Project Management Maturity

How good is your organisation at Project Management? What is the quality of your Project Management? What are you doing to improve? I wrote about Project Quality recently and referenced Maturity Models. These are a sign of how well an organisation applies Project Management. So what is Project Management Maturity (PMM)?

Project and Product Quality

Quality should apply to both the finished product and also to the project delivery. Quality assurance should additionally be applied to the procedures and tools to manage the project. I’ve previously written about Project Schedule Quality. Quality and Continuous Improvement also applies to all of the areas of Project Management.

Project Management Maturity (PMM) is one way of measuring how well an organisation delivers projects. The higher stages of most maturity models check that project management processes are repeatable, controlled, and optimised.

Project Management Maturity Models

As with many other concepts, PMM is based on the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). This has 5 levels.

  1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) – the starting point for use of a new or undocumented repeat process
  2. Repeatable – the process is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps may be attempted
  3. Defined – the process is defined/confirmed as a standard business process
  4. Capable – the process is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics
  5. Efficient – process management includes deliberate process optimisation/improvement

It can easily be seen that this model can be adapted to any number of different situations.

Professional Bodies and Maturity

The Association for Project Management (APM) have a view on PMM. The Body of Knowledge (7th edition 2019) states that PMM is:

An approach to understand the current capabilities, processes and behaviours deployed in the management of projects and to identify a structured path to increase the predictability of success.

The APM take the 5 levels of maturity from the CMM and defines them in a similar manner:

  • 1: Processes are ad hoc and not written down
  • 2: Process are written down and sometimes followed
  • 3: Processes are documented and consistently followed
  • 4: Information is collected to improve the processes
  • 5: Processes are continually optimised

The phrases ‘PMM’ or ‘Maturity’ does not exist in the index of the Project Management Institute (PMI) BoK 6. However a google search for Maturity and PMI does reveal some (dated) articles about PMM. One of the concepts discussed is that Maturity could be measured for each of the ten PMI knowledge area.

However you assess your project management maturity, it must be for some purpose.

Purpose of a Project Management Maturity Assessment

In many organisations Projects and Project Management are well established management practices. In other industries Project Management is a relatively new field.

The Maturity Model will help you gauge how good the organisation is at Project Management. Having assessed where you are, you will need to determine how far you want to go. Some organisations may only desire to reach level 3.

Where applicable, Maturity needs to be assessed for Projects, Programmes, and Portfolio Management. The main issue will be “how do I move from one level to the higher level”.


PMM is a way of measuring how good the organisation is at Project Management. It would be one of the key tasks of a Project Management Office (PMO) to review project management capability. The PMO can then advice of the steps required to move to a higher level.

Project Management Quality should improve with higher levels of Project Management Maturity

Posted On: 5th December 2020

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