PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

Pursuing Business Growth through System Development: PMO Department Designing a IT Portfolio


The “Professionals” series showcases talented experts who support PayPay Group’s operations. This installment focuses on the PMO (Program Management Office / Project Management Office) Department that was established in April 2023 within the System Division, which is responsible for the development and operation of business systems.
We discussed with Fujita-san from the System Development Department and Miyamoto-san and Tokuhisa-san from the PMO Department about the PMO Department’s mission, what they hope to accomplish, and rewarding aspects of working in the team.

Fumiaki Fujita

Senior Manager, System Development Department, System Division, Corporate Group

After graduating from university, I worked in the healthcare business of a major IT vendor, developing medical imaging, medical administration, and electronic medical record systems. I then worked in BPR while developing Salesforce at a startup company. After moving to the financial industry and working as a project manager with a focus on improving operations in an operations department, I took on the current position in October 2019. Currently, I am the Senior Manager of the System Development Department.

Kazuhito Miyamoto

Senior Manager, PMO Department, System Division, Corporate Group

After completing my studies at a technical college, I worked for a major IT vendor and a software company primarily designing and developing on-premise web systems. Then, I was engaged in service maintenance and development as an in-house software engineer at a foreign retail company, and then worked as a project manager at a systems integrator and consulting company for clients in the transportation, telecommunications, and government sectors. I joined PayPay in December 2022.

Akiko Tokuhisa

PMO Manager, PMO Department, System Division, Corporate Group

After completing university, I worked in new business development at a startup company. Following a period of family leave, I was involved in the direction of development and operation of Salesforce and of web service development. I then worked on the implementation, development, and operation of Salesforce, ERP, and data integration platforms at a major IT company, after which I joined PayPay in June 2022.

Please tell us how you came to PayPay and your current responsibilities!

I joined the company in 2019 after a former colleague from the financial services company I was previously in contacted me. Currently, I am the Senior Manager of the System Development Department.

I had been involved in contract development work, IT vendors, and consulting throughout my professional career, but I decided to switch jobs because I wanted to feel what it’s like to grow a business with my own hands at an operating company. I joined PayPay in December 2022, and since April 2023, I have been Senior Manager of the newly established PMO Department and am working to create the departmental structure and systems.

In my previous positions, I have been involved in the quick introduction, development, operation, and maintenance of various systems, such as Salesforce, ERP, and iPaaS. I wanted to dive into a more extreme environment to gain more experience and have better opportunities for growth, so I moved to PayPay when I was able to take a break from parenting. As overall PMO for Salesforce development, I am in charge of the prioritization of nearly 500 development projects of varying sizes per year, managing resources, and managing risks across these projects.

Select Tasks with High ROI and Allocate Resources Appropriately

What is the mission of the PMO Department?

The PMO Department was established in April 2023 as an independent entity from the System Development Department with the mission of creating and implementing a roadmap for projects that will be handled by the System Development Department. Until now, we have proceeded with projects according to the priorities that were set by the operations departments, but going forward, the PMO Department will change the process by evaluating the priorities of the projects across all departments that submit a task and allocate resources to projects with a high ROI.

Specifically, we will assess tasks based on quantitative figures such as GMV (gross merchandise value), profits, and cost reductions, and on plans to comply with laws and regulations. We will then coordinate with relevant members and allocate development resources commensurate with the end result of the tasks.

Why was the PMO Department created?

The System Development Department’s work volume was increasing year after year, and the increased development workload was being handled by brute force—basically adding more people. So, we set up the PMO Department to manage the amount of development work and the number of personnel.
When you set up a system each time when responding to requests from various departments, you inevitably end up locking up resources, and there were times we couldn’t allot members to high ROI projects when they came in.

While many companies have PMO Departments in business-side divisions, such as corporate strategy and business strategy, PayPay has a PMO Department for internal systems as well as in the Product Division. I think this is a manifestation of a culture where engineers themselves envision what it looks like to be committed to the business and realize that vision.

What positive impact can you expect by having a PMO Department?

The overall mission of the System Division is to contribute to the growth of the company through system development. We can now determine for ourselves what to do in order to achieve that mission. I would say that creating the PMO Department is a structural change to produce the maximum results with limited resources.

