Project Management

Why the PMO Maturity Model Is Dead

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Let me start this article by saying that I have no problem with the concept of maturity models. I think they provide a very valuable roadmap for organizations to advance their abilities in a number of different areas. And I would suggest that many of those areas relate to organizational project delivery capability—maturing planning from an annual to adaptive approach, adopting organizational agility, empowering project teams, etc.

But when it comes to PMO maturity, I have a real problem. I think it’s completely the wrong way to measure PMO performance and progress in today’s world, and in this article, I want to explain why.

But first, let’s consider whether this is really a problem. Before writing this, I wondered whether it was really a big issue or whether I was just getting a higher-than-normal number of questions about it. Well, if you ask Google about PMO maturity model, you’ll get 284,000 results. Put the phrase in quotes and you’ll still get 2,150 of them. That’s a lot of effort going into something if it’s not actually delivering value.

The problem with PMO maturity models
By definition, maturity models are a generic indicator of performance designed to be applied to multiple different individuals, departments, organizations or industries. They are designed to allow for comparison of the performance of the …

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