PM Earth

Organizing Project Management

12 September 2007

Organizing Project Management Life Cycle

It is not enough to make a list of all capabilities and then develop each one. There is no single, linear list of capabilities. Capabilities need to be categorized in many ways. And they have inter-dependencies. Some capabilities have to be achieved before others can be started. For example, a project manager who cannot elicit customer requirements cannot create a clear, appropriate scope statement. With hundreds of capabilities and many interdependencies, the development of organizational capability requires a lot of planning and a lot of work.

OPM3 helps a great deal. Not only does it provide a list of capabilities, it organizes them and provides the following:

  • A link between standards, which are more familiar, and capabilities, which may be new
  • A breakdown of capabilities for the project, program, and portfolio levels
  • A method of evaluating each capability as standardized, measured, controlled, and continuously improved, which allows for the development of maturity
  • Dependencies among capabilities, to help determine which capabilities need to be developed first

To make all of this more complicated, a large organization may find that one division is more capable than another. For example, a construction division may provide excellent estimates, while an information technology group in the same company, using the same methods from the same PMO, cannot provide reliable estimates at all. So, to improve capability, it is necessary to assess capability levels that may be different in different divisions, or different industries and specialties where Project Management Software is applied.


Developing capability is a large job. As with any organizational change, senior executives will want the improvement to be worth the time and effort. With hundreds of capabilities to choose from, which capabilities matter most?


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