Assessment Instrument For Level

The following 42 multiple choice questions will allow you to compare your organization against other companies with regard to the Level 3 Hexagon of Excellence. After you complete question 42, a grading system is provided. You can then compare your organization to some of the best who have achieved Level 3 maturity.

Please pick one and only one answer per question. A worksheet and answer key follow the exercise.

QUESTIONS

1. My company actively uses the following processes:

A. Total quality management (TQM) only

B. Concurrent engineering (shortening deliverable development time) only

C. TQM and concurrent engineering only

D. Risk management only

E. Risk management and concurrent engineering only

F. Risk management, concurrent engineering, and TQM

2. On what percent of your projects do you use the principles of total quality management?

A. 0 percent

B. 5-10 percent

C. 10-25 percent

D. 25-50 percent

E. 50-75 percent

F. 75-100 percent

3. On what percent of your projects do you use the principles of risk management?

A. 0 percent

B. 5-10 percent

C. 10-25 percent

D. 25-50 percent

E. 50-75 percent

F. 75-100 percent

4. On what percent of your projects do you try to compress product/deliverable schedules, by performing work in parallel rather than in series?

A. 0 percent

B. 5-10 percent

C. 10-25 percent

D. 25-50 percent

E. 50-75 percent

F. 75-100 percent

5. My company's risk management process is based upon:

A. We do not use risk management

B. Financial risks only

C. Technical risks only

D. Scheduling risks only

E. A combination of financial, technical, and scheduling risks based upon the project.

risk management methodology in my company is: Nonexistent

More informal than formal

Based upon a structured methodology supported by policies and procedures Based upon a structured methodology supported by policies, procedures, and standardized forms to be completed

7. How many different project management methodologies exist in your organization (i.e., consider a systems development methodology for MIS projects different than a product development project management methodology)?

A. We have no methodologies

E. More than 5

8. With regard to benchmarking:

A. My company has never tried to use benchmarking

B. My company has performed benchmarking and implemented changes but not for project management.

C. My company has performed project management benchmarking but no changes were made.

D. My company has performed project management benchmarking and changes were made.

9. My company's corporate culture is best described by the concept of:

A. Single-boss reporting

B. Multiple-boss reporting

C. Dedicated teams without empowerment

D. Nondedicated teams without empowerment

E. Dedicated teams with empowerment

F. Nondedicated teams with empowerment

10. With regard to morals and ethics, my company believes that:

A. The customer is always right

B. Decisions should be made in the following sequence: best interest of the customer first, then the company, then the employees

C. Decisions should be made in the following sequence: best interest of company first, customer second, and the employees last

D. We have no such written policy or set of standards

11. My company conducts internal training courses on:

A. Morality and ethics within the company

B. Morality and ethics in dealing with customers

C. Good business practices

D. All of the above

E. None of the above

F. At least two of the first three

12. With regard to scope creep or scope changes, our culture:

A. Discourages changes after project initiation

B. Allows changes only up to a certain point in the project's life cycle using a formal change control process

C. Allows changes anywhere in the project life cycle using a formal change control process

D. Allows changes but without any formal control process

13. Our culture seems to be based upon:

A. Policies

B. Procedures (including forms to be filled out)

C. Policies and procedures

D. Guidelines

E. Policies, procedures, and guidelines

14. Cultures are either quantitative (policies, procedures, forms, and guidelines), behavioral, or a compromise. The culture in my company is probably_

percent behavioral.

A. 10-25 percent

B. 25-50 percent

C. 50-60 percent

D. 60-75 percent

E. Greater than 75 percent

15. Our organizational structure is:

A. Traditional (predominantly vertical)

B. A strong matrix (i.e., project manager provides most of the technical direction)

C. A weak matrix (i.e., line managers provide most of the technical direction)

D. We use colocated teams

E. I don't know what the structure is: management changes it on a daily basis

16. When assigned as a project leader, our project manager obtains resources by:

A. "Fighting" for the best people available

B. Negotiating with line managers for the best people available

C. Negotiating for deliverables rather than people

D. Using senior management to help get the appropriate people

E. Taking whatever he or she gets, no questions asked

17. Our line managers:

A. Accept total accountability for the work in their line

B. Ask the project managers to accept total accountability

C. Try to share accountability with the project managers

D. Hold the assigned employees accountable

E. We don't know the meaning of the word "accountability"; it is not part of our vocabulary.

18. In the culture within our company, the person most likely to be held accountable for the ultimate technical integrity of the final deliverable is/are:

A. The assigned employees

B. The project manager

C. The line manager

D. The project sponsor

E. The whole team

19. In our company, the project manager's authority comes from:

A. Within himself/herself, whatever he or she can get away with

B. The immediate superior to the project manager

C. Documented job descriptions

D. Informally through the project sponsor in the form of a project charter or appointment letter

20. After project go-ahead, our project sponsors tend to:

A. Become invisible, even when needed

B. Micromanage

C. Expect summary-level briefings once a week

D. Expect summary-level briefings once every two weeks

E. Get involved only when a critical problem occurs or at the request of the project manager or line managers.

21. What percentage of your projects have sponsors who are at the director level or above?

A. 0-10 percent

B. 10-25 percent

C. 25-50 percent

D. 50-75 percent

E. More than 75 percent

22. My company offers approximately how many different internal training courses for the employees (courses that can be regarded as project-related)?

