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DIY Maturity Assessment

As part of our PMO Trends for 2022, we mentioned that a lot more PMO practitioners were looking for maturity assessments they could pick up and use themselves – rather than going down the route of a P3M3 assessment which involves bringing in a consultancy firm.
The P3M3 route can be expensive and take a considerable length of time and commitment however there are other ways for the PMO to gain an understanding of where their organisations are in terms of maturity and that’s by offering a Do-It-Yourself option.
It’s useful for a PMO to be able to get a sense of how their organisation stacks up against a standard – carry out an assessment and be able to pinpoint some of the areas where decisions and actions need to be made in order to improve maturity.
PMOs are also looking at maturity models because by their very nature it provides a link to measures – and gives an insight into how the PMO services are contributing to project success. A PMO maturity assessment would also give insights into what services the PMO should be looking to amend or add both in the long and short term. A Do-It-Yourself PMO assessment enables the PMO to take what might be a gut instinct about what they’re doing is helping the business meet its strategic goals and start to monitor performance more objectively and ultimately have those quantitative measures to drive the right behaviours, skills and services forward.
In this session we were joined by Adrian Dooley, creator of Praxis Framework, which has a maturity assessment for projects, programmes and portfolios which can be accessed – free of charge – used and the outcomes recorded. It’s called Maturity 360.
Alongside Adrian, Eileen looked at the PMO side of maturity assessments – why carry them out and how the PMO can use them to improve on their own service offerings for the business. If your PMO is interested in the contribution it makes to the improved maturity of project delivery in your organisation – and of course the improvements in the successful delivery of projects – this session shows how you can do that by doing-it-yourself.
 

The Recorded Session

 

 

The Session Deck

> Available to download
 

 

The Top Five Takeaways

 
When we’re talking about Maturity Assessments in this session, we are talking explicitly about being able to assess the maturity of your organisation’s projects, programmes and portfolios.
It’s not about individual assessments – that’s what Competency Frameworks are for (the PMO Competency Framework being a great example)
We are also not talking about a maturity assessment for the PMO – mainly because there really isn’t an accepted assessment widely available – although many PMOs do look at the maturity of their PMOs, often using metrics and KPIs to do that.
A PMO can definitely understand how mature it is based on the organisation they are working within and also what the outcomes are for assessments done on the projects, programmes and portfolios. It’s down to the PMO to be able to understand how much of their work has an impact at project, programme and portfolio and what their contribution has been (to either affect a high or low assessment score)
 

 

The Paradox

 
I think many of us will understand and recognise Cobb’s Paradox:
We know why projects fail; we know how to prevent their failure – so why do they still fail?
For many of us who have taken part in lessons learnt events and lived through many projects we still see failures. The objective of a PMO is to help our organisation’s projects, programmes and portfolios succeed so we absolutely have a part to play to overcoming this paradox.
One thing the Praxis Framework is there to do is help organisations get better at utilising all that good project management practice that has been created over the years – and use it in a way which will help minimise the failures.
Good practice consists of knowledge, competence, methods and maturity. That’s where the assessments fit in – we need to understand how and where things are happening, or not happening – make it transparent before solutions can be proposed to make improvements.

Checklists

 
 
A great book recommendation and something that all PMO people should relish. It’s The Checklist Manifesto

We all love a good checklist in the PMO – even if many think its unfashionable and not quite in keeping with this ‘agility, deliver fast, minimal control’ style of project management we often find ourselves working in.
If it’s good enough for pilots and surgeons – why not for the world of project management? Maybe it’s time your PMO revisited checklists – and this book could be the inspiration you need.
 

Start Assessing

 

You’re able to carry out assessments right now using the free tool, get started at Maturity 360.
You have the ability to carry out assessments across the entire portfolio – down into individual projects, or programmes and also opt for assessments which include a 360 assessment (other people will also provide their input into the scoring chosen).

 
These are the main areas in which you’ll be assessing – you can choose to turn some off if they don’t apply to your projects, programmes or portfolios.

 
You could get started by getting onto the system and choosing a project you’re working on at the moment and just start working through the assessment from your perspective. Start learning about how it works and what the reports are telling you.
 

Are they just healthchecks?

 
Here’s a good question we got from the mob:
We often talk about project / programme ‘health checks’. It feels like the maturity assessment (for a project/prog) is essentially the same thing. Or do you see a difference?
Here’s how they got chatting about that:
– A health check may go into more detail.
– To me there is a difference between a health check and a maturity assessment. A health check is like an MOT is everything OK today. The maturity assessment is will this project/programme succeed, and will give ideas where to direct the health check
– I thought healthchecks were more about the individual projects (in detail) and the potential interventions needed at that project level – whereas this is about the things that might need to be in place so ALL projects will benefit going forward.
– when we say ‘health check’ it’s more of a snap shot. But looking at the example questions we’ve seen so far, there’s a lot of overlap between the things you’d be checking for both. Maybe there’s a difference in scope and time horizon for corrective actions / improvements.
– Health check sounds to me like assurance, whereas maturity intuitively feels more like an institutional measure.
– Health Check = “point in time”, like the MOT analogy. Your car can be smoking the day before and the day after, but “on the day” it purrs nicely (bit of RedX and a spray of WD40 goes a long way to “pass the test and get back on the road for another year”). Is it still an effective mode of transport though?
 
 
 
You can also check out a recent recording from Adrian which gets into more details about Praxis Framework and how your organisation can utilise this free resource:

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