P3M3 Self-Assessment Tool

The P3M3 self-assessment questionnaire is one of a number of alternative ways for an organization to begin to explore the P3M3 model. It introduces some of the core concepts such as the five Maturity Levels and seven process Perspectives that are the foundations of the P3M3.

Question 1:

The first question relates to the overall organizational maturity levels. The aim in answering this question is to ascertain which of the five descriptions given below is the most accurate reflection of the portfolio, programme and/or project management processes.

Organization description

Processes are not usually documented; there are no, or only a few, process descriptions. Actual practice is determined by events or individual preferences, and performance is variable.

Successful initiatives are often based on key individuals’ competencies rather than organization-wide knowledge and capability and the organization is unable to repeat past successes consistently. Such “successes” are often achieved with budget and/or schedule overruns.

Processes are undeveloped or incomplete. There is little, if any, guidance or supporting documentation, and even terminology may not be standardized across the organization – e.g. business case, risk, issues, etc. may not be interpreted in the same way by all managers and team members.

The organization is able to demonstrate that basic management practices have been established – e.g. tracking expenditure and scheduling resources – and that processes are developing. There are key individuals who have had suitable training and who can demonstrate a successful track record and through them, the organization is capable of repeating earlier successes in the future.

Initiatives are performed and managed according to their documented plans; project status and delivery is visible to management at defined points, such as on reaching major milestones.

The organization may still have inadequate measures of success; unclear responsibilities for achievement; ambiguity and inconsistency in business objectives; lack of fully integrated risk management; limited experience in change management; and inadequacies in communications strategy.

Management and technical processes are documented, standardized and integrated to some extent with other business processes. There is likely to be process ownership and an established process group with responsibility for maintaining consistency and delivering process improvements across the organization.

Senior management are engaged consistently and provide active and informed support.

There is likely to be an established training programme to develop the skills and knowledge of individuals so they can more readily perform their designated roles. A key aspect of quality management will be the widespread use of peer reviews of identified products, to better understand how processes can be improved and thereby eliminate possible weaknesses.

A key distinction between this and the previous level description is the scope of standards, process descriptions and procedures. Processes will be managed more proactively and the standard processes can be tailored to suit specific circumstances, in accordance with explicit guidelines.

The organization demonstrates mature behaviour through defined processes that are quantitatively managed – i.e. controlled using metrics and quantitative techniques. There is good evidence of quantitative objectives for quality and process performance, and these are being used as criteria in managing processes. The measurement data collected is contributing towards the organization’s overall performance measurement framework and facilitates portfolio analysis and ascertaining the current capacity and capability constraints.

Top management are proactively seeking out innovative ways to achieve goals.

Using metrics, management can effectively control processes and identify ways to adjust and adapt them to particular initiatives without loss of quality.

The organization is focused on optimization of its quantitatively managed processes to take into account changing business needs and external factors. It is able to anticipate future capacity demands and capability requirements to meet delivery challenges – e.g. through portfolio analysis.

Top managers are seen as exemplars, reinforcing the need and potential for capability and performance improvement.

The knowledge gained by the organization from its process and product metrics will enable it to understand causes of variation and therefore optimize its performance. The organization will be able to show that continuous process improvement is being enabled by quantitative feedback from its embedded processes and from validating innovative ideas and technologies. The organization will be able to demonstrate strong alignment of organizational objectives with business plans, and this will be cascaded down through scoping, sponsorship, commitment, planning, resource allocation, risk management and benefits realization.

P3M3 contains seven process perspectives that identify the key characteristics of mature organizations using portfolio, programme and/or project management to successfully achieve strategic objectives and priorities. The processes and practices that characterise a particular level of process capability within each perspective are described.

The following set of questions is intended to examine the process capability associated with each of the seven perspectives.

Management Control

Question 2: Our management control is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

The organization recognizes the portfolio but has little or nothing in terms of documented processes or standards for managing the portfolio.

Programme management terminology may be used but not consistently. The general approach is focused on projects rather than at the programme level.

Project management terminology is used by some within the organization but not consistently and may not be understood by all stakeholders. Projects are conducted and managed dependent on individual project managers’ preferences.

There are some pockets of portfolio discipline within individual departments, but this is based on key individuals rather than as part of a comprehensive and consistent organization-wide approach.

Some general understanding exists of the concepts of programme management and its control mechanisms but adoption is localized.

The concepts of project management will have been grasped by some within the organization, and indeed there may be local experts, such as experienced project managers working on key projects.

Portfolio management processes are centrally defined, documented and understood, as are roles and responsibilities for governance and delivery.

There is a centrally defined and documented approach to a programme management life cycle and controls, and it is applied in all programmes by capable staff who support programme teams.

