A paper presented to the Project Management Symposium on PM: Project Manager Role Evolution, Rome, Italy, 2004.

Updated 7/3/04

"PMI" and "PMBOK" are the registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute.
Published here July 2004.

Introduction | Characteristics of Project Management
Projects, Programs, and Project Portfolios | Defining Project Categories and Sub-Categories  
Classifying Projects within Categories and Sub-Categories | Project Portfolios
Organizational Capabilities and Maturity in Project Management | PART 2

Organizational Capabilities and Maturity in Project Management

Project Management Maturity Models

"In recent years the use of maturity models has grown in popularity for evaluating where a given organization stands in comparison to its potential and to other organizations in particular areas of management. Improving an organization's project management capabilities generally involves moving up the ladder of whatever maturity model best suits the needs of that organization. Such improvement, however, involves looking at the specific areas of project management and introducing improvements where the greatest payoffs exist, while keeping in mind the total picture of integrated project management principles and practices " (Archibald 2003 p 62). Greater project management maturity is presumed to indicate greater capability for successfully selecting, authorizing, planning, executing, controlling and closing out projects and programs that achieve the strategic goals of the organization.

"Unfortunately, there is no consensus as to the contents of an organizational project management maturity model, or even the principles on which such a standard is constructed. Some 30 existing models serve the market, with more appearing all the time. Books on the subject are now beginning to appear (e.g., Kerzner 2001, Knutson 2001) " (Cooke-Davies et al 2001).

Some of these models are listed on http://www.pmforum.org: go to [The Profession], then 'Standards.'

The basic purposes of all of these maturity models are to:

  1. Assess an organization's current project management capabilities,
  2. Educate and train people involved in project management, and
  3. Enable continued improvement in organizational and individual project management capabilities.

PMI's OPM3: The Project Management Institute has announced that it will release its Organizational Project Management Maturity Model/OPM3 in December 2003 (more information at http://www.opm3info@pmi.org). This elaborate model, developed by a team of some 200 volunteers over a five year period and building on the widely used PMI PMBOK Guide®, consists of four levels (standardizing, measuring, controlling, continuously improving), and relates the five project management process groups identified in the PMI PMBOK Guide® (initiating, planning, controlling, executing, and closing) to each of three levels of application: projects, programs, and project portfolios.

OPM3 will include a database with descriptions of best practices, capabilities, outcomes, and key performance indicators of success, and will interrelate these factors and allow user interrogation. It will be available in CD format with a paperback version of the knowledge element of the model (Fahrenkrog et al 2003, PMI Today Supplement October 2003). PMI expects that OPM3 will be used to assess and improve the project management capabilities and maturity of many types of organizations, as well as to educate practitioners in currently accepted best practices.

Maturity Models in the UK

In the United Kingdom the APM Group (http://www.apmgroup.co.uk) accredits and assesses the capabilities of training organizations, trainers, consultants and practitioners and their organizations in various areas of project management. They do this on behalf of the UK government's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and its PRINCE2 and other project management initiatives. The OGC Successful Delivery Toolkit can be downloaded at http://www.ogc.gov.uk/sdtoolkit.

This Toolkit includes OGC's Project Management Maturity Model, for which the APM Group has recently developed a Maturity Level Assessment Tool for project management organizations to use in determining their current maturity level. The OGC Maturity Model will soon be augmented to include Programme and Portfolio Management, and the assessment tool will likewise be augmented. Only project management consulting organizations that have been accredited by the APM Group are licensed to use the OGC assessment tools.

Japanese P2M

In Japan a major, important initiative is under way: Project and Program Management/P2M (Tanaka 2003, Taketomi 2003), developed by the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan (ENAA) with funds provided by a research grant from the Japanese Government Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI.) Australian Professor Lynn Crawford has stated "the P2M is potentially the most significant advance towards integration and acceptance of the role of project and program management at the enterprise level.

Factors contributing to this significance include:

  • Development with the support of government, industry and professional associations
  • Expected support and application within enterprises, and
  • Being the first guide that develops an approach to enterprise project and program management that starts afresh from the viewpoint of the enterprise. This is in contrast to drawing on project paradigms developed in the context of large, single, physical projects as the day to day business of project based organizations


  • Directly addresses program management (rather than focusing only on single projects)
  • Recognizes and responds to the complexities of fast moving, multi-stakeholder environments
  • Recognizes and addresses the systematic nature of projects and programs " (as quoted in Tanaka 2003, p 2.)

And is briefly described as "integrated program management ... comprised of six management areas:

  1. Profiling management
  2. Architecture management
  3. Program strategy management
  4. Platform management
  5. Program life cycle management, and
  6. Value assessment management"
    (Taketomi 2003). A complete description of P2M has yet to be made available in English.

Chief Projects Officer/CPO

"The next organizational change necessary to enable project management to be fully effective will be to have a CPO managing cross-functional activities and providing the strategic perspectives that every organization needs " (Bigelow 2003).

The most appropriate location for the CPO is probably for him or her to be in charge of the project management office/PMO at corporate or operating division levels.

To be continued

In Part 2 of this series, I shall discuss:

Project Portfolios  Project Portfolios

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