A. Less than 5

E. More than 30

23. With regard to the previous answer, what percentage of the courses are more behavioral than quantitative?

A. Less than 10 percent

B. 10-25 percent

C. 25-50 percent

D. 50-75 percent

E. More than 75 percent

24. My company believes that:

A. Project management is a part-time job

B. Project management is a profession

C. Project management is a profession and we should become certified as project management professionals, but at our own expense

D. Project management is a profession and our company pays for us to become certified as project management professionals

E. We have no project managers in our company

25. My company believes that training should be:

A. Performed at the request of employees

B. Performed to satisfy a short-term need

C. Performed to satisfy both long- and short-term needs

D. Performed only if there exists a return on investment on training dollars

26. My company believes that the content of training courses is best determined by:

A. The instructor

B. The Human Resource Department

C. Management

D. Employees who will receive the training

E. Customization after an audit of the employees and managers

27. What percentage of the training courses in project management contain documented lessons learned case studies from other projects within your company?

A. None

B. Less than 10 percent

C. 10-25 percent

D. 25-50 percent

E. More than 50 percent

28. What percentage of the executives in your functional (not corporate) organization have attended training programs or executive briefings specifically designed to show executives what they can do to help project management mature?

A. None! Our executives know everything

B. Less than 25 percent

C. 25-50 percent

D. 50-75 percent

E. More than 75 percent

29. In my company, employees are promoted to management because:

A. They are technical experts

B. They demonstrate the administrative skills of a professional manager

C. They know how to make sound business decisions

D. They are at the top of their pay grade

E. We have no place else to put them

30. A report must be written and presented to the customer. Neglecting the cost to accumulate the information, the approximate cost per page for a typical report is:

A. I have no idea

B. $100-200 per page

C. $200-500 per page

D. Greater than $500 per page

E. Free; exempt employees in our company prepare the reports at home on their own time.

31. The culture within our organization is best described as:

A. Informal project management based upon trust, communication, and cooperation

B. Formality based upon policies and procedures for everything

C. Project management that thrives on formal authority relationships

D. Executive meddling, which forces an overabundance of documentation

E. Nobody trusting the decisions of our project managers

32. What percentage of the project manager's time each week is spent preparing reports?

A. 5-10 percent

B. 10-20 percent

C. 20-40 percent

D. 40-60 percent

E. Greater than 60 percent

33. During project planning, most of our activities are accomplished using:

A. Policies

B. Procedures

C. Guidelines

D. Checklists

E. None of the above

34. The typical time duration for a project status review meeting with senior management is:

A. Less than 30 minutes

B. 30-60 minutes

C. 60-90 minutes

D. 90 minutes-2 hours

E. Greater than 2 hours

35. Our customers mandate that we manage our projects:

A. Informally

B. Formally, but without customer meddling

C. Formally, but with customer meddling

D. It is our choice as long as the deliverables are met

36. My company believes that poor employees:

A. Should never be assigned to teams

B. Once assigned to a team, are the responsibility of the project manager for supervision

C. Once assigned to a team, are the responsibility of their line manager for supervision

D. Can be effective if assigned to the right team

E. Should be promoted into management

37. Employees who are assigned to a project team (either full-time or part-time) have a performance evaluation conducted by:

A. Their line manage only

B. The project manager only

C. Both the project and line managers

D. Both the project and line managers, together with a review by the sponsor

38. The skills that will probably be most important for my company's project managers as we move into the twenty-first century are:

A. Technical knowledge and leadership

B. Risk management and knowledge of the business

C. Integration skills and risk management

D. Integration skills and knowledge of the business

E. Communication skills and technical understanding

39. In my organization, the people assigned as project leaders are usually:

A. First line managers

B. First or second line managers

C. Any level of management

D. Usually nonmanagement employees

E. Anyone in the company

40. The project managers in my organization have undergone at least some degree of training in:

A. Feasibility studies

B. Cost-benefit analyses

D. Our project managers are typically brought on board after project approval/award.

41. Our project managers are encouraged to:

A. Take risks

B. Take risks upon approval by senior management

C. Take risks upon approval by project sponsors

D. Avoid risks

42. Consider the following statement: Our project managers have a sincere interest in what happens to each team member after the project is scheduled to be completed.

