capabilities maturity model

Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3)

Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) is one of many project management maturity models, but is the only one developed with the input of thousands of professionals across 35 countries using a monitored and open consensus building process resulting in an industry standard. The model has been developed by volunteers and is owned by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It provides requirements for assessing and developing or improving capabilities in project, program, and portfolio management.

About OPM3

The benefits an organization can get from OPM3 include knowing the current maturity of capabilities, identifying improvement areas, cultivating project management awareness among senior management, and most importantly, orchestrating improvements that help the organization to advance its strategies through projects. Using the model, one can develop coherence between the organization’s strategic goals and its project-based activities, by guiding organizations in the development of the capabilities necessary to choose the right projects to advance their strategies, and the capabilities necessary to deliver those projects successfully, consistently, and predictably.

Embedded in the model is a step-by-step methodology for making any kind of process capable through standardization, measurement, control, and continuous improvement, which allows users to integrate project, program, and portfolio management processes with other business processes effectively across organizational boundaries. In addition to describing the development of process capability in the respective project, program, and portfolio management processes, the model describes the development of the environment and culture in which processes operate.

According to PMI the model benefits organizations irrespective of their size, geographic area or type of industry. It is sizable, scalable, and customizable.

The model has three interlocking elements: Knowledge, Assessment and Improvement.

  • Knowledge refers to the OPM3 foundation concepts, relevant best practices and terms.
  • Assessment refers to a device to measure an organization against all the best practices present in OPM3.
  • Improvement refers to roadmaps demonstrating the paths from the organization's current state of assessed capabilities to its intended future state.

There are 586 best practices and on average 2,109 capabilities (3-4 Capabilities per best practice) in OPM3. This content is categorized into three domains (Project, Program, and Portfolio), and into four stages of process management (Standardization, Measurement, Control, and Continuous Improvement).

OPM3 Tools

PMI offers two tools which can help an organization implement OPM3. The first is OPM3 Online which allows the layperson to conduct a self-assessment but is prone to misinterpretation because the self-assessor is not certified, and the second is a product called OPM3 ProductSuite and requires a certified Assessor who conducts the assessment according to approved, tested, and certified principles, resulting in a much more reliable and actionable assessment. Both tools have all three elements (Knowledge, Assessment and improvement).

The underlying assumption is that the greater the maturity, the greater will be the effectiveness and efficiency in implementing projects. Consequently, the greater the strategic organizational performance.

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