The past several years have seen the rise of many “as-a-service” models– starting with IT functions such as software, platform, infrastructure, and growing to address a variety of key components in strategic initiatives. As-a-Service (aaS) models provide the ability to purchase a solution tailored to your needs rather than developing a custom capability in-house. In the right environment, an aaS model provides a scalable, cost effective, on-demand solution with established expertise that you don’t need to own in order to meet business objectives. Leveraging business and technology consultants to support the implementation of aaS solutions helps to ensure that you obtain the greatest value possible.
Deep solution delivery experience is a key pillar in successful project planning and execution. Many projects haves floundered or failed in the hands of a highly capable team of technology-specific SMEs due to the lack of expertise, time, and/or motivation necessary to charter, plan, scope, track, and implement the project. Recognizing when a team starts drifting from their objectives, skillfully handling conflicts, and apprising stakeholders of progress, roadblocks or pending issues are just some of the complex situations that skilled solution delivery managers will have seen countless times over their careers, and amassed a diverse toolkit to address. Because they’ve seen a little of everything, strong professionals are adept at applying best practices across industries or groups. Access to this kind of expertise on an as-needed basis by leveraging project management-as-a-Service (PMaaS) can aid in the success of strategic projects.
As with all types of aaS models, there is a right and a wrong time to leverage solution delivery as a service (SDaaS) expertise. Straightforward projects can often be handled by the internal teams as part of business as usual. Conversely, large-scale projects (e.g., selecting and implementing a new technology platform) can be disruptive to the organization, requiring experience that the existing team does not have. How do you clearly communicate your requirements so the solution most closely matches your needs? How do you objectively prioritize requirements and compare vendor capabilities to make the best selection? And most importantly – how do you keep them on track? This is not something teams will likely have broad experience from which to draw – but experienced solution delivery consultants will. This is the ideal opportunity to hear recommendations from someone who has done this countless times and can advise you on best practices and common pitfalls.
When properly scoped and planned, the opportunity to save money can be significant. Experienced solution delivery managers will hit the ground running, increasing time-to-productivity of the team, and reducing non-value-added activities. Paying for the right experience on an as-needed basis is far more cost-effective than internally staffing a function that is not required a year later. In addition, allowing functional experts to focus on the business, rather than juggling the tasks associated with project management, helps teams ensure that critical deadlines are met.
An important benefit to aaS is the objectivity that an experienced and impartial expert brings. Organizations gain unbiased, creative, data-driven ideas that may not have been discovered by teams who are used to doing business a certain way, or simply haven’t been exposed to multiple options or perspectives in a given project type.
The SEI Difference
SEI has built its business model with a focus on SDaaS through a foundation of experienced consultants who can consistently deliver exceptional solution design, project execution, portfolio management, and executive support across projects in key industries. At SEI, we aren’t just performing standard project execution tasks, but serving as an influencer across the organization.
In a recent engagement, we had a large financial services client that had a traditional decentralized project management model. When a significant new regulation was introduced, our client found themselves in a position where they needed to stand up a PMO in short order to coordinate project work across business units. This problem lent itself well to Program Management as a Service.
SEI is skilled at recognizing impact across multiple components and delivering a more complete solution. For instance, we recently assisted a global media company with an HR transformation, which included technology analysis and vendor engagement to develop an HCM roadmap. Through a comprehensive and objective gap analysis, we were able to provide prioritized recommendations to improve HR data quality initiatives over immediate technology implementation. A full vendor selection process was subsequently launched, in which SEI helped select and implement a SaaS HCM solution. Through our unique role bridging the relationship between client and vendor, we were able to increase the value of the new solution, contributing to a successful project outcome and overall better business value to the client.
As SEI consultants, we strive to deliver solution delivery excellence as a true and trusted advisor that can seamlessly plug and play to quickly deliver value. The as-a-Service model is the perfect way to allow us to do so.