There is a consistent approach to project management controls across the organization, based on standard processes and methods.

The project life cycle not only focuses on initiation and development activities, but equally on delivery, review, verification, implementation and handover.

Portfolio management processes exist and are proven. Portfolio management has established metrics against which success can be measured.

Programme management is seen as a key tool for the delivery of strategic objectives. Within the programme environment the focus is on improvement of delivery through measurement and analysis of performance.

Project management is of sufficient strategic importance for it to be integrated with business and strategic planning functions. There is an emphasis on quantitative management and performance measurement.

Portfolio management has well-defined controls and behaviours that enable it to deliver the strategic objectives of the organization through a variety of processes and tools.

Management controls ensure that the programme approach delivers the strategic aims and objectives of the organization. Acceptance of programme management as the optimal approach to strategic delivery is organization-wide.

Project management controls are being optimized to ensure that they are effective and efficient from the organizational perspective. They are regularly evaluated to ensure that they remain aligned to the business imperatives, strategies and plans.

Benefits Management

Question 3: Our benefits management is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

Recognition that initiatives may exist within the organizational and divisional portfolio to enable the achievement of benefits for the organization. However, there isn’t a defined benefits realization process.

There is recognition of the concepts of benefits that can be differentiated from project outputs. Benefits are being developed at a project level with minimal programme control.

There may be recognition that the concept of benefits can be differentiated from project outputs.

Development of the investment cycle with increasing awareness of the importance of identifying benefits and subsequently tracking whether they have been achieved. However, the realization of benefits is still likely to be patchy, inconsistent and unmonitored.

Benefits are being recognized as a key element and differentiating factor for programmes. The focus is likely to be at the project level but there is initial evidence of benefit tracking at a programme level in some cases.

Benefits are recognized as an element within business cases. There may be some documentation on who is responsible for particular benefits and their realization, but this is unlikely to be followed through or consistent.

There is a centrally managed framework used for defining and tracking the delivery of portfolio-level benefits across the business operations.

There is a centrally managed and consistent framework, with processes that are used for defining and tracking the delivery of benefits arising from programme outcomes.

There is a centrally managed framework for defining and tracking the delivery of benefits from project outputs.

The benefits realization and management process is well established, measurable and is integrated into how the organization manages itself.

Benefits management is embedded within the programme management approach and underpins the justification for, and management implementation of, each programme. Programme performance metrics are collected and analyzed.

Benefits management is embedded within the project management approach and there is a focus on delivery of business performance from project outputs.

Benefits realization is integral to the development of business strategy decision making.

Benefits management is embedded within the organizational approach to change and is assessed as part of the development of organizational strategies.

Benefits realization management is embedded within the organizational approach to change and is assessed as part of the development of organizational strategy. Business performance metrics are linked to, and underpin, the recognition of benefits realization.

Financial Management

Question 4: Our financial management is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

Portfolio oversight of the financial aspects of initiatives may be recognized but there is little or no organizational investment control.

Minimal or no financial controls, and those that exist are principally related to projects or individual programmes.

There are little or no financial controls at project level. There is a lack of accountability and monitoring of project expenditure.

There are some good business cases being produced and some, usually departmental, structures to oversee investment decisions. However, business cases are often appraised independently of each other and real organizational priorities have not been established.

Financial approvals and cost projections for programmes may not be in evidence. There may be a focus on project finance but the overall cost of the programme is not fully accounted for.

Business cases are produced in various forms and the better and more formal cases will present the rationale on which to obtain organizational commitment to the project.

There are established standards for the investment management process and the preparation of business cases.

Centrally managed and standardized approach to financial management, with cost assessments tracked throughout the programme life cycle.

The organization has established standards for the preparation of business cases and processes for their management throughout the project life cycle. Project managers monitor costs and expenditure in accordance with organizational guidelines and procedures, with defined interfaces with other financial functions within the organization.

The organization has effective and robust financial control of its investment decisions and the approval and monitoring of initiatives. There is proactive, evidence- based management of the portfolio.

Programme life cycles are being flexed effectively to manage availability of funds. There is effective decision making, with consideration of financial evidence.

The organization is able to prioritize investment opportunities effectively in relation to the availability of funds and other resources. Business cases are evaluated and investment decisions ratified by the business. Project budgets are managed effectively and project performance against cost is monitored and compared. Cost models are used to demonstrate the efficacy of projects.

Financial control of the portfolio is an integral part of the organization’s financial control regime.

Financial control is evident throughout the programme life cycle and a balanced view of financial risk taking underpins programme governance.

Project financial controls are fully integrated with those of the organization. Cost estimation techniques are continually reviewed in terms of actual versus estimate comparisons to improve estimation throughout the organization.

