Overlap Of Levels

Although overlapping does occur, the order in which the phases are completed cannot change. For example, even though Level 1 and Level 2 can overlap, Level 1 must still be completed before Level 2 can be completed. Overlapping of several of the levels can take place, as shown in Figure 4-2.

• Overlap of Level 1 and Level 2: This overlap will occur because the organization can begin the development of project management processes either while refinements are being made to the common language or during training.

• Overlap of Level 3 and Level 4: This overlap occurs because, while the organization is developing a singular methodology, plans are being made as to the process for improving the methodology.

• Overlap of Level 4 and Level 5: As the organization becomes more and more committed to benchmarking and continuous improvement, the speed by which the organization wants changes to be made can cause these two levels to have significant overlap. The feedback from Level 5 back to Level 4 and Level 3, as shown in Figure 4-3, implies that these three levels form a continuous improvement cycle, and it may even be possible for all three of these levels to overlap.

FIGURE 4-2. Overlapping levels.
FIGURE 4-3. Feedback among the five levels of project management maturity.

Level 2 and Level 3 generally do not overlap. It may be possible to begin some of the Level 3 work before Level 2 is completed, but this is highly unlikely. Once a company is committed to a singular methodology, work on other methodologies generally terminates.

Also, if a company is truly astute in project management, it may be possible to begin benchmarking efforts even as early as Level 1. This way the company may learn from the mistakes of others rather than from its own mistakes. It is possible for Level 4 to overlap all of the first three levels.

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