The Project Management Model described in this document is based on the process maturity framework that evolved into the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM).

The SEI experience between 1986-91 indicated that maturity questionnaires provide a simple tool for identifying areas where an organization’s processes may need improvement, but unfortunately, the questionnaire was too often regarded as ‘the model’ rather than as a vehicle for exploring process maturity issues.

It was concluded that developing a descriptive reference model would be beneficial in providing organizations with more practical guidance for establishing process improvement programs. It may also be used as the foundation for systematically building a set of tools, including a maturity questionnaire. The key point is that the model, not a questionnaire, is the basis for improving the project management process.

Like the SEI-CMM, a five-level maturity framework describes the Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM). These levels constitute the structural components that comprise the PMMM.

It is anticipated that the PMMM may be refined and expanded as better practices in the domain of project management evolve. This evolution may lead to new or amended key practices at specific levels of the PMMM.

The descriptive reference model presented in this report can be used in several ways. For example:
  • to understand the key practices that are part of an effective project management process;
  • to identify the key practices that need to be institutionalized to achieve the next maturity level;
  • by organizations wanting to understand and improve their capability to manage projects effectively;
  • by customer organizations wanting to appreciate the risks of a particular service organization, managing their projects;
  • by OGC, User Groups, Consultancies, and ATOs as the basis for developing maturity questionnaires;
  • by accredited service providers in preparing teams to perform project management process assessments or capability evaluations.

Part of the remit of OGC has been to consider why projects fail and the impact of the causes of failure on the actual project outcome. The causes of failure can be placed in the following categories:
  • Design and Definition Failures where the project scope is not clearly defined and required outputs are not clearly described with sufficient clarity.
  • Decision-making Failures are due to an inadequate level of sponsorship and commitment to the project, and no person in authority can resolve issues.
  • Project Discipline Failures, including weak arrangements for managing risks and Inability to manage change In requirements.
  • Supplier Management Failures. Including lack of understanding of supplier commercial Imperatives, poor contractual set-up and management
  • People Failure, Including disconnect between the project and stakeholders, lack of ownership, and cultural issues

The PMMM helps organizations address fundamental aspects of managing projects. Improve the likelihood of a quality result and reduce the likelihood of risks Impacting projects adversely.

The PMMM describes the project-related activities within crucial process areas contributing to achieving a successful project outcome. The PMMM recognizes the project management activities being carried out at the individual project level and within an organization that provides focus and helps sustain the effort to build a project infrastructure of effective project approaches and management practices. In the absence of an organization-wide project infrastructure, repeatable results depend entirely on the availability of specific individuals with a proven track record, and this does not necessarily provide the basis for long-term project success and continuous improvement throughout the organization.

The levels described within the PMMM indicate how key process areas can be structured hierarchically to provide transition states for an organization wishing to set realistic and sensible goals for improvement. The levels facilitate organizational transitions from an immature state to a mature and capable organization with an objective basis for judging project quality and solving issues.

An organization that is judged immature in project management terms may occasionally deliver individual projects that produce excellent results. However, the managers at both an organizational and project level are more likely to work in a reactive mode, i.e., focused on solving immediate issues. Project schedules and budgets are likely to be exceeded because of the lack of sound estimating techniques If deadlines are imposed, project deliverable quality will likely be compromised to meet the schedule. For example. Verification and validation activities. Including reviews may be skimped or dropped if the project falls behind schedule.

A mature organization has an organization-wide ability to manage projects based on standards-defined project management processes that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individual projects. The project approach is communicated to project team members and stakeholders, and project activities are carried out following the project plan and the defined process.

The organization ensures that the defined processes are updated when necessary and improvements are developed and implemented following a sound business case and development plan. Roles and responsibilities for carrying out all project-related activities are defined and are evident throughout the organization.

In a mature organization, managers monitor the project’s progress against the project plan. Including the quality of project deliverables and customer satisfaction. There should be an objective, quantitative basis for judging the quality of project deliverables and analyzing problems With the project deliverables, project approach, or other issues.

The mature organization should have project information from previous projects to evaluate project schedules and budgets, ensure they are realistic, and review project performance.

Learned from previous projects, establishing and institutionalizing project management processes and ensuring that projects acquire the skills and competencies to undertake the necessary activities are of paramount importance. Such endeavors should enable an organization to gain confidence in a project’s ability to deliver the expected project outcomes to cost and schedule and achieve the required quality characteristics.