Tag Archives: maturity model

Project management maturity and excellence models: Stirring in the fruit bowl

Happy to see that the Project Management world Journal published my featured article Portman, H. (2022). Project management maturity and excellence models: Stirring in the fruit bowl; PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue II, February. In this article I look at different maturity and excellence models in project management. At this moment around 50 different models are included.

David L. Pells, Editor / Publisher PMWJ: “Five outstanding papers are included in the Featured Papers section. … And a late entry by Henny Portman in The Netherlands, “Project management maturity and excellence models: Stirring in the garden”, makes a significant contribution to the PM body of literature that should be read by every PMO leader worldwide.”

Why maturity models or excellence models?

The success rate of projects is still very low. If I look at the latest figures from the Standish Group (CHAOS 2020 – Beyond infinity) 60% or more, depending on your approach (agile or waterfall) is not successful. This is already for several decades the case!

To improve the way you are running projects, there are several paths to follow. You could look at the way your organization is doing projects. Or with other words how mature is your organization in doing projects? Some well-known maturity models are CMMI, OPM3, and P3M3. Another approach is to look at individual projects and ask how well this project was performed? Think about all those yearly contests that are running. E.g., the IPMA Global Project Excellence Awards, the PMO Global Awards, and the PMI Project Awards.

When you want to say something about maturity you have to look at the standards an organization has set and how they apply those standards to their projects. If one project is using the standards and another project uses a different or no standard this is a signal the organization isn’t mature in project management. You could even go further and compare the results found with industry average figures by using the same maturity model to understand your strengths and weaknesses compared with competitors. I also used maturity models to compare different business units within the same organization to find spots for improvement in one business unit and used ways of working of a better performing business unit in the same area. In this case you don’t need absolute figures, but relative ones will work too.

As an organization you could be less mature but still have an award-winning project. The award programmes are not maturity assessments!

To download the complete article Portman, H. (2022). Project management maturity and excellence models: Stirring in the fruit bowl; PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue II, February.

Review Project Management Maturity Model Fourth Edition

Project Management Maturity Model Fourth Edition, written by J. Kent Crawford, is a comprehensive but complete guide to understand and use the maturity model PMMM. The PMMM is based on the knowledge areas of the 6thedition of the PMBoK guide and the five levels of maturity from CMMI.

Each knowledge area is broken down the into specific key components. E.g., resource management is broken down into the key components resource management planning, resource estimation, resource acquisition, team development and team management. For each component you get best practices to look for or to implement. Furthermore, for every knowledge area special attention is given to adaptive/agile environments.

The book explains what must be in place for each key component within each knowledge area to reach one of the CMMI maturity levels.

The used maturity levels are:

  • Level 1 Initial process
  • Level 2 Structured process and standards
  • Level 3 Organizational standards and institutionalized process
  • Level 4 Managed process
  • Level 5 Optimized process.

The used knowledge areas are:

  • Project integration management (including special component: project office)
  • Project scope management
  • Project schedule management
  • Project cost management
  • Project quality management (including special component: management oversight)
  • Project resource management (including special component: professional development)
  • Project communications management
  • Project risk management
  • Project procurement management
  • Project stakeholder management.

In PMMM special attention is given to three special components project office, management oversight and professional development.

The final chapter Now what? Using your maturity assessment to achieve business goals gives some insights in potential improvements when reaching a higher level of maturity. It briefly explains culture change and employee satisfaction, baselining capability for performance management, PMO implementation, repeated use as progress and effectiveness tool and target six-month improvement goals. It ends with some considerations when setting maturity goals. A level 5 maturity goal may not be appropriate for every organization.

In appendix A a self-assessment survey is provided to assess your own organization’s project management maturity. It gives a list of all knowledge areas including the key components and you must score the maturity level (1 – 5) of each.

worth mentioning is the complementary Project Portfolio Management Maturity Model (PPMMM) in appendix B. This model uses the same five CMMI levels and is organized into the following eight component areas:

  • Portfolio governance
  • Project opportunity assessment and initiation
  • Project prioritization and selection
  • Portfolio & project communications management
  • Portfolio resource management
  • Portfolio risk management
  • Portfolio management organizational structure
  • Portfolio performance management.


If you are looking for a maturity model and your organization is using the PMBoK guide to manage projects this book could be of help. The break down into key components is helpful to get a better understanding of your maturity for each knowledge area. Only a pity that the self-assessment is not made up of reflective statements. 

To order Project management maturity model: managementboek.nlbol.com