PD and PP Maturity Levels for Selected Knowledge Areas

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The highest level of interest for process improvement is at the knowledge area level. Individual programs are undertaken for the purpose of improving the maturity level of a single knowledge area from among the nine knowledge areas that define a project management methodology. Several programs can be done concurrently but the risk is high because too much change might be put upon project teams than can be reasonably absorbed. If you exceed the capacity of project teams to accommodate change, the result may be counterproductive. Project failure rates might increase rather than decrease.

A program will consist of several projects as discussed in the previous section. The combined maturity levels of the processes that make up a knowledge area define the maturity level of the knowledge area.

The task force felt the need for more specific data on exactly the size and complexity of the problem they faced and so they asked each of the project managers to complete the scope management, HR management, time management, and cost management portions of the maturity survey for their projects. These were the more significant findings from their interviews of the project managers. Recognizing that there can be some bias in the project managers' opinions, the task force wanted to separate the process problems from the practice problems. The survey would give them the PD and PP data they needed. Figure 7.3 is the result.

Now the task force could isolate their problem even further. There was a major gap between the scope management process definition (PD maturity

- PD baseline

- PD baseline

Figure 7.3 Selected knowledge area PD and PP maturity level data.

level) and its practice (PP maturity level). The process definition was at an acceptable level of maturity but the project managers claimed they could not understand it. The data seems to support their opinions. Some teams were using some scope management processes but at a level significantly below the established and documented processes. The reason for that behavior needed further investigation as well.

Finally, there were deficiencies in the project management process definitions for time, cost, and HR management. The project teams were performing consistently up to the level documented in these processes, but that level was not sufficient for good project performance. The consistent performance is clearly evident from the small interquartile range for the time, cost, and HR knowledge areas. Both the PD and PP anomalies had to be corrected.

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