The Thinking Leader’s Project Management Process Maturity Model

Organizations and people strive to be mature. The question is how do you assess maturity? Some in the project management community strongly believe that creation and adherence to many processes equates to maturity.

Project management process maturity is in the eye of the beholder.

This means the amount of process should be dependent upon the context of the organization and more process does not necessarily result in more maturity.

Presuming the organizational leaders have identified the right amount of processes that best fit their organizational context, the thinking leader’s project management process maturity model can be characterized with three simple questions.

  1. Do we have a process?
  2. Do we follow the process to execute the work?
  3. Do we improve the process?

Answering these three questions and assessing the root cause for non-compliance, and the impact of non-compliance allows the thinking leader to keep a good grasp on process maturity.

Some consulting organizations specialize in taking something that is straightforward, transforming it into a complex model and then use their reputation to sell the model to the masses as a solution to their problems.  Contrast the three questions above for the thinking leader, with one well known project management process maturity model that has more than 200 pages and over 1400 hundred recognized contributors that are identified in the document by name! Yes, I counted them, over 1400! It brings to mind a quote by a famous psychiatrist.

A collection of 100 great brains makes one big fathead” – Carl Jung

1400 great brains must make a ginormous fathead? If you believe a 200 plus page document with over a thousand contributors is the solution to your organizational problems, then break out your company’s check book because this project management process maturity model recommends you hire someone certified in its use to provide a rigorous assessment. You and your leadership team must not be capable enough to do it yourself after studying the 200 pages.

Here’s a tip… “If you can’t understand it in 3 minutes and/or it can’t be clearly explained in a single page or less, odds are it is too complicated to be of value to your organization.”

I recognize many in the project management community may not agree with this article and will cite the successes sophisticated maturity models and processes have provided organizations.  I am not disputing the value of these instances, however it has been my experience that most of the value that results from sophisticated assessments occurs when the organization has to get the basics, the fundamentals in place to allow use of the model or process.  These basics or fundamentals are easily achieved without the complex assessment, by a thinking leader.

Copyright 2017 SEBA® Solutions Inc.  All Rights Reserved

Posted by Dr. James Brown in Program Management, Project Management.


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