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Straight Talk on Project Management

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Experience essential – Resourcing IT projects with the best talent

Experience essential – Resourcing IT projects with the best talent

At Stoneseed, we’ve been answering the question “What is PMaaS?” for just over a decade.

If we were on “Mastermind” Project Management as a Service would be our “specialist chosen subject”!!

Recently, a prospective client twisted it and asked a zinger of a question – Who is PMaaS?

To add a little context, this business was anxious about continuity and experience. They had used project talent providers, of one form or another, mostly satisfactorily, but for two concerns: they’d rarely enjoy the benefit of the same talent twice; and occasionally a project manager’s experience was not in sync with the business’ needs.

This sounded familiar.

While Stoneseed’s clients range in size, including FTSE 100 businesses, large Public Sector organisations and SME businesses, the challenges are often very similar: the need to supplement existing internal Project delivery team and for this to flex up and down in line with project demands; frustration with the limitations of conventional resource augmentation; a need to have ‘Project Ready’ resources from day one.

EXPERIENCE THAT FEELS TAILOR MADE

Putting your faith in outsourced talent is a big deal.

Welcoming external talent into your team offers many benefits, but it also comes with challenges and risks, potential communication barriers and cultural differences, for instance. A dependency on third parties can sometimes feel like a loss of control, so expectations must be clear and understood. Mitigating these challenges requires open communication, robust and yet flexible contracts, ongoing collaboration and a thorough vendor selection process.

The professionals in Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service talent pool each have 10 to 15 years of experience (some members of our management team have even more!)

What’s more, Stoneseed’s PMaaS team members are experienced across multiple technology solutions, sectors and industries, and we work on all types of projects and programmes such as Business Change, Transformation, Infrastructure, Digital and IT Project Delivery. It’s one thing having experience under your belt, it’s another to have project specific experience – that can add real value to an engagement.

Best yet, Stoneseed employs its team of Project Management and Technical Professionals, so rather than acting as a third party (like an agency sourcing and providing temps), the talent you engage through Stoneseed works for us and comes embedded with our ‘clientside’ culture and ethos.

Stoneseed’s blogs (like this one) have been published by the likes of CIO.com and ProjectAccelerator.co.uk and even compiled into a series of e-books, the seventh volume of which is due to drop this summer (2024). If IT Project resourcing comes up when you’re on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, consider us your “Phone A Friend”!!

At Stoneseed, the experience of our PMaaS talent can be the difference that drives your IT projects to success, and with a little reasonable planning it isn’t unheard of for clients to enjoy the benefit of the same safe pair of hands, time and time again. Continuity and experience!

Based on client and colleague feedback, here are …

SIX WAYS EXPERIENCED PMaaS TALENT CAN ADD BUSINESS VALUE

1 – Expertise and Specialisation as a Service

Outsourced IT project talent often brings specialised skills, a wider experience, and expertise that may not be available in-house. From niche technical knowledge, industry insights, and best practices garnered working on diverse projects, Project Management as a Service talent can enhance your project teams in more ways than “getting your projects done”.

External IT talent can bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and industry insights to the project. Their exposure to different technologies, market trends, and client engagements can enrich the project with new approaches and solutions.

2 – Scalability, Flexibility and Dynamic Resource Allocation as a Service

Outsourcing allows you to scale your IT projects up or down based on business needs. This flexibility is especially beneficial for projects with fluctuating resource requirements or short-term initiatives. The ability to dynamically allocate resources, based on project needs, provides scalability that aligns with the project’s phases and demands.

Scalability and flexibility in outsourcing can quickly translate to cost savings as, rather than maintaining a fixed, full-time IT project team, with varying workload demands, you access a “pay-for-what-you-need” commercial model that can reduce overhead costs incurred by idle resources during low-demand periods.

3 – Quality Assurance as a Service

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” This quote (often wrongly attributed to Aristotle) is a belter. In IT Project quality assurance terms, I take it to mean that while, of course, a team of in-house, freshly qualified IT Project professionals can deliver a project successfully, the more they do it, the more the probability of success and quality multiplies and compounds.

A mix of inexperienced and experienced talent on an in-house team can be a potent mix, but what happens when you need to add external talent to that mix? Incoming temporary talent can either dilute your “experience mix” or strengthen it, so you should ensure that your selection process is geared to lean towards the latter. You can’t necessarily vet a hired-in project manager’s CV the same way you would a candidate for an inhouse position, so you need an outsourcing partner with painstaking hiring policies!

We employ our team of Project Management and Technical Professionals, meaning that they have been through our rigorous screening and hiring process and onboarded in our quality-first culture, a culture that is best summed up as “always do the right thing.”

