The new P3M3 v3.0 best practice guidance solves a number of issues present in its previous incarnations. Most importantly, it greatly enhances the quality of advice organizations can obtain to help them improve their project, programme and portfolio maturity.
As co-author of the new version, you might think I’m bound to say that! But thanks to the pilot projects where P3M3 v3.0 has been tested, this is not just theory - but more of that later.
What I believe is already unanimous is that P3M3 was ready for change: there were many less than ideal aspects for consultants undertaking assessments with it; for example, the descriptions for different maturity attributes weren’t detailed and the wording was ambiguous. But perhaps the biggest problems were the lack of consistency in scoring and the absence of actual improvement recommendations for organizations.
With the previous model being freely available, people were able to use it - or, perhaps, misuse it - and self-assessing project management officers would be faced with all sorts of weird results! The model could also catch out inexperienced consultants who became prone to giving some really damaging advice.
At worst, there were lost opportunities to create value, reduce risk and increase the success rate of PPM in organizations. Hence the need to tidy up P3M3.
And the early indications from organizations trialing v3.0 suggest it was worth the wait.
P3M3 v3.0 delivering better results
The information available to PPM consultants and their clients via P3M3 v3.0 is essentially much richer.
Pilot project assessors have experienced useful discussions with assessment sponsors about strengths and weaknesses in a more structured way before the end of the assessment process and have witnessed a greater focus on practices and behaviours; in fact, a whole new dimension of information has been revealed.
P3M3 v3.0 is giving new perspectives on organizational capabilities and opening up discussions about a variety of areas. For example, it can show a sponsor not only how using Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) is helping change management in one part of the business, but also how it could be deployed elsewhere in the organization.
Getting more granular with diagnostic information
The diagnostics within the new P3M3 model have much greater granularity, so are proving more helpful to consultants and organizations in assessing levels of maturity.
For example, in one pilot project, the assessment revealed strong support for PPM originating from the CEO and, in another, high maturity scores for business improvement were attributable to a particular senior executive. These behaviours were correlated with high maturity scores in those areas, something that wouldn’t have been as easy to do previously.
Assessing behaviours is now one of the specific threads in the new v3 assessments; this allows for more structured interviews with people working in PPM to get a true sense of, for example, how engaged stakeholders are. It’s vital to know whether they are “on board” or not and the new P3M3 provides earlier insight into these types of behaviour.
What have the pilot projects proved?
As a result of using P3M3 v3.0, the pilot project organizations have both adopted the recommendations and launched passionately into capability change programmes.
They have set up a number of work streams in their determination to get the improvements right and lift themselves up to the next level of PPM maturity. The focus they are placing on capability improvements and stakeholder engagement suggests they will come out well in the next assessment.
And it is enabling them to spread the word and knowledge about the benefits of different best practice guidance being used across their organizations. One organization is leveraging success stories from P3O® practices to encourage other areas of the business to also adopt them.
Ultimately, the greater level of information granularity which is provided by the new cross-perspective themes (created as part of the v3 re-write) is enabling PPM consultants and their clients to take a huge leap forward in understanding an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and how they can improve.
For more information, see our P3M3 section and read our press release announcing the launch of P3M3 v3.0.