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Six Key Principles for Optimising PMOaaS Service Centres

Understanding Agile Certification: What Are the Benefits?

In recent decades, the automotive industry has witnessed an unparalleled transformation. 

Our partnership with a major French car manufacturer, spanning over a quarter of a century, has allowed us to gain invaluable insights into the industry's dynamics. 

However, it's not just the automotive sector that's experiencing a pivotal shift; businesses across various industries are now confronted with the same pressing challenge – the imperative to reduce costs associated with engineering and development.

This challenge transcends sectors and has emerged as a critical matter of survival. To thrive in this evolving landscape, companies must reevaluate their core competencies, redirect their focus on innovation - and entrust their Project Management Office (PMO) functions to a proficient partner.

This article shares significant discoveries from our extensive work and research within the automotive sector. 

We shed light on the remarkable achievements of our automotive client and explain how the principles of optimising a PMOaaS service centre hold the potential for transformation across diverse industries.

What are PMOaaS Service Centres & How Do They Work? 


PMOaaS (Project Management Office as a Service) centres are specialised units or facilities that offer project management support, services, and resources to organisations on a subscription or as-needed basis. 

They operate on the principle of outsourcing project management functions to an external provider, which can be highly beneficial for businesses looking to optimise their project management operations.

Here's how a PMOaaS service centre typically works and what they can bring to your business:

  • Customised Service Packages: PMOaaS providers offer a range of service packages tailored to the specific needs and objectives of their clients. These packages can include various project management services, such as project planning, execution, monitoring, reporting, and more.

  • Subscription-Based Model: Clients subscribe to the services they require, paying a regular fee based on their chosen package. This subscription model provides flexibility and cost control.

  • Access to Expertise: PMOaaS service centres have teams of experienced project management professionals. Clients gain access to this pool of expertise without the need to hire and manage in-house project management staff.

  • Scalability: As an organisation's needs evolve, it can easily scale its PMOaaS subscription up or down. This adaptability is particularly useful for managing project workload fluctuations.

  • Technology Integration: Many PMOaaS providers offer tools and software to streamline project management processes. These may include project management software, reporting tools, and collaboration platforms.

  • Strategic Alignment: PMOaaS providers work closely with clients to ensure that project management activities align with the organisation's strategic goals and objectives.

  • Efficiency and Cost Savings: Outsourcing project management functions can lead to cost savings and increased efficiency by optimising resource allocation, improving project delivery, and reducing administrative overhead.

  • Regular Reporting and Analytics: PMOaaS providers typically deliver regular reports and analytics to clients, offering insights into project performance and helping organisations make data-driven decisions.

  • Quality Assurance: PMOaaS providers maintain high standards of quality and often follow industry best practices and standards. This ensures the consistent delivery of high-quality project management services.

  • Continuous Improvement: PMOaaS providers are committed to ongoing improvement and innovation, allowing their clients to benefit from the latest project management practices and technologies.

In short, a well-planned and highly optimised PMOaaS service centre allows a business to focus on its core operations while benefiting from efficient, effective, and flexible project management solutions.

How To Optimise a PMOaaS Service Centre?


Despite the clear utility of PMOaaS, it’s not always obvious how to deploy this model within your organisation and effectively optimise it over time.

Here are some of our key findings from partnering with our French automotive client on this journey:

Rule 1 - Start Small To Grow Tall

To tackle the challenge of ever-reducing costs while maintaining high performance, creating a PMO as a Service (PMOaaS) is the logical step.

Our partnership has reduced the average price of work units by 30% in just five years. How did this happen? By optimising the load in relation to the capacity. This simple achievement created new efficiencies between projects and automated reports.

At the beginning of our partnership, we worked closely with our client in the planning stages of the project. In 2015, we successfully created our first PMO work package, alongside a team of 70+ consultants.

Since this time, we have gone on to develop a comprehensive PMO service centre. It includes configuration management, resource load management, resource availability, and an additional team in Spain in 2018.

Today, we’re pleased to have helped build and optimise a thriving PMO service centre of 120+ consultants in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Design.

