How Well are you Using PRINCE 2 Answered in 5 Questions

In my last article, I looked at how PRINCE 2 can be applied to any project and provides the perfect project management governance methodology. However, as with any tool or technique, its value to an organisation depends upon how it is used: invest in an electric drill and you should slash your workload and effort required to make the screw holes needed, but if you don’t have a power supply the tool becomes an expensive inconvenience.

The PRINCE 2 maturity model

When consulting with client organisations, I recommend they use the PRINCE 2 maturity model to assess how well the PRINCE 2 methodologies are embedded in their project management practices. This model enables the organisation to:

  • Identify its strengths
  • Identify areas that require improvement
  • Create an action plan to put findings into practice
  • Deliver the benefits of the PRINCE 2 methodologies

 

It also allows project managers and consultants to provide solid results-based evidence of their own maturity in the use of PRINCE 2.

A five level framework for PRINCE 2 assessment

The PRINCE 2 maturity model (P2MM) is structured in the same way as the Portfolio and Program and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3) from which it is derived. Effectiveness is measured by considering project management at five levels, and at each level the organisation should seek to answer one question. The five levels of maturity are:

  • Level 1: Awareness of process
  • Level 2: Repeatable process
  • Level 3: Defined process
  • Level 4: Managed process
  • Level 5: Optimised process

 

The following table shows what needs to be assessed at each level:

Maturity Level PRINCE2 Project Management
Level 1 – Awareness of process Does the organisation recognise projects and run them differently from its ongoing business? (Projects may be run informally with no standard process or tracking system.) Does the organisation recognise projects and run them differently from its ongoing business? (Projects may be run informally with no standard process or tracking system.)

 

Level 2 – Repeatable process Has the organisation adopted PRINCE2, but allowed the method to be applied inconsistently across projects within the organisation? Does the organisation ensure that each project is run with its own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard? (There may be limited consistency or coordination between projects.)

 

Level 3 – Defined process Has the organisation adopted PRINCE2 and embedded it to align with other organisational processes? Can PRINCE2 be tailored to suit individual projects? Does the organisation have its own centrally controlled project processes and can individual projects flex within these processes to suit the particular project?

 

Level 4 – Managed process Does the organisation obtain and retain specific measurements on its PRINCE2 project management performance and run a quality management process to better predict future performance? Does the organisation obtain and retain specific measurements on its project management performance and run a quality management process to better predict future performance?

 

Level 5 – Optimised process Does the organisation undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for PRINCE2 projects in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimise processes? Does the organisation undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for projects in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimise processes?

 

 

In answering these questions, the organisation should consider seven specific process perspectives within each of the five levels of maturity:

  • Management Control
  • Benefits Management
  • Financial Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Risk Management
  • Organisational Governance
  • Resource Management

 

During the assessment process, the organisation should also consider the attributes needed for project management success. These attributes will include those of either a specific or generic nature.  Specific attributes are those upon which the individual project success rests, while generic attributes apply to all projects and at given maturity levels, and include:

  • Planning
  • Information management
  • Training and development

 

In the concluding part of this series of blogs discussing project management governance, I’ll be introducing the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as the project manager’s centre of excellence.

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