How a Project Management Maturity Model Helps Your Business

A project management maturity model (PMMM) is a tool used by project-centric businesses. It basically allows organizations to measure the level of success of their project management practices.

This is a very important part of business process optimization. Otherwise, people can keep trying to apply the same technical solutions which have already failed in the past. The more a mistake is repeated, the higher the cost is going to be.

Additionally, poor project management isn’t going to only waste a company’s time and money. In fact, it’ll affect the quality of their service or final product too, as this has already been proven

If you keep delivering low-quality outputs, you’ll quickly run out of business.

Your first step of optimizing your business processes should be signing up for a 2 weeks free trial of Alvanda. Within our platform, you’ll find a variety of ways to assess and improve your current project management level. 

Overall, there are 5 levels which you’ll “climb” with the help of your PMMM.

What is a PMMM? The Simple Definition

Project management maturity itself refers to how professionally a project is managed by a business. The approach, the methodology, the aptitude of the decision-makers.

It’s essential to remember that you must work around your company’s level of maturity. You can’t apply a “one-size-fits-all” approach and expect amazing results. When developing your project management strategy, focus on:

  • The project’s objective.
  • How big or small the scope is.
  • Strategies which you’re going to use.
  • Which deliverables must be completed fast.
  • The amount of resources you have at your disposal.
  • The needs of your team vs. the needs of the client.
  • Which type of workflow suits your project best.

Understand if you’re capable of achieving the planned actions first. There’s no point in promising or agreeing to results which are realistically completely out of an achievable scope.

Once you figure that out, you’ve pinpointed how “mature” your organization is. What kind of complexities it can handle without breaking. But, to make the process easier, you’d use a project management maturity model.

This helps you determine where your business is positioned. The more mature a firm is, the better work it’s going to be able to do (with fewer resources and less cost). 

Be careful about forcibly increasing maturity though. Change is a complicated concept. Too little change that’s too slow and you’ll stagnate. Too much change that’s too fast and it’ll grind everything to a halt. 

It’s tricky to find the perfect balance, but it’s a must.

Project Management Maturity Model – 5 Levels

In essence, a PMMM is a framework. By using it, businesses self-evaluate their readiness for complex projects. PMMMs present standard project management practices. For each of them, you’d place your business on a level from 1 to 5.

While there are plenty of maturity models available, the core concept is the same. Following the original example, you’d have a list of project management processes on the left, with columns for levels on the right.

Then, you grade each process of your business. Afterwards, you’d apply advice from within the project management model to go up in levels. This way, your business can keep improving lackluster processes.

For example:

  • Scope management.
  • Time management.
  • Cost management.
  • Communication management.
  • Risk management.
  • Stakeholder management.
  • Team management.
  • Etc

Level 1: Beginning Stages

Processes are not well defined. Random actions are characteristic to each day. People act individually and are unaware of the bigger picture. There is no type of risk management and no crisis scenarios.

Success is virtually impossible to forecast accurately, as there’s no knowledge of how well the team is going to align its efforts. Communication is chaotic and unplanned. 

Don’t waste a second if you think any of your processes are at level 1. Start using Alvanda to improve how you work and increase stakeholder morale.

Level 2: Structured Processes

There’s a sense of process and procedure, but only on a project-by-project basis. There are no general templates, no project charters, no business cases; plans aren’t as well defined as they should be. 

Change requests cause panic and there’s a big commotion when emergencies appear.

Without a well documented roadmap in place, tasks aren’t planned ahead of time. Work is being done as it seems to be needed. The project’s success depends on key decision-makers within the organization, not on the project manager. 

Information is not centralized, eventually getting to the appropriate people in one way or another. Delays are frequent and begin to even be expected, even though there’s theoretically a process for doing things. 

Team members tend to work as it suits them best, but the work gets done.

Level 3: Organizational Standards & Norms

Processes and procedures get standardized and well documented. Adherence to workflows and agreed methodologies is a must, with people being kept in check. Management is actively involved in organizing and directing the efforts of their teams.

Departmental managers also regularly report to the project manager, who oversees the whole progress from a bird’s eye view. Procedures are implemented correctly, with information flowing and being accessible. 

People aren’t surprised by requirements and deliverables are finished on time. There’s a crisis response team at the ready, with risk management being a priority since the beginning stages of the project.

The tasks of employees are clearly defined, and the appropriate people are picked from the get-go. Employees are also fully aware of what they should report to management and what they should share with their colleagues. In other words, dependencies are clear.

Teams also tend to be more agile and maneuverable. There are processes in place for revisions, change requests or extra features.

Level 4: Accurate Forecasts

With all the proper processes and procedures in place, businesses are able to aptly determine the success likelihood of a project. The project manager is aware of the status of the work being done and the productivity of all teams involved at an organizational level.

Metrics are in place for a variety of practices and project requirements. The company can create a very good estimate of how many hours the project will take to complete, what skills are needed and how much it’s going to cost.

If there’s a possibility for problems to arise, this is known beforehand. Countermeasures are already in place to prevent delays and roadblocks. Tasks are carefully tracked and managed via a platform like Alvanda.

Level 5: Continuous Optimization

Since all project management best practices are already in place, the focus is no longer on making sure the project is feasible. If it was accepted, the organization is already sure that they have the resources and the means of achieving it. 

Level 5 means that the company has complete faith that the project management process is being done accurately, efficiently and with a focus on achievable goals.

Now is the time for improving what already works. Regardless of how well you do a job, there’s always room for some improvement. 

Performances (of the project manager, of the team, of communication flows, etc) are recorded, documented, and improvement opportunities are signaled as they arise.

Advancing in Maturity Levels (3 Steps)

While “officially” described in levels, a project management maturity model is a flexible notion. Think of the levels as guidelines, not rigid rules. By applying more and more recommendations, you improve the performance of your business’s project management.

Focus on process development in steps. You can’t go from level 1 practices to level 5 instantly. Adopt more and more complexities as you grow in scale and scope.

1. Set Achievable Goals

Levels 2 – 5 each bring their own benefits. You don’t need to leap to level 5 practices to reap rewards. Take improvements gradually, making sure you make each of them work in their own right. 

Correct maturity assessment and development depends on you taking the unique aspects of your organization into account. Emphasize the points which are crucial for you.

2. Collaborate Internally

Better project maturity will be helpful to all team members. Communicate openly and explain why you must improve your processes, procedures and project management. Highlight that you’re essentially trying to create a better work environment and culture for everyone. 

Less headaches, better productivity,  higher profit, assured growth for the whole company.

3. Develop Constantly

Reaching new heights in project maturity isn’t a “one and done” type of deal. If you reach your initial goal, that’s great! However, don’t stop there. Review your current strategies, plans, practices. Think of how you can always make them better. If possible, see what your competition is doing. Above all, be open to learning and optimizing.

Improve Your Operational Efficiency

If you’re looking for the best tools to help you create a project management maturity model, look no further. We’ve built Alvanda from the ground up to be the ultimate project management software.

Not only is it cloud-based, but it’s designed to fulfill the needs of both managers and employees. For example:

  • Automated reports.
  • File sharing.
  • Real time process updates.
  • Deadline tracking and management.
  • Intuitive tools for business scalability.
  • Built-in inline support features.
  • Automated escalation of delays.
  • Faster and more efficient onboarding.
  • A focus on productivity and morale.

Start handling your projects better today!