Prioritizing PMO Metrics

Our first lesson was to focus on the most important measures.  In other words, make sure that these at least are collected, accurate, and respected.  Let me comment on the summary that is in the paper:

SAP quickly found that the Project Management Maturity Assessment scores were the best metric for gauging the ultimate goal of their initiatives: improved project management.

This judgment was based on several factors:

  1. Assessments were conducted by a third-party, so they had the perception of objectivity.
  2. The approach combined both concrete measures (e.g., document inventory based on our “required project information” policy) and softer metrics (e.g., interviews on “what works” and “what doesn’t.”
  3. The PMMA is based on the J. Kent Crawford book Project Management Maturity Model, which explicitly acknowledges its debt to the Capability Maturity Model.  Because the CMMi and SEI are respected in the software world, the more senior SAP managers understood the power of this approach.
  4. While the deliverable is complex, the ratings are easy to interpret.  One is either above a “3” — standards in place and institutionalized — or not.

SAP Global and Regional PMOs use the detailed results of the maturity assessments to review their PMO initiative portfolios. A weak finding in one knowledge area in one country usually points to issues with process execution and oversight in that one country; whereas when multiple countries and regions have issues in one knowledge area, a global initiative is required to refine communications, training, methodology, or tools support.

We’ve also found that the assessments brought on a degree of competition between the regions.  As the maturity bar was raised, we found that succeeding regions and countries would bear down harder to prepare and execute.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] Prioritize Metrics – Leverage measurements that demonstrate successful execution against strategy. [...]

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  3. [...] first attempts to promote the Project Management Maturity Assessment measure were fervently debated and resisted. While most believed in its value, most were unconvinced about [...]

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