Case Study: Delivering Remote PMO Services

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An increasing number of teams work offsite – and this was prior to COVID-19. In contrast to the availability of Enterprise Project Management collaboration tools like Slack, Office 365 / Teams, and Atlassian, remote work used to have a stigma attached to it. In 2020, however, teams are switching to remote work to maintain business operations – and they’re feeling the impact on their productivity.

TL;DR: we compiled this case study in an infographic. Get me there

In order to make offsite project management services a success, one needs to overcome significant challenges, including time zones, communication issues, turnover, technology, and access to data, not to mention organizational and cultural awareness. 

However, when done right, the benefits outweigh the risks. Great project management, even from a distance, can actually cost less.

MI-GSO | PCUBED partnered with a leading Automotive Manufacturer looking to reduce their project management operating costs by transitioning to a near-shored PMaaS (Project Management as a Service) solution.  Our remote PMO delivery equal in quality to our client’s onsite efforts with virtually zero impact on performance.

To successfully transition to remote Project Management, here are our six considerations to improve your performance.

IN BRIEF

Infographic Delivering Remote PMO Services

1. Infrastructure

According to a 2019 PM Summit Survey, 72% of PM professionals believe remote working increases efficiency. It is a bit too soon to tell how people feel about remote working in 2020. Many are still coming up to speed by necessity rather than choice.

Dropped calls and inability to access files are some of the most basic challenges we’re all working through. They’re a reminder that Infrastructure is the most important consideration to ensure that work does not grind to a halt.

Our offsite PMOs, located within MI-GSO | PCUBED’s offices, benefit from secure IT access points and video communication technology, giving the feeling of being just across the hall from the client. No one underestimates how long it takes to establish ideal working conditions for your remote team.

2. Team Hubs

While working remote can boost productivity, reduce turnover, and decrease operating costs, it does carry one major flaw – isolation. By having our consultants in our offices, we gain a natural boost in “Team Spirit”. While self-isolation and work-from-home is mandated, the team can stay connected with chat rooms, daily stand-ups, and regular check-ins.

Wherever possible, consolidate your remote workforce into team hubs, thereby boosting morale and team productivity.

3. Experience

Hiring managers agree that hiring has gotten harder, with 59% agreeing that skills are more specialized than 3 years ago. 

We recommend partnering with a leading project management provider with experience in delivering remote solutions, providing you access to the best talent virtually when you need it. We recruit highly-skilled engineers and ensure that they are fully trained in multiple project management approaches with access to our latest delivery practices, so they can offer you the highest value.

4. Language

Unfortunately, with teams working offsite, they often miss out on the non-verbal cues like body language during in-person meetings. Video conferencing helps during meetings to establish presence and connection between the teams. However, as so much of project management is based on communication, conversing in your native tongue is a great advantage.  Our remote PMO employs multi-lingual consultants, allowing them to talk easily with clients around the world, in-person or online.

5. Organizational Knowledge

While working remotely has gone global, some do feel out of sight, out of mind. We believe a large part of the success of a remote team is based on the strength of their relationships. Because we’ve supported our clients for decades, we have amassed a wealth of latent organizational knowledge on their culture and how things really get done. 

Additionally, we support our PMOs with team leaders assigned to their Team Hub, providing immediate direction and guidance. The team is aided by a network of project management consultants in the client’s organization – sharing lessons learned, best practices, and knowledge.

6. Robust Transitions

Finally, not all project management activities ideally should be delivered remotely.  We work with the client to determine which phases of each program should be delivered remotely or onsite.  We call it “adaptive virtualization”.

Before delivering any work offsite, we organize a thorough, in-person transfer of activities with the client. This transition solidifies strong relationships that will lead to greater success.

As more teams move towards virtual PMO offerings, we should see increased productivity, reduced operating costs, and better access to talent. Therefore, there will be increased value from project management services. 

However doing it right, with zero impact on performance, is not even remotely easy.