PM Earth

Project Management External Processes

27 January 2009

Evaluate Relevant Project Management External Processes

Project management life cycle external processes come from the methodology and standards that are being adopted by the PMO. Once the PMO adopts a methodology or standard, it is necessary to prepare the gap analysis for external processes by listing each process and then performing a gap analysis on each process.

Process evaluation can occur either before or after the decision to acquire a particular methodology or standard. For example, in choosing among PM methodologies for purchase from different vendors, it makes sense to evaluate processes. On the other hand, if the organization's industry position makes it essential to adopt the PMI's PMBOK® standard, or OCG's PRINCE2® standard, then process evaluation can occur after acquisition of the required standard.

The work of evaluating existing internal processes is completed in the two steps:


1.      List Processes

2.      Evaluate Processes


List processes. In listing the processes, the PMO team makes a comprehensive list of all processes from external sources.


Evaluate processes. Once a process is listed, it is evaluated by gap analysis. If the process meets requirements, there is no gap, and the process is acceptable as-is. If the process does not meet requirements, then it is classified into one of the three other categories discussed above: needs small changes; needs significant revision; or, must be replaced. The specific work required to make the process acceptable is also described.

Here are the two steps needed to list project manager processes.

1.      Identify processes from external sources, such as methodologies under consideration for acquisition and standards that might be adopted.

2.      List each process, giving it a unique identifying number.

Once each process is listed, it can be evaluated using these four steps:

1.      Identify relevant requirements, including all general requirements and applicable specific requirements.

2.      Perform a gap analysis.

3.      Write work needed to close gaps.

4.      Evaluate quantity of work and categorize process by the amount of work to be done.

Here is an example of a gap analysis for some external processes:

Gap Analysis for External Processes11/15/2006
ID #Source(Status)NameRequirementsGapsEvaluation (Notes)
P-003MPMM™(under evaluation)Tender Process1.      G-012.      G-023.      G-034.      S-015.      S-02 1.      No gap2.      No gap3.      Write decision rule4.      Moderate revision5.      Small revisionSignificant revision(but not too much, revisions can be drawn from P-001 and P-006)
P-004PMBOK®(under evaluation)Plan Contracting, Request Seller Responses,Select Sellers, & Contract Administration1.      G-012.      G-023.      G-034.      S-015.      S-02 1.      No gap2.      No gap3.      Write decision rule4.      Significant revision5.      Adjust list of stakeholders and write decision ruleSignificant revision(more than for P-003 due to generality of PMBOK®)
The above example could be part of an evaluation of whether to acquire MPMM™ or the PMBOK® as the primary external source of project management processes.
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