I observed few management team members got into the trap of making management in business, a precision engineering. Philosophically, I completely differ that management in business can’t be precise in a corporate environment. Due to office dynamics, politics, internal and external uncertainties, management in business is all about approximation but not perfection.
In most of the cases, the practical approach should be : “THINK BIG, START SMALL, RUN FAST”
Technically, management in business can be precise but it’s very expensive. I had read few dynamic programming papers published from Nasa on how the project schedule conflicts are resolved using various optimization theories. Those techniques were published as a research paper. While management in launching a rocket to outer space business need precision engineering but, for instance, when you create a draft project charter, you do not. Corporation should not be spending their time to make it perfect when they you are dealing with uncertainities. I understand, plan is nothing but planning is everything. But when a project lacks clarity on its scope, don’t spend time on planning but use it wisely to improve the clarity of the project.
Maturity assessment in an organization is part of current state analysis. In strategy formation or in the enterprise architecture projects, understanding the current state is one of the major milestone. The maturity assessment includes project management, project portfolio management, application portfolio management , process management, IT financial control management, IT investment management, risk management, etc. The maturity level can be determined based on the answers on the following questions. It is more general (abstract) model and it can be applied almost any functional area except the people management.
- Is there a process exist today in an organization?
- Is the process documented?
- Is the process communicated to the organization? (people are aware of the existence of the process)
- Is the process consistently followed?
- Is the process institutionalist ?
- Is the process managed?
- Is the process optimized?
For any maturity assessment, the level of maturity can be determined by depth of the “yes” answer in the list. If none of the above question has a yes answer, then the maturity of that area is in level 0.
Let us take a project management maturity assessment in an organization. Project management’s key objective is to manage cost, quality and time. It is triple constraint in the project management. There are frameworks available from PMBOK to perform the project management in an organization. PMBOK framework suggests that there are nine knowledge area and five process groups.
Five process groups
- Control and Monitor
Nine knowledge areas
- Integration Management
- Time Management
- Scope Management
- Cost Management
- Risk Management
- Quality Management
- Human Resource Management
- Communication Management
- Procurement Management
Take each member of the process group and ask the above questions. For instance let us take initiation process. During this phase, for any projects, the organization must make sure there is a business case. cost benefit analysis, benefit realization plan etc. Identify the major steps in the initiation phase and ask the above questions. Collate the answers to determine the maturity level in the initiation process. Repeat the steps for all members of process groups. Collate all the answers from all the process groups and will determine the project management maturity level in the organization.
The above model can be applied to portfolio management assessment, IT financial management assessment, IT investment management and etc..