Another advantage of Project Management as a Service talent and resources is that reputable outsourcing providers have robust quality assurance processes in place, Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service model for project delivery is underpinned by Stoneseed’s PMO, methodology and toolset, for instance.

4 – Managing Complexity as a Service

IT Projects can be a spaghetti nest of complexity. Experienced Project Managers are best placed to parachute in and quickly assess the terrain. They have encountered the challenges that your project will face before, giving them the confidence to navigate complexities more effectively, anticipate potential issues, and make informed experience-led decisions.

The prospective client who asked, “Who is PMaaS?” was particularly keen to avoid the lag that can be associated with having to get new talent up to speed.

Stoneseed’s experienced project talent will hit the ground running, reducing reductions in progress.

5 – Better Communication and Stakeholder Management as a Service

Communication is vital in IT Project Management, we’re the bridge between technical teams, stakeholders, vendors, and end-users. Experienced project managers will have honed their communication techniques over many years, conveying complex information now in a way that their younger selves would have dreamed of. Better communication skills help manage expectations, resolve conflicts more efficiently and, generally, just create a more collaborative vibe.

A colleague told me that he believes 90% of the projects that suffered scope creep in his early career were because he “wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose.” I understand this! Saying no to stakeholder scope change requests, or having the wherewithal to argue and explain the impact of the “just a small tweak” being suggested comes with experience. Building and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders is crucial for project success, but that doesn’t mean rolling over and giving in to every request, it also doesn’t mean stubbornly refusing each one either. Experienced project managers understand stakeholder dynamics, priorities, and expectations, they engage with stakeholders effectively, address concerns, and earn buy-in and respect.

6 – Continuous Improvement (Mentoring and Leadership) as a Service

Experienced Project Managers have a lot of lessons learned from past projects to drive continuous improvement in their next one. The most experienced PMs I know are constantly analysing successes, failures, and best practices, looping feedback into future projects to enhance performance, efficiency, and deliver successful project outcomes.

On reflection, the “lessons learned” or “post-mortem” part of the IT Project Management process is a vital opportunity for growth and actively putting performance under the microscope encourages a culture of openness and learning together from past performance.

Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service talent often return from an engagement buzzing that they’ve been able to serve as mentors to a client’s less experienced team members. Experienced project managers make great leaders within their teams, and often wider organisations too. We often say in our blogs, if you have experienced talent in your team – be a knowledge sponge. Experienced project managers love to share knowledge, they are happy to mentor junior team members, and take great pride in promoting professional development. Cultures of excellence and continuous learning in project management practices are often centred around the linchpin that is an experienced PM.

So, with Stoneseed, the answer to “Who is PMaaS” is expertise, experience and continuity – as a Service.

SO … WHAT IS PMaaS?

Stoneseed’s PMaaS model provides your project teams with access to experienced project professionals, the best resources and cutting-edge thinking and tools – an alternative to traditional permanent hires or using contractors.

PmaaS is a genuine end to end service, from IT Technical Advisory, Business Analysis Services and PMO Services through to Programme & Project Delivery – all delivered at a flexible and predictable cost. Let’s break those two elements down.

Flexibility

Stoneseed’s on-demand, “turn it on, turn it off, turn it up, turn it down” resource model allows you to dial up and down IT project resources to align with your real-time delivery needs. With some planning, PMaaS provides access to a wide portfolio of project skills, available to match your demand schedule, from a single Project Manager, Business Analyst, Technical Advisory or PMO expert for a few days, right through to a large team of fully utilised project professionals.

Predictable Cost

PMaaS also has a fair and straightforward commercial model. Stoneseed works with you to forecast the project resources required and then provide you with a simple rate card with resources, defined by type and skill set, that you can “call off” against your demand schedule. A key benefit of Stoneseed’s model is you are billed for the resources used at the end of each month, giving control over costs as well as resource allocation.

EXPERIENCE – THE DIFFERENCE

Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service enables you to align your project needs with our experienced resources, as and when (and for how long) you require them – full-time or part-time, onsite or remote, on a cost-effective basis.

Stoneseed’s clients are drawn from all different sectors, from Banking to Legal, from Universities to Utilities. IT is increasingly at the heart of most organisations business operation. As we often say. IT no longer just supports the business – IT is the business.

When you have an IT Project need, we can support it, with the Project Talent you need, talent that is experienced across multiple technology solutions, sectors and industries, and all types of projects and programmes.

‘Project Ready’ resources, from day one, that’s who PMaaS is! Experience the difference for yourself, call 01623 723910 or click here.

 

Find out more about Project Management as a Service from Stoneseed