Common processes require a good process definition effort accompanied by the necessary organizational behavior needed for the execution of the processes.
Level 2, common processes, can be broken down into five life cycle phases, as shown in Figure below. The first life cycle phase of Level 2 is the embryonic phase, which is where the organization recognizes that project management can benefit the organization. The embryonic phase includes:
Companies do not generally promote the acceptance of project management unless they understand a sound basis for wanting project management. The six most common driving forces for project management are as follows:
Life cycle phases for Level 2 of project management maturity:
In theory, most companies have one and only one driving force. While we’ve just discussed six different driving forces, in practice, in reality, they combine to give us one, and only one—survival. This is shown in Figure below. Once executives recognize that project management is needed for survival, changes occur quickly.
What is unfortunate about the embryonic phase is that the recognition of benefits and applications may be seen first by lower and middle levels of management. Senior management must then be “sold” on the concept of project management. This leads us to the second life cycle phase, executive management acceptance. Included in the executive management acceptance phase are the following:
The components of survival:
The third life cycle phase of Level 2 is line management acceptance. This includes:
It is highly unlikely that line managers will provide support for project management unless they also see “visible” executive support.
The fourth life cycle phase of Level 2 is the growth phase. This is the critical phase. Although some of the effort in this phase can be accomplished in parallel with the first three life cycle phases of Level 2, the completion of this phase is predicated upon the completion of the first three life cycle phases. The growth phase is the beginning of the creation of the project management process.
Included in this phase are:
Unfortunately, companies often develop several types of methodologies for each type of project within the organization. This becomes an inefficient use of resources, although it can function as a good learning experience for the company.
The fifth life cycle phase of Level 2 is the so-called “initial maturity phase” of Level 2. Included in this phase are:
Many companies never fully complete this life cycle phase because the organization is resistant to project cost control, otherwise known as horizontal accounting. Line managers dislike horizontal accounting because it clearly identifies which line managers provide good estimates for projects and which do not. Executives resist horizontal accounting because the executives want to establish a budget and schedule long before a project plan is created.
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