Reporting the Project Process Maturity

The Kiviatt Chart and Box & "Whisker Plots are intuitive and offer great flexibility and economy in displaying maturity level data. PD and PP data can be superimposed to give a complete picture of the project management maturity of an organization's project management infrastructure and project portfolio performance with respect to a documented standard. In this section we begin to explore the variety of situations that our graphic tools can show. In later chapters we will apply these tools to specific improvement initiatives.

Figure 3-7 shows the process level maturity data (PD baseline) with project PP data superimposed. The PP data was collected from nine projects that had just recently completed. Figure 3.8 shows the same data using the Kiviatt Chart format. Figure 3-7 tells us a lot about what is going on with the process definition itself, the process practice, and the relationship between the two. The Plot could also have the goal maturity levels plotted for each process, but that is not done in this example. Note that there are two processes (integration and scope) whose PD values lie significantly above the PP distribution. Most of the projects surveyed for this data set are not using the integration and scope processes as currently defined and documented. For two processes (quality and HR) the PP distributions lie mostly above the PD baseline values. Procurement looks strange. Here most of the PP values are near the PD baseline except for one or two values that are significantly higher. These anomalies should raise our curiosity and suggest further investigation. In my experience with this type of analysis, it is highly suggestive of best practices that were brought to the team by a member new to the organization. This is the diamond in the rough and must be investigated further. The size of the interquartile range also tells us something about the process. Look at time, cost, HR, and risk, for example. The interquartile ranges are small

- PD baseline

PD baseline

- PD baseline

PD baseline

Figure 3.7 Box & Whisker Plot of PD versus PP maturity level data.

Integration

Cost

Figure 3.8 Figure 3.7 data shown in Kivlatt Chart format.

Cost

Time

Figure 3.8 Figure 3.7 data shown in Kivlatt Chart format.

and the median value lies very close to the PD maturity level. This is indicative of a process that is well understood and practiced by the teams. Everyone is doing pretty much the same thing and is in alignment with the process maturity. The only issue here is the PD maturity level relative to the target level. Scope, quality, and communications do not display this small variance property.

Figure 3.8 shows the same data as is given in Figure 3.7 but using the Kivi-att Chart format. The Kiviatt Chart format can display more data than the Box & "Whisker Plot but is a little less intuitive. Which one you use is really a matter of taste. Both formats are intuitive and convey the same picture. These figures illustrate three situations that are discussed in the following three sections.

For those who would rather see the data at the individual project level, we can replace the Box & Whisker icon with the actual data (Figure 3.9). There is some sacrifice in the intuitiveness from using the Box & Whisker Plot.

Figure 3.10 is yet another example of the use of Box & Whisker Plots. In this example we are tracking changing PD and PP values for a single process. This type of data display is most useful as a summary level report of improvement initiative results for a single process over time. Again, the Box & Whisker Plot tells us quite a bit about what has been going on with this process and the improvement initiatives. For this improvement program both the PD and PP maturity levels are being affected. At the end of each quarter the PD maturity level is assessed and a sample of projects are surveyed with respect to the process under observation. Note what is happening. First, the PD maturity level is increasing toward some target value. The PP maturity level of the sampled projects is moving up slowly. Keep in mind that the project teams are aiming at a

Figure 3.9 Plot of individual project PP maturity values versus PD baseline.

moving target. That translates into considerable change in how projects use the process even as it changes. Note that the PP distributions are converging on the PD values and the interquartile range is decreasing as well. This is suggestive of a good deal of coordination between process and practice as well as an appropriate training program for the new and changed process that is affected. All of this points to a well-executed improvement initiative.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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