Why You Need a Project Management Maturity Assessment

In the same way that project management practitioners can be described as beginner, intermediate or advanced, organizations can also be described as having low, medium, or high levels of project management. These levels of project management reflect the level of organizational project management maturity (OPMM).  Knowing the level of OPMM your organisation is currently at, and also knowing where it should be is essential to help you reach your organisational goals and strategy through better delivery of portfolios, programmes, and projects.

An OPMM assessment will look at all aspects of the way you run portfolios, programmes and projects within the organisation including:

  • Organisational Governance
  • Management controls
  • Methodology
  • Finance and cost estimating
  • Planning and Execution
  • Scheduling and time estimating
  • Stakeholder management and communications
  • Assurance
  • Lessons learned and information management
  • Procurement
  • Risk management
  • Quality management
  • Practitioner capability development

A good assessment will look at all the processes and practices you have, evidence of them being used (or not), and also interview users and key stakeholders either in a workshop or face to face interviews. Once the evidence gathering is completed they can provide scores for individual business units, an organisational score (usually 0-5), benchmarking against others in the industry and a set of prioritized (and achievable) recommendations to move you towards your goal.

A good OPMM assessment provides a benchmark for your future efforts. It lets you know that you are progressing in the right areas. Without it you simply don’t know how well you are doing with your improvement efforts. It’s a good idea to commit to regular OPMM assessments every 18-24 months to check how you are progressing, and to reprioritize recommendations.

Don’t assume that all organizations must be at the top level of maturity, it’s important to consider that the level of OPMM that is desirable for any organisation is directly related to the size, cost, length, complexity and industry of the projects being undertaken. Organizations undertaking highly complex, long term, expensive projects should aim to have a higher level of project management maturity, while organizations and small businesses routinely undertaking short, low cost, low complexity projects may be perfectly suited to a lesser level of project management maturity.

Using an external consultant to assess your level of project management maturity and make recommendations has a number of benefits:

  • A good consultant will make sure that your recommendations are achievable, affordable and appropriate.
  • You get access to their wider experience with many organisations and their insights into best practice
  • The report will be independent and objective

There are several good commercial models available in the market and the benefit of using one of these is that it allows you to more easily benchmark your organisation against others in their database.

I am experienced in using the P3M3, OPM3, HSI 4Q model and bespoke OPMM assessment models and if you have any questions about any aspect of organizational project management maturity please do not hesitate to contact me.