Straight Talk on Project Management

Conventional recruitment

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Do you get what you pay for? PMaaS vs conventional recruitment

Project management resourcing, skills gaps within organisations and obtaining a return on investment (ROI) from your chosen solution are challenges that have dogged, hindered, and impeded IT project delivery since, well, forever.

Actually, I remember one of the earliest project management meetings I attended being about how to address this very topic – and that was more years ago than I’m happy to admit to!

And yet, here we are, in 2021, we’re still facing the same challenges Except, if anything, thanks to Brexit, IR35, Covid, etc, the pressures can often feel even more intense!

Back in the day, at that meeting attended by fresh faced me, I recall the choice was a binary one – add to the permanent headcount or search for some contractors, both of which followed a normal recruitment process. The process would often change and had a tendency to be more involved for contractors depending on what we wanted vs what we could afford but either way, measuring ROI and maintaining quality standards was difficult.

Questions like “Should we get a perm as they’re typically cheaper than a contractor?” were usually simple to answer as you could clearly define the requirement as a temporary one with specific skillset and experience level, so why not get someone on a temporary basis and budget accordingly?

The decision then is about whether it’s more beneficial to retain that knowledge and experience in the team or hope it’s available should you ever need it again – having access to the same resource that you’ve already onboarded and have experience with   is far from guaranteed. So usually, you would start that recruitment process again and hope to get a similar result! 

Fortunately, as the challenge has evolved so have the available solutions.

In recent years, an alternative has emerged that deals with many of the pitfalls that came up in those discussions time and time again. Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) gives you the ability to buy in project management services on demand and, done right, the ROI is easier to measure and demonstrate. 


Your PMaaS provider is a project management specialist, ideally offering not just skilled, experienced, talented, best-in-class professionals who can parachute in and hit the ground running but also Project Management Office functionality: carrying out assessments; providing guidance; initiating governance; maintaining quality; etc.

In short, your PMaaS provider is a one stop shop for accessing the people and the tools you need to improve project delivery and success. The thing is though, that your average project consultancy service provider will also tell you that’s what they are, so why is PMaaS much better than that?

The main positive differences, Stoneseed’s customers tell us time and again, are flexibility, consistency, and value for money. Skillset, experience, availability, and overall quality of resource is managed and maintained by Stoneseed as we employ everyone in our team… You know exactly what you’re getting and have access to that resource as and when you need it at a clearly defined cost!

At a time when organisations (and their IT Project teams) are having to be increasingly agile and deliver greater return on investment – that could be easily the end of the blog! LOL!

“Stoneseed’s PMaaS will give you greater flexibility and, thanks to our predictable cost model, better returns on your investment,” I could have written, “call us now on 01623 723910.”

But you know me. Why stop at those benefits (belters though they are) when customers have shared at least ten based on their experience of using our service!!

THE TOP TEN BENEFITS OF PMaaS as defined Stoneseed Clients


2-Easier to measure ROI

3-Less wastage

4-Specialists on demand

5-Greater governance

6-Greater cost control

7-Agility to rapidly scale up (and down)

8-You get what you pay for

9-You are closer to infinite project management competencies

10-You buy project management passion.

When you buy in PMaaS, what you’re really buying into is access to professionals that specialise in project management and a partner that supports and enhances your project delivery capabilities.


As your PMaaS provider, project management is what they do! Project Management is not your core business, you make widgets, or provide transport solutions or manage investments – project management is not your company’s core competency. For Stoneseed customers project management is rarely a specialist competence, not like it is for us, we are working in project management, day in, day out, all day, every day. Project Management is Stoneseed’s passion, our obsession! Don’t ever get me started on the dopamine hit I get from helping deliver a project on time, on budget!

So, PMaaS gives you access to qualified, dedicated, obsessed and talented professionals who know project management inside out but, it could be argued, so does that standard supplier managed service provider. For that matter, so could hiring new talent for your team!

The real service and cost benefits are in the flexibility. Through PMaaS, the talent, skills and resources that you need are quickly and easily accessible. They’re on speed dial, just when you need them, for as long as you need them. As with all “as a Service” solutions, with PMaaS you pay for what you use, eliminating the risk of being understaffed at times of great pressure and need, or expensively overstaffed if projects run dry for a period.



In most cases, PMaaS is a low-cost model compared to recruiting and hiring project management staff or bringing in the services of a contractor as you only pay for what you use. When you access Project Management as a Service resources you remain in full control of the process, which really helps you control costs. One of the greatest selling points of Stoneseed’s PMaaS is that it can help to make project management costs more predictable because they are right there in the contract and managed and measured with KPIs.

I believe all projects can be better resourced through Project Management as a Service, but some really benefit from PMaaS! I’m seeing more that fall into this latter category, especially due to the more agile demands of post Covid projects.



Many projects have become more changeable (in line with the volatile market) and we’re seeing more clients needing to scale up resources very quickly – and then scale back down at the same speed! Hiring new staff is not a viable solution in cases like this! Imagine it, at the time when you need to scale up rapidly, you’d be placing the recruitment ad, sifting through CVs and booking the interviews and then you’d arrive at the second interview stage and offer the successful candidate the job just at the point where you need to be scaling down again! Not an option!

Even hiring in a contractor can be as inefficient. Valuable time spent finding the right contractor can delay scaling up at the crucial point and the nature of many contracts could leave you with wastage as you scale back but are still paying an expensive bill.


Finally, an increasing number of IT projects require specific governance or compliance competencies. If your current project would benefit from an expert in a specific area, hiring a permanent member of staff may not be the best allocation of your finite resources. A recent example of this is a client with a single project that was heavily weighted with GDPR risks. This one-off need, to rapidly deliver a GDPR compliant project would not have been suited to hiring a new staff member (their GDPR expertise would be wasted on most of the client’s other projects!).  

I suppose, in conclusion, the old adage that you ‘get what you pay for’ has never been more relevant.

Back in the day, the consequences of us making the wrong resourcing choices at that meeting, the one that newly qualified me was at, were bad enough – the company would have lost money, we’d have had to face scrutiny from the board, it would have been uncomfortable and embarrassing, etc, etc.

The consequences of getting a resourcing decision wrong now are more stark!

Poor return on investment, wastage, inefficiencies, not getting ‘what you pay for’ – these are the causes of failure that are cropping up in ‘post-mortems’, not just for individual projects or teams but for the organisations of which they are a part.  

Let me say it now, “Stoneseed’s PMaaS will give you greater flexibility and, thanks to our predictable cost model, better returns on your investment – call us now on 01623 723910.”

  Find out about Stoneseed’s Project Services