Risk Management

Question 5: Our risk management is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

There may be a growing recognition that risks need to be managed and that, at least for key business initiatives (e.g. cost saving or major site developments), they can threaten success.

There is minimal evidence of risk management being used to any beneficial effect. There may be evidence of a risk being documented but little evidence of active management.

There may be some evidence of risk management being deployed occasionally, but with minimal beneficial effect.

There is generally a top-down approach to risk identification, focusing on major organizational initiatives, but some initiatives are increasingly carrying out bottom-up risk identification. However, these approaches are inconsistent, not particularly interrelated and often do not address the actual management of risks.

Risk management is partially recognized and used on some programmes, but there are inconsistent approaches within and between programmes, which result in different levels of commitment and effectiveness.

Risk management is recognized and used in some projects, but there are inconsistencies in approach, commitment and deployment.

Portfolio risks are identified and quantified, and mitigation plans are developed and funded. Risk management across the portfolio is based on a common, centrally managed process.

Risk management has a clearly defined and centrally managed process that is followed consistently by all programmes. The framework is based on industry standards and is supported by a consistent system used by all programmes.

Project risk management is based on a centrally defined process that is cognizant of the organization’s policy for the management of risks.

The organization’s appetite for risk, and the balance of risk and benefit across the portfolio, are continually reviewed and managed. Senior managers own and oversee risk management across the portfolio.

Risk management works effectively, with active management and mitigation of risks evident through embedded behaviour. There is evidence of opportunity management and management of risk aggregation.

Risk management is working effectively, is embedded, and the value of risk management can be demonstrated from the organizational perspective. Decision making includes risk analysis.

The process of portfolio risk management is continually improved, based on the analysis of evidence from within the organization and comparison with other organizations.

Risk management is embedded in the culture of the organization and underpins all decision making within the programme. There is evidence of continual improvement and integration with strategic direction.

Risk management is embedded in the organizational culture and underpins all decision making with respect to projects.

Stakeholder Management

Question 6: Our approach to stakeholder management is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

Stakeholder management and communication is rarely used by portfolios as an element of the delivery toolkit.

Stakeholder management and communication is rarely used by programmes as an element of the delivery toolkit.

Stakeholder management and communication is rarely used by projects as an element of the delivery toolkit.

Some portfolios will be communicating effectively, but this is linked more to personal initiative of portfolio managers than a structured approach deployed by the organization.

Some programmes will be communicating effectively, but this is linked more to personal initiative of programme managers than a structured approach being deployed by the organization.

Some projects will be communicating effectively, but this is linked more to personal initiative of programme and/or project managers than a structured approach being deployed by the organization.

There is a centrally managed and consistent approach to stakeholder management and communications, used by all portfolios.

There is a centrally managed and consistent approach to stakeholder management and communications, used by all programmes.

There is a centrally managed and consistent approach to stakeholder management and communications, used by all projects.

Sophisticated techniques are used to analyze and engage the stakeholder environment effectively, and quantitative information is used to underpin the assessment of effectiveness.

Sophisticated techniques are used to analyze and engage the stakeholder environment effectively, and quantitative information is used to underpin the assessment of effectiveness.

Sophisticated techniques are used to analyze and engage the stakeholder environment effectively, and quantitative information is used to underpin the assessment of effectiveness.

Communications is being optimized from extensive knowledge of the stakeholder environment, to enable the portfolios to achieve their objectives.

Communications is being optimized from extensive knowledge of the stakeholder environment, to enable the programmes to achieve their objectives.

Communications is being optimized from extensive knowledge of the stakeholder environment, to enable the projects to achieve their objectives.

Organizational Governance

Question 7: We deliver organizational governance by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

The organization has some inconsistent and informal attempts to align individual initiatives to organizational objectives, and there is an ad hoc, inconsistent and ineffective oversight of initiatives.

Some informal governance of programmes may exist but with undefined links to projects and/or broader organizational controls. Roles will not be formally defined.

Informal governance of projects exists but has undefined links to broader organizational controls. Roles are likely to be notional.

There are some attempts to recognize the portfolio of initiatives, but there is still little overall leadership and direction for the process.Initiatives may be initiated and run without full regard to the organizational goals, priorities and targets.

Programme management is beginning to take shape but with ad hoc controls, and there is no clear strategic control. Roles and responsibilities will be inconsistent, as will reporting lines.

Project management from an organizational perspective is beginning to take shape but with ad hoc controls and no clear strategic control.

The principles of portfolio management are widely understood, practised to a consistent standard, and underpin the governance framework.

Centrally defined organizational controls are applied consistently to programmes, with decision- making structures in place and linked to organizational governance.

