Characteristics

Level 4 is the level where the organization realizes that its existing methodology can be improved upon. The complexity rests in figuring out how to achieve that improvement. For project-driven companies, continuous improvement is a means to maintain or improve upon a competitive advantage. Continuous improvement is best accomplished through continuous benchmarking. The company must decide whom to benchmark and what to benchmark.

There are certain characteristics of Level 4, as show in Figure 8-1:

• The organization must establish a project office (PO) or a center of excellence (COE) for project management. This is the focal position in the company for project management knowledge.

• The PO or COE must be dedicated to the project management improvement process. This is usually accomplished with full-time, dedicated personnel.

• Benchmarking must be made against both similar and nonsimilar industries. In today's world, a company with five years of experience in pro-

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