Project Management Maturity-Where Does Your Organization Lie?

The project management maturity model is a concept that shows how your project management methods evolve over time. Just like your company changes its procedures, technology, and employee as it expands, it also upgrades its management approach. Note that PMM is not a hard-and-fast rule. It is a rather flexible approach that gives you a glimpse of the features and traits of a great project management process.

It doesn’t guarantee that your company will move between different levels and adapt to the latest management approaches. But, if the PMM concept is implemented correctly, chances are your organization and the team will move from one level to another without facing any challenges. How long it takes your business to shift its management approach depends on your growth plans and the company culture.

Keep reading to learn more about the project management maturity model, how it’s implemented, and how to determine which level you are in currently.

What is a Project Management Maturity?

Understanding the project management maturity will help you assess your organizational status, how your business is progressing, and how mature your methodologies are. The main purpose of a project management maturity concept is to help organizations improve in all aspects of their business functions.

In terms of visual appearance, the PMM concept is a matrix consisting of 5 columns and 10 rows that cover each factor determining the success of an organization. The column represents the maturity levels, while the rows show the knowledge areas. It’s possible for different businesses to be in varying maturity levels. Here are the five maturity levels that your business can be in.

Initial Process

Most startups and small businesses are at the lowest maturity level. If your business is in the initial process, you execute tasks randomly, and it’s challenging to figure out a company's success since the projects are not managed the right way.

Different departments across your organization might implement varying project management methodologies, which might result in a lack of coordination between them and poor execution. The teams do not measure the success metrics, resulting in difficulty in evaluating the organization's growth. Every business starts with the initial process. While it’s the lowest level of maturity, it’s often a starting point.

What’s important is that you understand that you lack the right documentation and project management strategy and work together to grow from here.

Structured Process & Standards

The second level implies that your company implements project management strategies for individual projects, but each department follows different management approaches. For instance, the marketing department can have a completely unique approach to managing projects than the sales or purchase team.

While this may work for department-wise projects, it can create chaos if each department has to work together to complete a complex project. Simply put, the company doesn’t establish a project management methodology for each project. Instead, they might shift the processes depending on the type of project.

As far as metrics are concerned, businesses might evaluate basic metrics, but they hardly give a broader picture of the company’s success. If you have just moved from the initial phase to the structured process, you are doing great.

Organizational Standards

Businesses at this level have a well-established project management system that’s followed across all departments within the organization. The management team takes care of all changes and implementations in the company, and metrics are evaluated regularly, but not for strategic planning.

The organization has established a contingency plan for emergency requirements so that the company wouldn't shut down permanently if something were to go wrong or an unexpected event took place. The management is also aware of the different project management methodologies and how to move from one level to another.

Managed Processes

Once you reach the fourth level of Project Management Maturity, you already possess all the prominent qualities from the third stage and develop plans to move ahead with your organization's goals and management strategies.

If you are in the fourth phase, you already have documentation and a standard management plan that’s implemented for all projects and across the entire organization. This ensures seamless collaboration between different teams on all kinds of projects. During this time, the business starts evaluating all metrics, and they track past performances to establish a standard for future projects.

At this phase, the management has a clear idea of what to do to achieve organizational success. They will carefully review the documentation, past metrics, and other performance standards to ensure that their future projects are accomplished successfully.

Optimizing Process

This is the final stage of project management maturity. Once you have reached this stage, you have already implemented the best management methodology, and now your focus is on optimizing these processes to ensure they are tailored to your individual needs.

A critical part of this stage is continuous improvement. The organization is supposed to adjust its processes to improve its productivity and boost organizational efficiency. A mature business takes all kinds of metrics into consideration when developing a strategic plan. Not only do you calculate these metrics regularly, but your team is supposed to report the project’s status and success to the head of the team after every project.

Moving Between Different Levels of Project Management Maturity

Moving from one management level to another requires teamwork. If you are stuck in a specific PMM phase and can’t seem to drive your team to the upper maturity level, take a look at the 10 knowledge areas and measure your performance for each. This will give you a better idea of where your business lies currently and how you can move it to an upper level.

You must start with measuring metrics and setting a standardized project management practice for all projects. Keep re-evaluating these metrics to ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page and is well-versed with the project management methodology you have implemented. Suppose you are at the first level of maturity. Moving to the second level requires a proper project management plan. And for the third phase, you need to focus on the evaluation and documentation of the metric.

Updated on: 08-Feb-2023


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