We also bring added value to other areas of the business, including:

  • Project management 
  • Load/resource adequacy monitoring
  • Reporting
  • Cost monitoring
  • Engineering

Rule 2 - Define Your Goals and Identify the Desired Benefits

Successful PMOaaS is built on the foundation of clearly defined objectives and benefits. 

Each part of the service centre is networked with contributing departments. This creates beneficial synergies and increases the flexibility and responsiveness of teams.

In short, we break up the silos via the use of Business Managers, Heads of Missions, Focal Points, and Technical Relays.

They organise the relationship with purchases, contract customers, and operational customers. This management guarantees excellence of delivery, customer satisfaction and quality service.

In the creation of such a team, it is important to define your objectives and expected benefits. Adhering to the following principles will guide you on this journey: 

  • Master the Customer Environment

Our consultants always meet the requirements of the client, whether that requires their expertise, experiences, or human qualities. This mastery of the environment will allow you to establish a high-performance operational organisation that delivers quality service.

  • Create a Robust Integration Process

This allows us to be up and running very quickly. We have built a common core of training, plus specific training for each mission, training on our client’s project management tools (based on Planisware) and also training in soft skills.

  • Manage Many Cross-Cutting Projects

To maximise the benefits of our services, we implement Agile, digitalisation, standardisation, and capitalisation.

Rule 3 - Go Through Key Milestones

As with any large-scale operation, it takes time to build and grow a PMOaaS service centre of this size. In doing so, we’ve learned to establish the following protocols:

  • Create clear shared governance and organisation.
  • Build steering instances at all levels.
  • Introduce performance indicators specific to the PMO service centres.
  • Bring changes to the catalogue of works units.
  • Demand excellence in delivery.

Thanks to this approach, we now have a full catalogue of 100+ works units, covering all customer branches in France and Spain.

This capacity has been designed to meet the specific needs of the client and their customers, keeping the PMOaaS flexible.

Rule 4 - Be Aware of Sticking Points

An effective PMOaaS service centre must be fundamentally agile to meet the needs of your organisation, teams, and clients. 

It’s imperative that you know where the “sticking points” are, be open to change, and clearly articulate your expectations and objectives.

When setting up your PMOaaS, the basics remain the same as those of any project:

  • Don’t burn your bridges.
  • Accompany the change.
  • Trust your teams and clients.
  • Demand impeccable deliverables.

Mapping out this framework will give you a clear, birdseye view, and any bottlenecks that are disrupting your workflow.

The goal is to foster the free flow of information, ideas, and performance within your PMOaaS service centre and organisation as a whole. 

Rule 5 - Accept Creativity

Thanks to the trust of our client, we have set up cross-cutting work groups to optimise and evolve the deliverables of the PMO service centre.

We have created and deployed teams of trainers and the creation of valuable resources and materials, including welcome books, development logic, and project management tools. 

An offshoot of this project was the creation of our Digital Factory in 2017, which lead to the automating and digitising of reporting tools (including VBA, Power BI, and Spotfire).

Since this time, the Digital Factory has also supported other projects and engaged directly with other customers.

Rule 6 - Give Feedback and Focus on Goals


Continuous dialogue, feedback, and partnership improvement are all crucial to the success of your PMOaaS service centre.

The implementation of PMOaaS requires strategic sponsorship, significant change management, and comprehensive team support.

In the creation and optimisation of your own PMOaaS service centre, ask yourself whether your teams are supported?

How can you assist them with continuous training and learning opportunities?

What will an effective and successful future look like for the department and organisation as a whole? 

Unlock Your Success with MetaPM's Expert PMOaaS Solutions

Beyond the direct economic benefits of effective PMOaaS, ongoing improvement is essential for the success of your service centre.

Teams driven by creativity and innovation contribute to client satisfaction, making PMOaaS a valuable asset. At MetaPM, we have a track record of excellence in customer satisfaction and PMO expertise. 

Our consulting, resourcing, and Agile delivery solutions empower organisations to leverage PMOaaS effectively, optimising their PMO operations and inspiring their performance. 

To discover how our PMOaaS solutions can help your organisation thrive in this dynamic business landscape, contact MetaPM today

Lastly, continue your learning with our recent articles, Navigating the World of PMOaaS: A Comprehensive Guide and Understanding PMaaS: The Future of Project Management and Why It Matters to You.

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