Best practices an organization can adopt to improve its project management maturity level

Respond

 

Best practices an organization can adopt to improve its project management maturity
level

  • Availability
    of funding for milestone achieved – Milestones should be identified for projects
    that upon completion, funding will be released for the next milestone. In
    addition to improving project maturity, this practice supports capital
    stewardship and financial management.
  • Monitor
    and control financial risks – Financial risks result in cost and schedule
    overrun. This adversely affects project maturity and can lead to loss in market
    share. An organization must monitor its financial risks and implement risk
    response plans to help maintain and improve the project maturity level.
  • Risk
    Management – Risk is an event that if it occurs has a positive or negative
    effect on meeting project objectives (Sanghera, 2010). To improve an
    organization’s maturity level, the executive board should have clear visibility
    of the organization’s risk exposure and be responsible for risk management (www.p3m3-officialsite.com, n.d).
  • Resource
    management – The organization should practice strategic and optimum deployment
    of required project resources. There should be evidence of a balanced resource
    loading and effective use of internal and external resources (www.p3m3-officialsite.com, n.d).

Key
elements of change management to raise the project maturity level of an
organization

The
process of raising an organization’s maturity level involves implementing
certain changes in the organization’s culture. These changes need to be properly
managed in order to achieve the desired objective of improving the maturity
level. Key elements of the change management boarders around the following
factors:

  • Doing
    the right things – This enables an organization to attain and improve on project
    maturity. The right things could be maintaining a staff of PMP certified
    managers, documenting best practices during project execution, and conducting
    post project lessons learned.
  • Doing
    things right – Organizations start doing things right (stop doing things
    wrongly) by learning how to do new things. In Kerzner 2010, a large Midwest
    corporation had a division that was lagging behind in project maturity. An audit
    revealed problems areas such as lack of quality planning, scheduling and
    progress tracking. They were also constantly changing deadlines. Such practices
    need to stop, and then planning, scheduling, and estimating done rightly.
  • Doing
    things better – Every project has an opportunity for improvement which can lead
    to a higher maturity level. Things that can be done better include having
    adequate project documentation, improving project communication, and ensuring
    the right personnel are assign to project teams.
  • Stop
    doing things – When organizations evaluate their performance and maturity,
    certain activities are revealed which do not benefit the organization. Such
    activities will have to be terminated. If employees are going to be affected by
    stopping some activities, they will be given prior information. Reasons for
    stopping will also be documented.
  • Doing
    things other people are doing – Organizations will sometimes need to copy what
    others are doing while improving project maturity. This is however acceptable so
    long as patent and copyright laws are not violated. In addition, recognition is
    given to owners of intellectual property.
  • Doing
    things no one else is doing – This involves thinking differently and creating
    new ways of doing things to achieve better results. An example is (Kerzner,
    2010) where Boeing decided to design and build the Boeing 777 airplane. This
    involved a new change management as the initiative required a new technology and
    a radical change in teamwork which permeated all levels of management.
  • Doing
    things that cannot be done – Sometimes improving project maturity level entails
    doing what was regarded as impossible. Research & Development (R & D)
    organizations continuously implement changes with the hope of achieving the
    impossible. This is particularly necessary in light of the dynamic and ever
    changing environments, which compels organizations to always seek out new ways
    of providing products and services.

The
above is a summary classification of the changes which an organization will make
in order to improve its project maturity level. Improving the project maturity
will be possible if these changes are well managed and there is executive
support to implement the changes.

Most
valuable actions taken by DFCU to improve project management
culture

  • Reassign
    project responsibility from IT to the business units – DFCU established project
    control by changing ownership from IT to the Business unit. Under the ownership
    of IT, most projects had weak sponsorship on the business side and projects were
    not selected in alignment with strategic objectives. Under the business unit
    ownership, the business manager provided project leadership thereby putting
    projects in alignment with business strategy.
  • Simplify
    project management forms and processes – Projects were tracked on a single
    spreadsheet for executive team to review monthly. The spreadsheets were
    simplified such that it was easy to identify any projects at risk thereby
    leading to effective risk management.
  • Use
    project review meetings to set priorities and allocate resources more
    effectively – Executive team had monthly project review meetings where the
    project tacking sheet was analyzed, projects prioritized and decisions taken on
    resource allocations for projects that met DFCU strategic objectives.
  • Removed
    organizational barriers and encouraged input on projects from employees – All
    employees were reminded that it is everyone’s duty to take responsibility for
    the progress of the organization and to speak their minds to management
    regarding any issue.
  • Improve
    project success through pilots and feedback – DFCU commenced pilot test programs
    to obtain real feedback regarding product acceptance from end-users. These
    feedbacks were incorporated into the product line thereby improving product
    quality.

Actions
that did not benefit DFCU very much

DFCU
did not benefit very much from establishing a formal project management (PM)
methodology. This was done under the assumption that if the little PM
implemented by the organization worked well, then more PM tools and templates
would have a greater positive impact. This however did not turn out to be as
maturity in PM is about focusing more on PM culture than on PM tools and
techniques.

References

APMG
in conjunction with the UK Cabinet Office (part of HM Government). (2012) P3M3
Official Site: Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity
Model [Online] Available from:http://www.p3m3-officialsite.com/P3M3Model/P3M3Model.aspx (Accessed:
21 December 2013).

Sanghera,
P (2010) PMP In Depth: Project Management Professional. Study Guide for the PMP
Exam 2nd edn. Course Technology CENGAGE Learning

Kerzner,
H. (2010)Project management best practices:
achieving global excellence
. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley

 

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