Meet a New PMOHow PMO-as-a-Service is transforming companies into the digital age
by Nirav K. Gandhi, Ramakrishna Manne, & Rafi Billurcu September 2019
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?
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
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 Delivery||PMOaaS 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:
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.
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 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.
Rafi Billurcu has been with the organization for over 11 years and leads our manufacturing practice in the UK and Nordics and is responsible for some of our top accounts in the region. Rafi has over 22 years of experience in the consulting industry with several years spent with the biggest technology and consulting firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM and HCL.
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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