A Practical Guide to Improving PM Maturity

Bob Tarne, PMP, CSM is an accomplished consultant, speaker, and writer. He is currently an Engagement Manager with IBM as well as an active volunteer with the Project Management Institute. His blog can be found at zen-pm.blogspot.com.


Project management maturity goes hand in hand with schedule and cost performance, project quality and customer satisfaction, according to research. Here is an overview of how to measure your organization’s level of maturity; how to implement step-by-step improvements and validate them; and, finally, what to do if your efforts stall.

Project management maturity is the progressive development of an enterprise-wide project management approach, methodology, strategy and decision-making process. The appropriate level of maturity will vary for each organization based on specific goals, strategies, resource capabilities, scope and needs. Achieving a high level of maturity just for the sake of it is not an effective approach.
 
While there are many models currently available to assess project management maturity, the model that I have used successfully many times over is aligned with the one described in the book Project Management Maturity Model, by J. Kent Crawford (2002). This model follows the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model's (CMM) five evolutionary maturity levels, and examines maturity development across nine knowledge areas in the Project Management Institute's (PMI) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide).
 
The five project management maturity levels are defined as follows:
 
Level 1Initial Process:

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Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.

- Frank Leahy