Besides, from the developers’ point of view, concentrating on a single theme for development is a huge advantage. We can do comprehensive development work, which speeds up the development process and improves quality. It also takes care of the issue of when modifying one system another system getting affected, which tends to happen if you develop separately. I believe that this is beneficial to the company and also to the requesting departments, as it allows us to proceed in a holistic and streamlined manner.

I feel that an environment that allows workers to have a bird’s eye view of the project, rather than developing only for Salesforce or only for AWS, is attractive. In fact, we are starting to see projects that require us to develop together with Salesforce and AWS, so this is a great opportunity for folks who want to be involved in both.

Contributing to Business Growth Is Our Goal and What Gets Us Up in the Morning

What do you find rewarding working at PayPay?

In system development at an operating company, you can participate from the decision-making phase of what to develop, see how the developed system is actually used, and make improvements. I think the ability to “grow” systems over the long term and to see that the systems we develop contribute to the growth of our business are what make my job worthwhile.

I agree. The PMO Department works with business teams and the System Development Department to determine which projects will help PayPay grow further, and I find it satisfying to see the results of these efforts in numbers.

For me, it’s about always being able to take on new challenges. In fact, you only get thrown challenge after challenge here (laughs).
The System Development Department is also a great place for people who are highly motivated to grow, whether they want to advance their field of expertise or become professionals in some other area.

What is the atmosphere like in your team?

We telecommute for the most part, but we gather in the office once every three months for team building and hold get-togethers in the evenings to make sure we don’t forget the feeling of working as a team. When we meet in person, we often discover something new, like observing peculiarities of a person that we couldn’t have figured out just by messaging each other online.

Yes, I have the impression that many of my colleagues are good communicators. At work, everyone goes one step beyond creating what they are asked to, and maintains the client’s point of view to determine what the real issues are and how to solve them.

I feel that the overall culture of the division makes for a good working environment. Okada-san, the Division Head, also listens sincerely to those of us who are “working on the ground,” and I find it rather nice that I can talk frankly with anyone without having to read between the lines.

A Virtuous Cycle that Accelerates PayPay’s Growth

What do you value in your work at PayPay?

We are always mindful of never losing sight of our objective. System development is not the end, but only a means to an end. We want to move forward without losing sight of the nub of what we do.
If I have to name which of the PayPay 5 Senses I uphold the most, it would be “Work for Life or Work for Rice.”

Like Fujita-san, I want to pursue intrinsic value as stated in “Work for Life or Work for Rice” without mistaking the ends and the means.

The PMO Department is the nexus between PayPay’s business and systems, so as PMO Leader, the most important for me would be “Ego is not welcome, communication is necessary.” I want to continue to be a partner that can be trusted through dialogue and discussion, taking issues on the business side seriously as if they were my own.

I also would like converse and coordinate with the members of the System Development Department, who are the ones who get their hands dirty, so that I don’t make unreasonable demands, and in such a way that they can understand how their development work leads to business growth.

Tell us what you hope to accomplish in the future

The System Development Department develops systems over a broad range. Since our business is on a growth curve and we are also creating new businesses one after another, it is hard to bring the development of various systems together. Given this context, as the department responsible for PayPay’s DX, I think we need to think about when and what kind of state we should aim for, simultaneously with business growth and creation. The PMO Department is responsible for designing that portfolio.

I believe the key word in the PMO Department is “holistic optimization.” In order to achieve this, the PMO Department, which serves as the link between business departments and the System Development Department, should first gain a deep understanding of what the business teams want to achieve and the importance of those objectives, and then make decisions from there.

The PMO Department is required to be able to accurately identify what will contribute to PayPay’s growth in the midst of the many development requests we receive from business teams. I also hope to play a part in creating a virtuous cycle, where a request that contributes to more growth receives a higher priority for development, thereby causing business teams to come up with better ideas that will help PayPay further grow, and grow faster at that.

Finally, any words for job seekers?

I think PayPay is a good environment for people who like challenges, like to solve problems, think logically, and have big ambitions. We would love to work with people who are proactive and want to actually experience that feeling of contribution to business growth.

PayPay is still a young company, and the PMO department is especially a new unit, so I believe that we are still in the phase of creating an operational template. If you enjoy communicating and negotiating, if you are good at involving others, and if you are not an overthinker (in a good way), I am confident that you will thrive here!

I believe that those who are resolute can be successful. I want to challenge you to imagine what you want to do and what you could do if you were at PayPay. Since this is a place where daring to do something new is encouraged, I would like to work with people who are willing to take on new challenges.

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*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.