According to PMI’s Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) – Third Edition , “OPM is a strategy execution framework that utilizes portfolio, program, and project management as well as organizational-enabling practices to consistently and predictably deliver organizational strategy to produce better performance, better results, and a sustainable competitive advantage”.
The Model goes on to state – “OPM addresses the integration of the following:
- Knowledge (of the portfolio, program, and project processes)
- Organizational strategy (mission, vision, objectives, and goals)
- People (having competent resources), and
- Processes (the application of the stages of process improvement)”.
In 2014, PM Solutions, Inc. surveyed  293 high-level project management personnel from organizations of all sizes in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, technical, finance and government. The primary purpose of the study was to understand current project management practices as well as trends that will lead to improved project management success.
What sets high-performing organizations from the rest? They are much more mature in their project management practices than low performers (average level of maturity 3.4 vs. 2.5 on average and 1.7 for low performers). And they show substantially greater value in a variety of project management performance measures that matter most to executives, especially the percentage of cost savings per project (26% vs. 16% on average and 6% for low performers). Bottom line: More mature firms deliver more value.
But only Fortune 500 companies can afford an OPM adoption exercise !
Is OPM meant to be adopted only in large corporations with deep pockets?
OPM adoption is a strategic investment that any Organization needs to make in order to: survive, become more competitive, and grow in today’s business world.
OPM recommends several best practices – Organizational enablers (OEs) in OPM3 parlance – that organizations of different sizes and at differing levels of organizational maturity can leverage, to improve their ability to deliver to their strategic goals. An organization can look inwards at its own vision, mission, strategic objectives and values, and decide which Organizational Enablers are most important to them for achieving the strategic objectives of the company. The Organization can also prioritize the OEs, with immediate attention being given to the OE that requires most urgent action.
So the more relevant question then is: Can an Organization afford not to execute an OPM initiative if it is to grow and stay competitive?
The attached image throws light on an everyman’s perspective of the dimensions of benefits that can be realized by implementing OPM.
Well thought-out (simple, measurable, assignable, integrated) processes can help make required information available to impacted functions and stakeholders as needed by the work tasks being executed. This helps all impacted stakeholders to operate from the same context, and thus deliver work task outcomes that are in alignment with one another. Take an example of different parts of a Project team working to different versions or to differing understanding of the same Requirements document – This is the kind of eventuality that we have to avoid at all costs.
Communication & education on Work task planning and execution processes across the organization leads to clarity into the “what”, the “why”, and the “how” of various work processes & procedures. All resources in an Organization should have clarity into what they are expected to deliver, by what schedule, what their activities are dependent upon, what activities are dependent upon their own assigned activities’ progress, and why they are doing what they have been asked to do. This clarity naturally drives improved & more predictable results – The entire organization owns their work and its results. It is to be noted that this benefit would also extend to external stakeholders such as Customers (who would have better insight into what is expected of them and what they can expect reasonably from the Company) as well as Third party Suppliers (who can be tracked with greater accuracy due to the improved understand between the Supplier & the Vendor).
A natural outcome of improved visibility (of work task context) and improved clarity (into what/why/how of the work task) is improved Control, as Managers are able to better predict outcomes of work tasks, and finesse their delivery actions to achieve optimal results for the organization. This predictability of outcomes & schedule is absolutely critical for success in today’s fast-paced business environment – Your customers would not be satisfied with any less.
Well thought-out processes & procedures can help to drive out wastage as well as improve integration at various touchpoints, thus improving efficiency. For example, adoption of the Kanban method can help to reduce wait times for teams, and thus ensure that teams are optimally occupied without getting held up on other dependent work streams and tasks.
Improved visibility, clarity, control, predictability, and efficiency lead to better cost savings as we are able to cut down on unplanned activities as well as on wastage, leading to improved profitability for the Delivery organization. We can redirect unused resources (in waiting state) to more productive directions for the company.
The achievement of benefit dimensions documented above can help us focus the Organization’s energies on organic growth, as the organization becomes more scaleable and with improved funding to invest in organic growth. Further, with the improved 360⁰ engagement of stakeholders (Customers, Delivery teams, Support functions, Third party Suppliers) as well as the delivery of more predictable outcomes, Customer satisfaction would improve, thus leading to business growth.
OPM offers the Organization an ability to analyze itself and its areas of improvements in a structured manner, and predictably drive improvements on the different Organizational Enablers. OPM assessment & adoption are exercises that every Organization should execute periodically, as it forms and refines its vision, mission and strategic objectives over the years.
 © 2013 Project Management Institute, Inc. Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3 ©)- Third Edition.
This article was first published in LinkedIn Pulse.