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The Five Stages of PMO Maturity

Like anything else that grows, PMOs go through stages of maturity as they begin to develop efficiency and make the transition from reactive to proactive.

So, you’ve established your project management office (PMO) and you’re ready to dust off your hands, sit back and watch the results, right? Not so fast! In fact, setting up your PMO is only the first step, and the work is just beginning. Like anything else that grows, PMOs go through stages of maturity as they become more efficient and make the transition from reactive to proactive. This maturing process results in more projects complying with standards, meeting and exceeding requirements, and concluding successfully.

Let’s take a look at the various stages a PMO goes through as it matures from its infancy to a fully operational project management office. Knowing where you are in the PMO maturity model enables your organization to identify areas of improvement, while also establishing goals for where you want your PMO to be in the future.

Level 1 - The Initial Process

At this level, processes are just becoming defined. There isn’t a high level of sophistication in the PMO and many processes are used for very specific purposes, instead of being rolled out across multiple tasks to leverage efficiency. In addition, there is little integration with the rest of the organization. Management is aware of the PMO but isn’t necessarily on board with its use at this point.

Level 2 - Structured Process and Standards

The PMO is growing up a bit. Basic processes have been established, but they’re only being used on the biggest or most high-profile projects in the organization. Management is now more on board and is encouraging the use of the PMO. The PMO is using its knowledge and some basic tools to create project plans, estimates, and schedules. Reporting is high-level, inconsistent, and fairly basic.

Level 3 - Organizational Standards and Institutionalized Processes

By now, processes are standardized across the organization and are repeatable. Reporting is much more detailed, and project plans, estimates, and scheduling are based on industry standards, as well as best practices, lessons learned, and historical data. The PMO is focused on the organization, and work is underway to analyze project performance.

Level 4 - Managed Processes

The PMO’s processes are now integrated with corporate processes, like reporting and data analysis, and management is mandating compliance with the PMO, which is now able to provide in-depth analysis of project performance. Additionally, project plans, estimates, and schedules are now regularly derived from historical organizational data and performance.

Level 5 - Optimizing the Process

The PMO now has full processes in place to measure project efficacy and efficiency. On top of these processes, there are processes to ensure that project performance continues to improve, instead of remaining constant. Finally, management is heavily focused on continuous improvement of the PMO and the projects the office manages.

Now that you’re aware of the five levels of PMO maturity, you can begin to assess your PMO to see where it falls within the stages and determine the necessary steps to take it to the desired level.

While you’re evaluating your PMO, you should also take stock of your current project management software. Does the application you’re using today fit the current state of your PMO? Can it scale to meet your needs in the future? If you answered “no” to either of those questions, you should consider CORAS to revolutionize your project management office. And no matter where your PMO falls, we can help. Whether you’re just beginning, or putting the final touches on your PMO, CORAS makes it easy to adapt to your maturing PMO due to the application’s flexibility. With CORAS, you’re able to drive standardization and governance, make dynamic, informed decisions, increase organizational efficiency and adapt quickly to change. Click to learn more about CORAS and how it can make a difference in your organization’s PMO today.

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