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Project Maturity Models and Benefits

Project management maturity models help organisations baseline their current project delivery capability and efficiency, against a recognised industry framework and enable them to design and develop a roadmap to support their future capability goals. 

With models to guide your evaluation and governance, you can improve your organisation’s project delivery performance and  results. In this article, we’ll look at different types of project maturity models. But first, let’s examine their overall benefits.

Benefits of Project Maturity Models

To remain competitive, businesses can use project maturity models to guide constant improvements during project development. What specific benefits can these models provide?

  • Consistency
  • Cost savings
  • Self-improvement
  • Process improvement
  • Market demand
  • Performance demand.

Why Use a Model?

Without a model of how a project works, which functions it requires, and how those functions interact, it’s difficult to lead improvement efforts. A maturity model provides an understanding of discrete elements and helps to formulate language and discussion about what needs to be improved and how to achieve such improvements. 

Different Types of Project Maturity Models

Researchers and practitioners have developed several different types of project maturity models, including the following.

Axelos P3M3 Model

Also known as the Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management Maturity Model, this model evaluates entire systems instead of just processes. The current version of P3M3 (version 3.0) includes:

  • Increased scope
  • Asset management
  • Commercial management
  • Behaviours
  • Increased diagnostic capacity.

Sub-models in the P3M3 maturity model include the following:

  • Portfolio Management (PfM3)
  • Programme Management (PgM3)
  • Project Management (PjM3).
  • Structure of P3M3 Benefits of P3M3
  • How to get the most from P3M3
  • P3M3 Maturity Model.

Each of these sub-models is further broken down into seven perspectives: organisational governance, management control, and management of benefits, risk, stakeholders, finances and resources. 

The P3M3 model has five maturity levels:

  • Level 1: awareness
  • Level 2: repeatable
  • Level 3: defined
  • Level 4: managed
  • Level 5: optimised

With such clearly defined assessments, P3M3 allows businesses to determine their strengths and weaknesses in delivering change.

PMI OPM3 Model

The Project Management Institute (PMI) published the Organisational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3™) in 2003. This project maturity model consists of three directories, and it provides nearly six hundred best practices related to the project management field.

OPM3 is multi-dimensional. The model categorises capabilities with a combination of five process groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Controlling
  • Closing.

In the OPM3 project maturity model, there are three interlocking elements: Knowledge, Assessment, and Improvement. Through the system’s progressive dimensions, businesses continually improve their ability to deliver successful projects.

3PM Maturity Optimisation Matrix

The 3PM Maturity Optimisation Matrix template enables your organisation to assess current capabilities, identify strengths and weaknesses, plan where you want to be in the future and implement improvements in a clear, structured way.

Available in MS Excel format, the 3PM Maturity Optimisation Matrix provides clear guidance on how to take your project from where it is now to where you need it to be.

You can download this valuable digital resource here

Are There Other Project Maturity Models?

The project maturity models mentioned above are not the only ones currently being used by global businesses. For instance, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie-Mellon University developed a process maturity framework for software development with assistance from the Mitre Corporation. Some models work better than others for certain industries and businesses.

We can help you determine which project maturity model would work best for your organisation and industry.

Why are Project Maturity Assessments Important?

Project maturity assessments determine what project delivery capabilities exist within the organisation. With this information, project managers have a firm grasp on how much their teams can handle.

Stages of Project Maturity Uplift

The purpose of project maturity models is to lift business’s capability and efficiencies when it comes to completing projects. Let’s look at the three stages of project maturity uplift.

1. ‘As Is’ assessment: Establishing a baseline from which to measure progress.

2. Design the ‘To be’: Outlining the desirable future state of the project.

3. Build a roadmap to achieve desired future state: How will you get from here to there? What processes and resources will be required to make genuine progress?

Where Do You Go from Here?

You’re a busy project manager responsible for your organisation’s project management maturity improvement program. Approach this project like all the others by planning before you start. Then, use these tips to proceed:

  • Hire an outside consultant to be “your expert voice” and guide
  • Choose an appropriate maturity model
  • Administer the maturity assessment
  • Determine your organisation’s change readiness
  • Define the desired future state of your business
  • Achieve alignment across people, process and technology
  • Construct the itinerary for overall improvements (including specific tasks with measurable milestones)
  • Address your change resistors and develop plans to address them
  • Conduct periodic reassessments to track progress.

All along the way, make sure to keep lines of communication open with everyone involved. 
If you’re not sure where to begin, download the 3PM Maturity Optimisation Matrix, and get in touch with us at MetaPM to set up a consultation.

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