Project management maturity guided design

This article is copyrighted material and has been reproduced with the permission of Project Management Institute, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited.

Introduction

The facilitators, with a combined 40 years of project management (PM) experience in the government sector, will introduce PM maturity levels as suggested by the widely proven SEI Capability Maturity Model (CMM®), surveyed against the nine knowledge areas in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®). Attendees will participate in facilitator-coached small workgroups to define PM processes and features in evidence at each maturity level. Participants will share ideas and solve problems. Attendees will gain insight on introducing or expanding project management practices within their organizations. Each group will brief out and every participant will take away tools to assist in increasing project management maturity in their workplace. Session summaries will be provided via Email to all interested participants providing this contact information.

Session attendees will participate in defining the characteristics of increasing project management maturity across all nine knowledge areas defined in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) – 2000 Edition (PMI, 2000). A brief introduction will reference publications including the PMBOK (PMI, 2000), Government Extension to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMI, 2002), Pennybacker and Grant's “Project Management Maturity: An Industry Benchmark” (Pennypacker & Grant, 2003), Craig Hoard's “Hierarchy of Skills: Laying a Foundation for Project Management Maturity (Hoard, 2003), and The New York State Project Management Guidebook, Release 2 (New York State Office for Technology, 2003). Attendees will define specific items for identifying and increasing project management maturity, both generic and specific to government entities, which they may apply in their own organizations.

Project Management Maturity is an area that is getting a great deal of attention in the professional project management community. A number of project management maturity models and theories have been developed. Pennypacker and Grant's research provided a “cross-industry benchmark of project management maturity”. (Pennypacker & Grant, 2003) They document “nearly 67% of the organizations are currently at an overall project management maturity level of 2 (out of 5) or below.” (p. 4) Obviously, there is a great deal of room for improvement. The model documented in their article, of identifying maturity across the nine knowledge areas, at each of the five SEI (Software Engineering Institute) levels, will provide a framework for the design portion of the session.

Hoard emphasizes that the development of skills is the foundation for maturity across all knowledge areas (Project Integration Management, Scope Management, Time Management, Cost Management, Quality Management, Project Human Resources Management, Communications Management, Risk Management, and Procurement Management (PMI, 2000)). Further, he draws comparisons to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, proposing that skills must be built from the ground up and cannot skip levels but must include all of the interim building blocks. (Hoard, 2003) Participants will be invited to identify what specific skills must be developed to support increasing the project management maturity of an organization.

Why do we care about the project management maturity of an organization? The New York State Project Management Guidebook, Release 2 (New York State Office for Technology 2003, Section II:5 p. 64) lists several benefits of increasing Project Management Maturity including:

  • Improved Stakeholder and Customer satisfaction
  • Improved quality and robustness of deliverables and products
  • Shortened and more predictable delivery times
  • Cost reductions in development and support
  • A shift in organizational culture from reactive to proactive
  • Implementation of performance measurements organizationally, as well as by project

Participants will be invited to share their own experiences in challenging and expanding this list of benefits. Being able to articulate not only what needs to be done, but also why and how it will benefit an organization is a key to gaining the support of executive management.

Why is Project Management Maturity somewhat unique in government entities? While many project management skills and techniques can be applied in any environment, government projects operate in a culture that, while common in the public sector, is often quite different from private concerns. As documented in the Government Extension to the PMBOK (PMI, 2002), government projects often have opposition stakeholders – people who want the project to fail. Many projects result from legislative mandates and have specific legal restrictions and requirements. Budgets are often approved one year at a time and must often be planned up to two years in advance. Project Management is just beginning to gain recognition as a professional discipline in some governments. Functional managers with little or no project management training are often the ones managing projects. There are many other challenges unique to government, which participants will both identify and then brainstorm steps to overcoming these challenges as part of increasing the project management maturity of their organizations.

As we work up through the levels of maturity we will move from control through support to continuous improvement. At the initial level processes are ad hoc and undefined. At level 2, process definition begins and processes become repeatable. Level 3 includes defined processes that have been integrated into an embraced standard. At the fourth level the defined processes measure quality. Measures of the processes are used to adjust and improve the standards. Then, at the most mature level, processes are optimized and continuously improved. Defects are prevented and root causes are addressed, as opposed to correcting defects as they occur. Identifying specific artifacts of each maturity level, for each of the knowledge areas, will provide a basis for determining an organization's current level of project management maturity, and ideas for specific areas that will need to be addressed to increase the maturity and, therefore, the benefits which project management provides to the organization.

Hoard, C. A. (2003) Hierarchy of Skills: Laying a Foundation for PM Maturity. Retrieved 7/20/2003 from www.gantthead.com

New York State Office for Technology (2003) The New York State Project Management Guidebook, Release 2 Albany, NY: New York State Office for Technology.

Pennypacker, J. S. & Grant, K.P. (2003, March) Project Management Maturity: An Industry Benchmark. Project Management Journal, 34(1), pp. 4-11.

Project Management Institute (2000) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Project Management Institute (2003) Government Extension to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

Proceedings of PMI® Global Congress 2003 – North America
Baltimore, Maryland, USA ● 20-23 September 2003

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

Advertisement

Publishing or acceptance of an advertisement is neither a guarantee nor endorsement of the advertiser's product or service. View advertising policy.