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Maturity Levels of Project Portfolio Management (PPM)

Has your project portfolio management (PPM) hit maturity, or is it still spending its days rolling around in the mud? Sometimes PPM does not have to grow the whole way up, but regardless of what level of maturity you need, Matti Haukka wants to help. In a PDF, he uses his years of experience in consulting to put together a five level framework for assessing PPM maturity levels:

  1. Awareness of ongoing projects
  2. Awareness of status and balance of project portfolio
  3. Resource management across all projects and other work
  4. Systematic and transparent project prioritization considering the availability of resources
  5. Program and project-oriented organization

Haukka notes that although businesses always agree that personnel resources are more critical than money when implementing strategy, typical governance models control the use of money but not of personnel resources. PPM of an appropriate maturity level is the solution to that concern. The lowest level consists of when a definition is in place for projects which should belong to a portfolio, the ownership of all projects is functioning, and a harmonized project management model includes decision gates to be applied to all portfolio projects. The second level of maturity begins when portfolio reporting is working on a regular basis. Reaching the third level means that the allocation of resources is continuously known, which can be helped by applicable software tool support. A transparent PPM Board with issues clearly delineated in the agenda is required for the fourth level. And finally, the highest level demands that an organization change its whole structure to be more project and program oriented. It is up to you to decide which of these maturity levels works best for your organization.

On the subject of measuring the value of initiated projects, Haukka relates:

First, the value can be measured by estimating the significance of strategic change, the need of developing new products and processes etc. Practically the value of projects can be measured by dividing all working processes to project work and non-project work and estimating the amount of resource allocation to both processes (Figure 4). The relative amount of resources allocated to projects is here called Project Allocation Percentage (PAP).

PAP is an original concept conceived by Haukka, and he is eager to provide data support for it in his PDF, as well as show how it relates to the five maturity levels of PPM. Consult the full document to decide whether it is time for your PPM to grow up or if it can spend a few more years in the sandbox.

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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