Project Management Maturity Model – What is it? Does it Matter? Why Bother?

The origins of the concept of a project management maturity model, is lost in the mists of time. With the evidence of project management skills as far back as the time of the building of the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China and other great wonders of the world . PMP certification – it is quite logical to suppose that there could have been an early model to map the progress of developing project management skills. After all, for an ancient project manager the price of failure came high!

In more recent times the concept of a project management maturity model has evolved considerably from the software industry. There is the need to understand and measure many variables, manage great complexity, obtain consistent results and achieve stringent delivery targets within budget.In 2003 The Centre for Business Practices produced its ‘Project Management – the State of the Industry’ survey. This survey measured organisational improvement over time, as a result of project management improvement programmes.

The highlights of this survey show significant improvements in terms of financial performance, customer retention and satisfaction, project and process improvement, employees satisfaction and productivity, and a dramatic 70% increase in project alignment with strategic objectives. With regard to which model is the “best” or most appropriate for any specific situation [I fully appreciate that project management professionals reading this may disagree with what I am about to say, but] I feel the far bigger challenge is actually in getting ANY model applied.

From that point on, and with director level sponsorship and support – all things are possible. There are many maturity models [I am aware of over 35] and the dominant model is the P3M3 Model created and sponsored by the OGC [UK Office of Government and Commerce] in association the APMG [UK Association of Project Management Group.

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