Creating a Project Management Methodology – Assessing Your Process Maturity

Be sure to consider your current level of organizational process maturity when deciding if a project management methodology is for you! Many times, sound project management methods don’t thrive because an organization and the people in it aren’t ready for the change that such a process brings.

There are a number of project management maturity models out there that can be used to assess your organization’s project or process maturity level. If you are mainly an IT shop, consider using the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) as the basis for your evaluation. Project management is one component of this model as it relates to successful IT projects.

For organizations that prefer to focus specifically on project management capabilities regardless of project type, take a look at either the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) or the Great Britain’s Office of Government and Commerce’s (OGC) Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3).

Another key factor is the ability and maturity of your organization when changing the way they do things. Implementing a new method asks a great deal from the business who funds the projects and the team members who get the work done. It is essential that folks from technical, business and operational areas embrace, apply and continuously improve a project management methodology in order to achieve maximum success during its use.

There are two ways that I have seen this done: top down and bottom up. Top down involves senior management buy-in to both create and apply the methodology. The full process is deployed all at once and team members be given training in how to use the method on their projects. Bottom-up implementations typically start as a single project-level effort targeting successful use of the method prior to deploying it across multiple projects within an organization.

In either case, your organization’s level of process maturity will impact the implementation of their project management methodology. Be sure to take the time to assess your level of process maturity in order to hedge your bets for a successful project management methodology creation and implementation!

Susan Weese

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