- Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
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PROJECT MANAGEMENT MATURITY ASSESSMENT.
Before embarking on a project management improvement initiative, it is well worth establishing the current level of organisational maturity that exists and then setting a target, so that the improvement itself can be measured, separately to the benefits of those improvements.
To do this, there are many project management maturity assessment methods available, of which P3M3® is probably the most recognised and the one that I recommend. In this blog post I will take you through its application.
As with many of the maturity models, it is possible to have a formal project management maturity assessment conducted by an external party, to help ensure impartiality. However, as long as you are confident of the honesty of those involved, a good approximation of maturity levels can be achieved very simply.
P3M3® is so called because it details an assessment of an organisation’s maturity in project management alongside that of programme management and portfolio management (the three Ps). It is therefore a project, programme and portfolio management maturity model. For our purposes, we need only consider the project management aspects, but any organisation intending to improve its programme management and/or its portfolio management maturity could also similarly assess these.
P3M3® requires seven elements that it terms ‘perspectives’ to be considered regarding the organisation’s maturity in each. These are:
- Management Control
- Benefits Management
- Financial Management
- Stakeholder Management
- Risk Management
- Organisational Governance
- Resource Management
For each of these, there are numerous attributes that the organisation should exhibit in order to achieve each of five levels of maturity. These levels are:
|Level 1 – awareness of process||Does the organisation recognise projects and run them differently from its ongoing business? (Projects may be run informally with no standard process or tracking system.)|
|Level 2 – repeatable process||Does the organisation ensure that each project is run with its own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard? (There may be limited consistency or coordination between projects.)|
|Level 3 – defined process||Does the organisation have its own centrally controlled project processes and can individual projects flex within these processes to suit the particular project?|
|Level 4 – managed process||Does the organisation obtain and retain specific measurements on its project management performance and run a quality management organisation to better predict future performance?|
|Level 5 – optimised process||Does the organisation undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for projects in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimise processes?|
From the descriptions of each of the levels, it is possible, and very worthwhile, to achieve an approximation of the maturity levels of an organisation, without needing to delve into the extensive detail contained in the lists of required attributes.
If an organisation has some awareness of project management within it, but has no framework defined, then it is Level 1. If an organisation runs projects in different ways within the various parts of it, but there are frameworks defined within each, then it is Level 2. Or if the organisation ensures that each project defines how it will be managed, then this can also be accepted as Level 2, despite the lack of standardisation across projects.
If an organisation has defined a standard approach to managing all of its projects, across all parts of the organisation, perhaps with defined variations for different types of projects, then it is Level 3. This is the level that is important to achieve, which generates most of the benefits of improved project management. The ‘80/20 rule’ applies to this level.
If the organisation measures its performance (of delivering projects to cost, quality and schedule) on an ongoing basis through a defined set of metrics, which are used to improve estimating, then it is Level 4. If the organisation has a mechanism to further utilise the performance measures to drive continuous improvement of its framework, then it is Level 5.
Once an organisation has achieved Level 3, which can require significant organisational change, it is not a big step to further add mechanisms to the framework that will achieve Levels 4 and 5.
It is unusual to find much variation of scoring across the seven perspectives. Generally, if an organisation has not got to grips with how it manages its projects, then this is the case across all perspectives (disciplines). It is rare that an organisation has put in place (and is working to) procedures in some disciplines, but not others.
I suggest that there is little value in debating for too long whether the organisation is scoring 0, 1 or 2 across the seven P3M3® perspectives. If it is not scoring 3, then there is more value to be gained in establishing what is required to achieve this, whatever the current score might be.
I’d be happy to discuss your requirement for a project management maturity assessment.
I am conveniently based in Milton Keynes and have a very good track record of implementing simple frameworks (of processes, tools and templates) into small and large businesses throughout the UK, across many industries, which greatly improve value from investments. Get in touch or call me on 07725 950775