Strategic governance controls are applied consistently, with decision-making structures in place to enable and control the delivery of projects and alignment with business needs.

All initiatives are integrated into an achievable and governed portfolio, which is aligned to strategic objectives and priorities. The portfolio contains relevant information on initiatives (e.g. performance measures, quality attributes and asset management data) to support Executive Board decisions.

There are clearly aligned decision-making processes that adopt and integrate with broader organizational governance and are transparent to those involved. Programme management responsibilities are embedded within broader role descriptions.

Decision-making processes associated with project performance are adopted and integrated into broader organizational performance management, reporting and governance arrangements.

The portfolio is managed to ensure that it remains aligned to support the organization’s strategic objectives. The portfolio management process is optimized to ensure that it is sufficiently dynamic and agile to cater for changes in business direction and priorities.

Programme management is embedded at Executive Board level, with clear ownership and control responsibilities embedded within individual directors’ terms of reference.

The governance arrangements for projects are a core aspect of organizational control, with demonstrable reporting lines to Executive Board level and with clear ownership and control responsibilities embedded within the organization.

Resource Management

Question 8: Our resource management is best described by:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

Portfolio resource requirements are recognized but not systematically managed. Resource allocation is ad hoc, with little, if any, profiling of resources to meet the resource requirements of specific initiatives.

Focus is on project resources being deployed with minimal focus on programme management resource requirements and little attempt to develop a programme approach.

There is little recognition within the organization of the need to manage resources effectively to enable successful delivery of projects.

The organization has started to develop portfolio resource management processes and improve the identification and allocation of resources to specific initiatives. However, this is likely to be reliant on key individuals and does not assess the impact of resource allocation against the strategic objectives and priorities.

Resources are being deployed across the organization but there is little evidence of a consistent approach to resource acquisition, planning or management in support of programmes.

Resources are being deployed across the organization but there is little evidence of a consistent approach to resource acquisition, planning or management in support of projects.

The portfolio resource management process is centrally defined within the organization. Initiative resource needs are evaluated, enabling the organization to target and increase the development of resources to meet strategic objectives and priorities.

Centrally managed and consistent resource management processes are in place across all programmes.

The organization has a centrally defined and adopted set of procedures and management processes for managing resources.

The organization has established effective capacity and capability strategies and processes for obtaining, allocating and adjusting resource levels (including people, funding, estate and tools) in line with medium- and long-term investment plans.

There is measurement of resource utilization and proactive management to raise and broaden capability. There is evidence of innovative use of resource options to optimize delivery achievement.

Resource management for projects is considered at a strategic level within the organization. There is evidence of resource capacity management, through capacity planning, in order to meet project delivery needs.

Portfolio management drives the planning, development and allocation of initiatives to optimize the effective use of resources in achieving the strategic objectives and priorities.

Resources are deployed optimally. There is clear evidence of balancing internal and external expertise, with knowledge being embedded into the business by virtue of learning from previous deployments.

Resources are deployed optimally. There is clear evidence of load balancing and the effective use of both internal and external resources in accordance with a resource strategy.

Question 9: Does the organization:
Portfolio Management Programme Management Project Management

Have an Executive Board that recognizes programmes and projects and maintains an informal list of investments in programmes and projects, without perhaps a formal tracking mechanism and documented process.

Recognize programmes and run them differently from projects. (Programmes may be running informally with no standard processes or tracking system).

Recognize projects and run them differently from ongoing business. (Projects may be running informally with no standard processes or tracking system).

Ensure that each programme and/or project in its portfolio is run with its own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard. (There may be limited consistency or coordination).

Ensure that each programme is run with its own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard. (There may be limited consistency or coordination between programmes).

Ensure that each project is run with its own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard. (There may be limited consistency or coordination between projects).

Have its own portfolio management process and centrally controlled programme and project processes with individual programmes and projects being able to flex within these processes to suit particular programmes and/or projects.

Have its own centrally controlled programme processes with individual programmes being able to flex within these processes to suit the particular programme.

Have its own centrally controlled project processes with individual projects being able to flex within these processes to suit the particular project.

Obtain and retain specific management metrics on its whole portfolio of programmes and projects as a means of predicting future performance. The organization assesses its capacity to manage programmes and projects and prioritize them accordingly.

Obtain and retain specific management metrics on its programme management performance and run a quality management organization to better predict and control future performance.

Obtain and retain specific measurements on its project management performance and run a quality management organization to better predict and control future performance.

Undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for the portfolio in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimize processes.

Undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for programmes in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimize processes.

Undertake continuous process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for projects in order to improve its ability to depict performance over time and optimize processes.

Make Sure to answer All Questions

If you requires further assistance for P3M3 model for your orgnization, Please fill the form here: