Meet a New PMO

How PMO-as-a-Service is transforming companies into the digital age
by Nirav K. Gandhi & Ramakrishna Manne September 2019
Introduction

In the race to be more digital, organizations are accelerating their investments in smart solutions that help them move faster and be more competitive in their markets. Enter the era of the service model, which simplifies and streamlines business workflows and drives efficiencies and cost savings at scale. In this point-of-view, we will break-down the latest entrant into the space – PMO-as-a-Service (PMOaaS) – and help you understand the benefits and real-world applications of it for your organization.

What is PMOaaS?

What is PMOaaS?

The PMO of any project has perhaps the most critical role to play for the organization, acting as the custodian of project management best practices, standards, processes and project status. Tasks like these have perpetuated the notion that the PMO is just a back office organization designed to police project managers. This perception is projected further when the organization orienteers itself on a path of digital disruption, where a huge requirement is project (and organizational) agility.

According to Gartner, digital disruption has led to an increase in both risk tolerance and willingness to change and as a result. Leadership focus shifts from risk avoidance to time-to-market. This shift is leading to an increase in distributed or disparate PMOs across the business.

Traditional PMO structures are designed to be more centralized to minimize risk and govern costs. Centralized structures rarely provide the flexibility to embrace rapid change brought on by digital disruption. This is where PMOaaS comes into play, because its structure is more flexible, designed to easily evolve and keep up with an organization’s ever-changing needs.

Flexibility Underpins PMOaaS

Flexibility Underpins PMOaaS

PMOaaS leverages a hub and spoke model, where the hub (central) is used for standards and governance, while the spokes (decentral) is used to deliver services. Spokes are project specific and equipped with the right tools from the hub, making it more flexible and agile to respond to the specific requirements of the business.

PMOaaS requires a critical shift in mind-set because its delivery model has customer centricity at its heart. The over-arching focus of the spokes are to ensure that projects generate significant value for stakeholders.

Operating on simple principles:

  • Proactive team members: Emphasis on collaborating with the project manager to optimize project execution by empowering PMs to focus on value-adding activities and driving ROI.
  • Problem solver versus problem finder: Go the extra distance to resolve problems and roadblocks faced by the PM.
  • Simplified, efficient and modular operations: Standardizing and simplifying project support operations through automations and digital workers (e.g., RPA, chatbots, etc.).
Traditional PMO DeliveryPMOaaS Delivery
Services are provided by a team of humans Services are provided by a team of humans and digital workers
Long cycle time - Standards and processes have to be established and most of the times PMO focuses on the governance Short setup time - Pre-defined standards and processes are the starting point and bespoke teams are hands-on on the project
Human involvement required across all activities set, and use of productivity tools helps with productivity improvement Human focuses on value-added activities, whereas non-value activities are managed by digital workers
Bureaucracy varies based on PMO implementation Flexible with focus on adding value to the organization and the projects
Maturity in service is through series of continuous improvements Digital innovations drive service maturity
PMOaaS Solution Construct

PMOaaS solution construct:

The core of PMOaaS is built around a set of foundation services working as the “hub” of the model. There are 10-15 foundational services which are required to be fully operational, and these serve as the base on which project services are designed and implemented for consumption. A set of project services then act as the “spoke”. It is completely up to the organization to define what shows up in the service catalogue, which makes it more flexible.

Foundation Services

Foundation Services

Center-of-Excellence (CoE)

Focuses on maturing PMO services through measurement, improvement and innovation. New processes are defined and existing processes are challenged to evolve for wider adoption across the organization. Its primary objective is to identify and execute continuous improvements with a deliberate bias towards making services digital and maintaining a continuous rigor on competency management of PM resources.

Quality Assurance

Delivering quality is the most important capability of the PMOaaS, as it plays a pivotal role in service maturity. The focus is to objectively evaluate process adherence, create visibility into projects, identify risks and issues and processes that would prevent the project from meeting its intended goals. Assurance checkpoints are defined for each of the services which translate into a quality score (service level and project level).
 
Quality Assurance Summary

Demand Management

Demand management is key on two levels: A.) Sustenance of the service and, B.) Fulfilment of the demand. Upfront view of demand helps with proactive planning and minimal disruptions. The focus is to ensure that all the requests for service are properly tracked to closure. Tracking attributes includes project, sponsor details, services required, service period, and status-related details.
Demand Management

Digital Innovation

Deploying digital technologies makes it easy for stakeholders to stay connected, keep track of the progress, instantly communicate and make timely decisions. Recent innovations include chatbots (or instant updates on finance, schedule, overall status from the PPM tools, status tracking for risks, issues and actions) and voice recognition & NLP (for meeting minutes and recoding actions & decisions).
Digital Innovation & Game Changers

Automations

Project tasks require traversing through many systems to access key information for day-to-day activities. Lots of manual interventions are required, which lead to inefficiency. By leveraging robotic process automation (RPA), end-to-end automation is achieved for repetitive and manual tasks involving multiple systems, multiple steps, and business rules, without manual interventions.

Insights Dashboard

A crucial success factor for PMOaaS is to assure key metrics are monitored and support projects with accurate information, ultimately increasing accountability. Measurement and reporting services connect to each and every service to transform current and historical data into KPIs that provide insights such as directional KPIs (project level), operational KPIs (portfolio level) and value KPIs (PMOaaS level).
Project Services

Project Services

Project services are the menu card options which projects can pick and choose based on key requirements.  These are the focus of the spoke team, thereby ensuring a customer-first approach.  A spoke team is always connected to the hub for an updated version of the toolkit.

PMOaaS is the new way forward for any thriving and digital-centric organization. With customer centricity at its heart, it shifts the paradigm from traditional PMO to digital PMO – and changes the way stakeholders and leadership see such a capability because of the following:

  • Subscribe to what you need, and consume the way you want it
  • Use of digital technologies makes it simple and effective
  • Decisions are now insights-based leading to a reduction in project investment risks
  • Organization standards are easy to adopt due to use of new technologies

Want to learn more? Please contact our experts, as they would be delighted to share their insights and experiences with you.

Nirav K. Gandhi

Nirav K. Gandhi

Sr. Principal

Nirav has 20+ years of experience in helping clients across the energy and utilities sector. He is highly-skilled at running complex, enterprise-wide transformation programs anchored in technology. His experience involves analyzing, recommending and implementing technical and non-technical solutions, establishing global service lines, developing business cases, senior stakeholder management and leading global migration programs.

Ramakrishna Manne

Ramakrishna Manne

Partner

Ramakrishna joined Infosys Consulting in 2004 and currently heads up the North America energy practice, managing some of our key accounts such as BP and BHP Billiton. He has 26 years of management consulting experience in oil and gas, oilfield services, refineries and chemical industries, helping clients with their digital and advanced analytics transformations. Ramakrishna specializes in IT strategy, upstream data management, business process reengineering, IT application portfolio rationalization and artificial intelligence.

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