Remember your cookie permission setting
  • Essential: Allow session cookies
  • Essential: Gather information you input into a contact forms, newsletter and other forms across all pages
  • Essential: Keep track of what you input in shopping cart
  • Essential: Authenticate that you are logged into your user account
  • Functionality: remember social media settings
  • Functionality: remember selected region and country
  • Analytics: Keep track of your visited pages and interaction taken
  • Analytics: Keep track about your location and region based on your IP number
  • Analytics: Keep track on the time spent on each page
  • Analytics: increase the data quality of the statistics functions

This page will not be:

  • Remember your login details
  • Advertising: Allow you to connect to social sites
  • Advertising: Identify device you are using

This page will be:

  • Essential: Remember your cookie permission setting
  • Essential: Allow session cookies
  • Essential: Gather information you input into a contact forms, newsletter and other forms across all pages
  • Essential: Keep track of what you input in shopping cart
  • Essential: Authenticate that you are logged into your user account
  • Functionality: remember social media settings
  • Functionality: remember selected region and country
  • Analytics: Keep track of your visited pages and interaction taken
  • Analytics: Keep track about your location and region based on your IP number
  • Analytics: Keep track on the time spent on each page
  • Analytics: increase the data quality of the statistics functions
  • Advertising: Allow you to connect to social sites
  • Advertising: Identify device you are using

This page will not be:

  • Remember your login details
Save
Cookies To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. Most big websites do this too.
Read more