PMaaS de-mystified – what is it really?

February 4th, 2020

The need for Project/Programme Management as a Service (PMaaS) has never been so relevant as it is today. But what really is PMaaS and what value can PMaaS add to your company? Who are the major players and what are the pitfalls? What models work and what don’t? How can PMaaS help mitigate the impact of new tax regulations, such as IR35 in the UK, on the delivery of your projects and programmes?

As a recognised global provider of PMaaS, K2CP will be publishing a series of thought leadership pieces over the next few weeks that should help answer a number of these critical questions, whilst also revealing the true benefits that moving to an effective PMaaS model can have for your company.

Let’s start with the first basic question – what is PMaaS? Simply put it is Project/Programme Management as a Service. That’s easy! It is not Project or Programme delivery as a Service, i.e. normal Project/Programme delivery with large delivery teams, that are provided every day by consulting firms. PMaaS will help to guarantee Project and Programme delivery, but it is not consulting as we have known it for years, simply re-badged.

Many of the major players would like to blur the definition, as it allows them to deliver using their leveraged consulting model whilst protecting their limited supply of strong project and programme managers. But enough on the Big Firms for now, we will publish a blog in the next week or so, explaining why the major consulting firms, in our opinion, cannot deliver nor do they really want to provide PMaaS.

PMaaS is about providing a flexible, cost effective service of Project and Programme Managers (PPMs) to help clients deliver on a portfolio of projects and programmes, where the client either does not want to hire permanent PPMs, or they cannot attract enough in volume or quality, or they are being let down by the their current consulting provider, or the cost of using the major consulting firms is too high. In addition, legislation, like the recent IR35 changes in the UK, is also creating a dilemma for clients engaging individual contractors directly as  PPMs. Companies can and are removing their contractors; but the dilemma remains that the portfolio of projects and programmes still need to be delivered.

The roles that clients want as part of a PMaaS offering have changed little over the last 10 years or so. The range of roles will usually include Portfolio Managers, Programme Managers, Business and IT Project Managers, and PMO. In some instances that we have seen from clients these roles often extend to Change Management and Business Analysts. In one instance this also included Test managers.

In most classic PMaaS examples, the client has a portfolio of projects and programmes where they need a more flexible and cost-effective group of PPMs, with all the skills and experience to ensure programme/project success. They want to rely upon the service provider to meet ALL their PPM needs, long or short term, full or part time. The onus for providing this service is with the PMaaS provider, who must guarantee supply and ensure that they have a “ready pool” of PPMs who can meet the client’s needs, cost effectively.

As we will explain in future blogs, it is this need for flexibility in the form of a “ready pool” of high quality and a cost-effective PPMs which prevents the major consulting firms from successfully competing in this space. Indeed, we at K2CP believe that any employment-based consulting model will always struggle to be effective and competitive in the PMaaS space.

If you would like to discuss your potential requirements for PMaaS, or how K2CP can help you with an Assessment on how cost effective your PPM team is, please contact us on: info@k2consultingpartners.com