A. Strongly agree

B. Agree

C. Not sure

D. Disagree

E. Strongly disagree

Using the answer key that follows, please complete Exhibit 3.

ANSWER KEY_

The assignment of the points is as follows: Integrated Processes

Question Points

A. 2 B. 2 C. 4 D. 2 E. 4 F. 5 A. 0 B. 0 C. 1 D. 3 E. 4 F. 5

S.

A. 0

B.

0

C. S

D.

4

E. 5

F. 5

4.

A. 0

B.

1

C. S

D.

4

E. 5

F. 5

5.

A. 0

B.

2

C. 2

D.

2

E. 5

6.

A. 0

B.

2

C. 4

D.

5

7.

A. 0

B.

5

C. 4

D.

2

E. 0

Culture

Question

Points

S.

A. 0

B.

2

C. S

D.

5

9.

A. 1

B.

S

C. 4

D.

4

E. 5

F. 5

10.

A. 1

B.

5

C. 4

D.

0

11.

A. S

B.

S

C. S

D.

5

E. 0

F. 4

12.

A. 1

B.

5

C. 5

D.

S

1S.

A. 2

B.

S

C. 4

D.

5

E. 4

14.

A. 2

B.

S

C. 4

D.

5

E. 5

Management Support

Question

Points

15.

A. 1

B.

5

C. 5

D.

5

E. 0

16.

A. 2

B.

S

C. 5

D.

0

E. 2

17.

A. 4

B.

2

C. 5

D.

1

E. 0

1S.

A. 2

B.

S

C. 5

D.

0

E. S

19.

A. 1

B.

2

C. 2

D.

4

E. 5

20.

A. 1

B.

1

C. S

D.

4

E. 5

21.

A. 1

B.

S

C. 5

D.

4

E. 4

Training and Education

Question

Points

22.

A. 1

B.

S

C. 5

D.

5

E. 5

2S.

A. 0

B.

2

C. 4

D.

5

E. 5

24.

A. 0

B.

S

C. 4

D.

5

E. 0

25.

A. 2

B.

S

C. 4

D.

5

26.

A. 2

B.

1

C. 2

D.

S

E. 5

27.

A. 0

B.

1

C. S

D.

5

E. 5

2S.

A. 0

B.

1

C. S

D.

4

E. 5

Informal Project Management

Question Points

29.

A. 2

B.

4

C. 5

D.

l

E. O

3O

A. O

B.

3

C. 4

D.

5

E. O

3l.

A. 5

B.

2

C. 3

D.

l

E. O

32.

A. 3

B.

5

C. 4

D.

2

E. l

33.

A. 2

B.

3

C. 4

D.

5

E. O

34.

A. 4

B.

5

C. 3

D.

l

E. O

35.

A. 3

B.

4

C. 3

D.

5

Question Points

36.

A. l

B.

2

C. 4

D.

5

E. O

37

A. 3

B.

l

C. 5

D.

2

E. O

38.

A. 3

B.

5

C. 5

D.

5

E. 4

39.

A. 2

B.

2

C. 2

D.

5

E. 3

4O.

A. 3

B.

3

C. 5

D.

l

4l.

A. 5

B.

3

C. 4

D.

l

42.

A. 5

B.

4

C. 2

D.

l

Determine your points for each of the questions and complete the following:

A. Points for integrated processes (Questions 1-7): _

B. Points for culture (Questions 8-14): _

C. Points for management support (Questions 15-21): _

D. Points for training and education (Questions 22-28): _

E. Points for informal project management (Questions 29-35): _

F. Points for behavioral excellence (Questions 36-42): _

EXPLANATION OF POINTS FOR LEVEL S

Each of the six areas are components of the Hexagon of Excellence discussed in Level 3. The total points can be interpreted as follows:

Points Interpretation

169-210

147-168

80-146

Below 79

Your company compares very well to the companies discussed in this text. You are on the right track for excellence, assuming that you have not achieved it yet. Continuous improvement will occur. Your company is going in the right direction, but more work is still needed. Project management is not totally perceived as a profession. It is also possible that your organization simply does not fully understand project management. Emphasis is probably more toward being non-project-driven than project-driven.

The company is probably just providing lip service to project management. Support is minimal. The company believes that it is the right thing to do, but has not figured out the true benefits or what they, the executives, should be doing. The company is still a functional organization. Perhaps you should change jobs or seek another profession. The company has no understanding of project management, nor does it appear that the company wishes to change. Line managers want to maintain their existing power base and may feel threatened by project management.

Level 4: Benchmarking

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