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42 – The answer to life, the universe, and everything including IT Project Management


In ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams, a supercomputer named Deep Thought mulls over the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” and, after a period of seven and a half million years, comes up with the answer 42.

How prescient!

Mulling over the ultimate question of the ever-expanding universe that is IT Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) – the answer, it seems, is also 42.

Stand 42! At the Project Challenge Spring Show 2020 at Olympia in March. EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL 6TH OCTOBER 2020

It is at this stand that Stoneseed will showcase our PMaaS model that gives you access to project professionals, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost.

As Douglas Adams wrote, “Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” That’s how I feel about PMaaS, literally as I write this, a new solution to the very challenge you’re facing is being created.  

What Does It Mean For You?

“Our PMaaS model … gives you access to project professionals, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost”

But … What does that rather neat elevator pitch really mean?

It means resources on demand. Turn it on, turn it off, turn it up, turn it down. What you need is what you get and what you pay for.

It’s solution for planning, managing and deploying the right people skills, at the right time, on the right projects. PMaaS, with some reasonable planning, provides access to a wide portfolio of project skills, aligned with your demand schedule, from a single Project Manager for a few days, right through to a large team of fully utilised project professionals or end to end Project Management Office. It’s that flexible!

Stoneseed’s innovative resource on-demand model allows you to dial-up and down IT project resources in sync with your delivery needs. Whereas traditional resourcing models reactively match individual skills with roles, PMaaS proactively and flexibly provides exact solutions that evolve in line with your project.

As well as project resources, engaging with the PMaaS model gives you access to project-related end-to-end expertise, such as our IT Advisory Services to advise pre-project launch, and project specialists who can ensure a smooth transition into service. 

The Quality Of Your Question

In ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’, those seeking an answer to the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” are rather disappointed by the answer 42. The supercomputer, Deep Thought admonishes them and points out that they had never specified (or actually even known) exactly what the Ultimate Question was. This is when Deep Thought decides to design the computer named Earth to figure out this Ultimate Question.

The Project Management as a Service Universe responds in a similar way. You have to know the right question to get the right answer.

You must know your project and your portfolio to know what this question is. This is why the first thing Stoneseed will do is get to know you and how you work, we’ll assess your strengths, weaknesses and where you have opportunities to improve, we’ll identify your capability gaps and your intended project outcomes and how one could be affecting the other.

I often make the claim that somewhere in the Project Management as a Service universe there is a solution to every IT Project challenge but for this to be true, we have to be frank, open and honest about what the challenge is. The truth is that it can be hard to be objective, often when you’re so busy working in an IT Project you become blind to the issues. This is where a fresh pair of independent eyes looking at your project can spot challenges that you’ve stopped even noticing. This perspective can be invaluable when searching for that ‘ultimate question and answer’.

Come And See For Yourself

I blog about PMaaS a lot. I’m a huge fan! I can’t wait for you to meet the Team at Stand 42 at the Project Challenge Spring Show 2020 to discuss your challenges and how PMaaS can help you to meet them head-on.

You may find that just being away from your IT Project for the day, chatting with us at Olympia in a neutral environment, will help you gain a new perspective. As Project Managers, we can sometimes end up in something of a “this is how we do things” bubble and colleagues can often become an thought echo chamber that, while comfortable, isn’t always helpful and productive. It is useful to break out of this once in a while and the Project Challenge Spring Show gives you this chance.

And best of all, entry is free, which is my favourite price to pay for anything!

Remember, Stand 42.

At least, thanks to ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’, you should be able to recall our stand number! 42! Douglas Adams said that he chose 42 at random (Despite theories about links to binary representations, 42 being 101010 in binary code; the average number of lines on an average page of an average paperback; and even Tibetan monks!!!).

"It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one… I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'", he once said.

In spite of this randomness, 42 is a number that has caught the imagination:

In The X-Files, Fox Mulder lives in apartment 42; British TV sitcom 'The Kumars at No. 42' is a tribute; and when Coldplay's album Viva la Vida included a song called "42" and Chris Martin was asked by Q if it was Hitchhiker's related, he said, "It is and it isn't."

The Allen Telescope Array, a radio telescope used by SETI, has 42 dishes; the band Level 42 is named after 'the Answer'; and in US TV show 'Lost', 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, which producer David Fury confirmed was a reference to Hitchhiker's - it's amazing what the number 42 has inspired.

And we can't wait to see how 42 inspires your approach to IT Project delivery.

See you at Stand 42, Project Challenge Spring Show 2020 at Olympia, March 24th.


Owen Shaw - Stoneseed Colleague Recognition Scheme
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