The project management maturity in an organization is an important guidepost for its project managers. In some organizations this process leads to bureaucratic procedures, endless documentation and paperwork. These waste a great deal of time and have no beneficial impact on their project success rates. In other organizations, the project management processes mature by becoming leaner and more efficient. They positively and substantially contribute to the project success rate. Careful executive management of four elements of an organization’s project management process is the key to taking the efficient path versus to the bureaucratic one. Let’s discuss each of these elements.
Project Management Maturity: The Project Management Office (PMO)
Project Management Maturity: Estimating Database
The single biggest benefit of the project archives is in improving the accuracy of the cost and duration estimates. The archives contain data on how much work/cost the project tasks required. Every professional firm and consulting organization maintains an archive of data on previous projects. They know they can’t make money if their estimates are inaccurate. That’s why they invest substantial sums in organizing the project archives. Organizations that are consistently successful with projects always have an archive of completed projects because it makes their project managers more efficient and saves them from making the same mistakes again.
Project Management Maturity: Consistency Without Bureaucracy
Project Management Maturity: Periodic Assessments
Organizations need to examine how their project management processes are maturing. They should do the following:
- Ensure that the individual project managers’ skills and techniques are keeping pace with current practice
- Ensure that project sponsors understand their role and how to direct the project managers who work for them
- Assess the value of the company’s project archives and ensure they’re saving time and improving accuracy.
You can assess where your organization is positioned in this project management maturity process. Look at two metrics in addition to the aspects of the project processes listed above. First, look at the density of projects in the organization. How many people are working on multiple projects? That tells you about the level of contention for resources by on-going projects. The second metric is the project failure rate and the trends in that failure rate. Are they increasing or decreasing?
Project Management Maturity: Implementing a Project Management Process
As organizations strive to improve their project performance and become consistently successful, one of the least expensive steps that produces significant benefits is implementing a project management process. This requires the project sponsors and project managers to agree on the steps and templates to be used as well as the data elements to be archived. The use of archived data and template have the largest impact and start paying benefits in a few months. Other elements can be added to the project management process to achieve consistency in status reporting, scheduling, variance reporting and change control.
You can learn more about using an effective project management process in our online project management courses. You work privately and individually with a expert project manager. You control the schedule and pace and have as many phone calls and live video conferences as you wish. Take a look at the course in your specialty.
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