Instead, a Project Management Maturity Model?
Today, the hot topic-of-the-moment is the Organization Project Management
Maturity Model, or OPM3 for short, now being sold by the Project Management
Institute for $345US (regular single user price). This product is the result
of an extensive volunteer member project effort commenced at around the same
time (May, 1998) as my paper. According to John Schlichter, the original volunteer
program manager, the OPM3 "[will describe] the capabilities likely to
lead organizations managing by projects to become increasingly more capable
in the translation of organizational strategy into successful and consistent
delivery of projects."
The input to the project is derived from interviews, surveys and the opinions of participants. At the end of the day, the result is no doubt a good record of what organizations are doing at each level of defined "maturity". Bear in mind, however, that just because everyone is doing it does not mean to say that it is the right nor the best thing to do. It only tells you what your most formidable competition is doing – which, of course, is a help. More importantly, one wonders how reliable are the findings if the communication issues we listed above still exist.
In spite of attempts over the same period, the project management community has been unable to come up with an agreed project management knowledge structure. In our view, without some structure, and all that necessarily goes with it, it is not possible to conduct effective communication of the issues. Of these issues, perhaps the most important one is: "Where are the gaps in our knowledge of project management?" Without establishing this, any OPM3 must surely fall short.
3. Schlichter, J., Program Plan, September 2000, p4