Project Management Maturity
Each project is a microcosm of the organization. Each successful project contributes positively to the organizational strategy. The project could be for a client or internal organization – to deliver a product or a service of quality, it brings together a cross-functional team, working for a common goal – project success.
An organization typically, at any point in time, will have several projects ongoing – Each one of them matters – if anyone doesn’t – then it should not have been approved in the first place
When we review the way, these projects are managed cumulatively, it throws a lot of questions.
Who is responsible for ensuring these projects succeed as a whole?
Is it sufficient that you have provided resources for the projects?
Are individual reports received by sponsors good enough?
Are best practices among project managers shared?
What sort of induction do the PMs go thru?
Are the projects and their progress reviewed continuously, cumulatively?
Do we know, if we still want to do this project?
How do we know that we have chosen the best projects amongst several that were requested?
Is leadership invested and informed to support change for the large internal projects?
Are you investing too much time in the governance of projects?
Now let's look at what would make a portfolio of projects successful.
Sponsorship, PM capabilities, communication are factors common to project success and portfolio success. We believe that the PMO is the pivot that can make for effective and efficient portfolio management.
Before we go on – let's define the PMO
Quoting from an article in CIO.com
“A project management office (PMO) is a group — internal or external to a company — that sets, maintains and ensures standards for project management across that organization. They’re the keepers of best practices, project status, and direction — all in one spot.
A good PMO
Provides tangible, repeatable, long-term benefits to the business
Aligns with corporate strategy and culture
Is agile enough to adapt as strategy shifts
Is a key enabler for the high-performing organization
Integrates data and information from corporate strategic projects/supports the balanced scorecard
Enables sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques for project success across the enterprise
Identifies and develops project management methodology, best practices, and standards
Coaches, mentors, trains and provides oversight for project managers and staff “
Bottomline – PMO is not just a department that chases for data and produces reports
At EPS, we have successfully used below levels, categories and the underlying attributes for each level determine maturity level of a PMO and chart a path forward.
A PMO needs to be assessed for the level of maturity it’s at and next level. This assessment is not for a certification, but for ensuring that organizations assets are put to best use and strategy is achieved.
PMO function categories
PMO functions can be classified into 5 categories and then attributes for each function can be reviewed to assess the maturity level
Strategic Planning and Management:
Practices deployed in selection and management of a portfolio of projects to ensure that Portfolio is aligned to strategic objectives
Direct Project Management:
Practices deployed in managing project managers and providing direction on project management to ensure the organization has competent project managers, capable of deploying standard methodologies
Monitoring and Controlling Project Performance:
Practices deployed in monitoring and tracking of project program and portfolio performance to ensure standard measurement of project performance and reporting
Development and Continual Improvement of Project Management Competencies and Methodologies:
Practices deployed in standardization, adoption, and improvement of project management practices to ensure standard methodology, PMIS, PM training
Organizational Learning and Organizational Assets Management:
Practices deployed in capturing, sharing and management of PM knowledge specifically lessons learned to ensure knowledge management & lessons learned
EasyProblemSolving can assess your PMO maturity and provide a path forward. This model has been curated by Shishir, who has had rich experience in conceptualizing and implementing the Global PMO practice in Fortune 500 company. Reach out to him for a chat