At present, in organizations in any market or segment, the project-oriented management approach has momentum. In order to quickly and timely respond to emerging changes, more and more organizations are becoming aware of the need to standardize project portfolio management practices. The unified algorithm for developing a project management standard for organizations in facilitates the work of specialists and speeds up the life cycle of the projects themselves.
The basis of this algorithm is a combination of portfolio management and models for assessing the level of maturity, determining the feasibility of developing a standard. Based on the analysis of existing models for assessing maturity, a list of the main characteristics (presence of which indicates the organization’s readiness to develop a project management standard) was formulated.
It enables the company’s management to decide on the standardization or on preparatory activities towards standardization. The proposed algorithm is available for use in virtually any company in any market or segment, regardless of the size or stage of the life cycle, and allows companies to standardize project management processes as soon as possible.
However, not every organization has clearly standardized project management processes, not to mention the presence of a corporate project management system developed and implemented in the company’s operations. In most of the small and medium-sized businesses, the project and portfolio management is based on the experience, knowledge, and skills of individual qualified specialists (which in itself is a high risk for the organization).
PPM maturity models can be used to manage programs, portfolios, and projects with different characteristics (size, budget, industry, and country). In this white pager, we will focus on the OPM3 model – a model of project management maturity (Project Management Maturity Model, PM3). It has been a standardized strategy, and it has been able to achieve its goals consistently, reliably, and predictably.
Don’t Ask What You Can Do for OPM3, Ask What OPM3 Can Do for You!
Like anything else that grows, go through stages of maturity as it becomes more efficient and makes the transition from reactive to proactive. This maturing process results in more projects complying with standards, meeting and exceeding requirements, and concluding successfully. OPM3 is designed to provide a wide range of benefits to organizations, senior management, and employees engaged in PPM activities.
Some benefits of using OPM3 are as follows:
- Strengthens the link between strategic planning and execution, so project outcomes are predictable, reliable, consistent, and correlate with organizational success;
- Identifies the best practices which support the implementation of organizational strategy through successful projects;
- Identifies the specific capabilities which make up the best practices, and the dependencies among those capabilities and best practices;
This model entails five stages an organization goes through as it matures from its infancy to a fully-grown business entity. Knowing where you are in the maturity model enables your organization to identify areas of improvement, while also establishing goals for where you want your PPM to be in the future.
- Level 1 – The Initial – At this level, processes are just becoming defined. There isn’t a high level of sophistication in project portfolio management. Many processes are used for very specific purposes, instead of being rolled out across multiple tasks to leverage efficiency. In addition, there is little integration with the rest of the organization. Management is aware of the PPM efforts, but isn’t necessarily on board with its use at this point.
- Level 2 – Emerging Discipline – The PPM is growing up a bit, it obtains structured standards. Basic processes have been established, but they’re only being used on the biggest or most high-profile projects and portfolios. Management is now more onboard. It encourages the use of the PPM, by using knowledge and tools to create project plans, estimates, and schedules. Reporting though may be inconsistent and even basic.
- Level 3 – Initial Integration – By now, processes are standardized across the organization and are repeatable. Reporting is much more detailed. Project plans, estimates, and schedules are based on organizational standards and institutionalized processes, as well as best practices, lessons learned, and historical data.
- Level 4 – Effective Integration – The project portfolio management’s processes are now integrated with corporate processes, like reporting and data analysis, and management is mandating compliance with the project portfolio management, which is now able to provide in-depth analysis of project performance. Additionally, project plans, estimates, and schedules are now regularly derived from historical organizational data and performance.
- Level 5 – Effective Innovation – Optimizing the process is not a long-term goal, but a day-to-day reality at this point. PMOs and executives now have a system in place to measure project efficacy and efficiency. On top of it, there are processes to ensure that project performance continues to improve, instead of remaining constant. Finally, management is heavily focused on the continuous improvement of the PPM programs.
Now that you’re aware of the five levels of project portfolio management maturity. You can begin to assess your PPM efforts to see where it falls within the stages and determine the necessary steps to take it to the desired level.
While you’re evaluating your PPMMM, you should also check on your current project management software.
Does the application you’re using today fit the current state of your efforts? Can it scale to meet your needs in the future?
The concept of using a PPM Maturity Model helps organizations realize their full potential. Knowing your maturity level allows you to move from a basic way of managing work to more sophisticated levels of project portfolio management best practices, methods, tools, and technologies.
Matching an organization’s growth pattern to the PPM Maturity Model empowers that organization to take full advantage of its current level while growing into a more advanced enterprise. This growth is supported by sound PPM practice.
As you can see in the table above, at any level of PPM maturity, PPM Express can become an ally to your cause.
It helps you to:
- Improve the odds of project success.
- Build enterprise-wide PPM practices.
- Focus first on helping executives and PMOs make well-informed decisions and choices.
- Identify objectives for your enterprise and use them to identify the most salient improvement opportunities.
- Meticulously manage the change involved in maturing/improving your capabilities.