What is Project Management as a Service & why do you need it?

Project Management as a Service
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Project Management as a Service, PMaaS for short, is not a new concept. Over the past few years, we have seen the market shift from pure products-based companies to an influx of services-based companies. Project Management, even though already considered part of the services landscape, was not left untouched.

What is Project Management as a Service?

Commonly referred to as Managed Services or PM as a Service (PMaaS); PMaaS can take many shapes, and names, in an organization. But basically, they are all the same. It refers to the situation where companies can buy in project management services on demand.

They do this from organizations that specialize in project management and who can offer skilled and talented professionals that can jump in and hit the ground running. PMaaS providers offer the Project Management Office, carrying out assessments, providing guidance and governance, and additionally the people and the tools to improve project delivery and success. 

Why clients are choosing Project Management services?

Similar to the move to managed services for IT solutions, clients are looking for providers to remove some of the burdens of delivering support services, allowing them to focus on their core competency or what they do best. So some of the benefits of Project Management as a Service are:

  • Seamless extension of your team: In a PMaaS firm, project management is the company’s core competency. For your organization, it is likely that project management is not a specialist competence in the same way that it is for a company that does this all day every day. This type of service offers access to qualified and talented people who know project management inside out which in turn helps in creating a seamless extension of your team.
  • Transparency: Hiring in Project Management talent that doesn’t rely exclusively upon you for their income means that they’re often more open and transparent. Suddenly, risks that previously might have been brushed under the carpet and hidden now have a bright light shined upon them. Being employed in this way promotes transparency and a focus on results that just don’t exist with comfortable, contracted salaried staff.
  • Innovativeness: You get to tap into a greater pool of ideas and ways of thinking. Your salaried Project Managers spend all their time working in your company. Imagine if you could send them out on loan to other companies or even industries – picture the new ideas that they might come back with. Hiring talent who spend their whole time elsewhere gives you this! Ideas that have worked previously, honed, and filtered for success – at your disposal.
  • Scope and Space: One of the frequent complaints from Projects Managers is that a lack of time is sapping their ability to deliver. Especially since the economic downturn, most business environments are operating with fewer resources across the board. In your PMO this can manifest itself in dull but important administrative tasks being overlooked and focus being thinned. A PMaaS solution can help increase capacity, both in short term panic management, but even more so as part of your long term strategy – without increasing your headcount.
  • Efficiency: You only pay for what you use. Find a resource model that you turn up and down, depending upon your needs – no long term commitments or need to increase your headcount. You get to tap into expertise and experience when you need it. And when you no longer need it – it isn’t sitting on the bench burning a hole in your payroll. Larger scale projects require more experienced Project Managers, which doesn’t come cheap. In this case, find a platform where you use these services on a subscription basis, just like your various streaming services.
  • Elasticity: Hire the talent that you need, when you need it, for exactly the length of time you require, and when the project finishes you have no long-term commitment, no extended overheads. Perfect! And what you do have is a tap that can be turned on again when you need it. It is the ultimate flexible and agile Project Management solution.

Key Considerations before choosing PMaaS Vendor

  • It is essential to be clear about your own requirements from the very start. Come up with a wish list of what you need from your PMaaS provider, and vet these companies against this.
  • It is important that the people brought in are a good cultural fit – so check with your potential providers what they do to achieve this.
  • Contracts should be underscored with KPIs within the service level agreement so that the contract can be carefully managed.

It requires the project management resources to have a clear understanding of how they are tied to the strategic objectives of the organization. If the focus is on Project Efficiency, what can be done to remove waste out of these processes for initiation or status reporting? What ways can we use technology to drive improvements in delivery? In today’s market and more importantly the future, it will be critical for organizations to focus on prioritizing activity, even project management activity, based on alignment to strategic imperatives and value.


PMaaS has the potential to solve the age-old problem of project management resourcing and skills within organizations. The service may be cost-effective due to the ability of the organization to scale resources up and down as needed. Yet, the concept is unproven, and there are risks that cannot be overlooked, such as corporate culture challenges. If you do your due diligence when selecting a PMaaS partner, you may minimize some of the risks involved in utilizing these types of services.

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