BKPM Nodes

Every organization has a unique ‘fingerprint’ when it comes to how their project management organization is run, how it functions, and how effective it is.  There are dozens of components that contribute to this and they vary in maturity, connectivity or relations, importance, criticality and effort.

Each component must be assessed for its effectiveness and together all components and the mix of important components contribute to the total effectiveness of the project management organization. No two companies are alike. The blend of all of these components and assessments constitute a unique fingerprint.

In order to understand your organization’s PMO fingerprint, a thorough assessment of these components or nodes is needed.  The process to determine an organization’s PMO fingerprint requires interviewing and hands-on, interpersonal work.  There is no way around this.  Those who the PMO serves determine the level of effectiveness of the PMO from their particular point of view in the company.  It is critical to know what they think.

The goal of BKPMO Maturity Matrix is evolution of the project management team and its framework, tools, and approaches to the highest level of effectiveness possible within the organization and considering its culture.   Improvement options to achieve higher levels of effectiveness will become evident.  Applying focus to these areas will allow for immediate and enduring changes.

Understanding each area of the assessment will show you how your organization’s fingerprint can be determined, visualized, and then improved upon.

Nodes: Sets of coordinated PM activities

Project Management is a fundamentally as set of coordinated activities employed to control and manage the execution of a new initiative in a company.  Typically, some sets of activities work better for some organizations than others.  In order to determine which activities lead to the highest degree of effectiveness, then need to be categorized, grouped, and named.

Think of a node as a component of managing projects within your organization, like project planning, governance, resource management, communications, etc.   A node contains a highly-related set of project management activities that, when used together to some degree, enable control of all of your organizations projects.

Nodes, like BKPM Principles, are customizable.   Our list in not inclusive of every set of activities possible.  Some nodes seem standard, but others have very specific meaning within your organization.  Project Planning is a fairly-standard node and included the set of activities that document the tasks, durations, work, resource, and calendar aspects of a project.

Performance Management could be a highly-customized node.  That node might be used to indicate the degree to which a set of processes and activities are in place to measure the effectiveness the individuals within the organization or the organization itself to help create a high-performance workforce.

Some nodes might be critical to one organization and not so much to another.  As, such, nodes can be  more important or less important than others in different organizations. Project Planning, as a node, will almost always be very critical to project control and effectiveness.  Project Governance as a node might be virtually unimportant in a small organization, but critical in a larger organization managing hundreds of projects simultaneously.

Figure 9.1 shows an example of BKPM Nodes that might be applicable to any organization.  The term applicable is used instead of important or in-use because some nodes may not be in use but may be important for improvements in effectiveness.

Typical BKPM Nodes

Node Name Description
Methodology Project methodologies contain guiding processes for those who are managing projects and are typically not tool specific. (Examples: Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, BKPM, etc.)
Planning Project planning includes defining the scope and requirements to be completed within the project, the tasks that are required to complete the deliverables, the resources assigned to completing those task and the work efforts and duration required to complete those tasks.
Risk Management Risk management includes the process and principles used to identify, mitigate, communicate and integrate a plan to address or acknowledge the identified risk.
Active Project Management Active project management typically refers to the day-to-day activities involved after the initial project planning is complete and the project manager is managing based on project schedule and deliverables.  This includes the basic principles of project management to include daily/weekly project meetings, task review, status updates from task owners, risk analysis and project communications.
Reporting Project reporting can refer to the project progress reporting done on a daily/weekly basis for the project team, executive level reporting for one or many projects or the metrics and dashboard reporting used for analysis.
Resource Management Resource management is described as how resources are managed, the roles of resources, allocation and tracking of resource usage both for budget oversight and managing against resource constraints.
Portfolio Management Project portfolio management is the management and oversight of the processes, methods and tools used to manage projects and allows the PMO to have oversight of all current or proposed projects.  How the portfolio is managed is based on organizational principles and executive leadership.
Financial Management Financial management within project management is described as the financial plans and allocations for current and proposed projects, how the budgets are managed and reported, and the processes in place for review and analysis of key financial indicators for executive level reporting.
Governance Project governance is comprised of a governance/steering committee, the principles or infrastructure in which projects are managed by and the responsibilities of the roles of the individuals involved with managing the PMO and projects.
Communications Project communications is defined as the processes in which the project team/project manager communicates to the project team, the executive team and the customer/project sponsor.  These processes can include daily/weekly project reporting, changes, risks and other pertinent project communications.
PM Team Training and Coaching PM Team Training and Coaching can involve training on the PMO’s methodologies, processes and tools as well as on roles, on-going coaching and assessments to further understand their roles and responsibilities to be as effective as possible in managing projects.
Project Change Control Change control is all about critically evaluating each suggested change to ensure that it is the “right” thing to do. It usually involves authority being vested in an individual or a board to make decisions about changes. And in most cases, the intent is to minimize change. Change control is the mechanism that many projects put into place to try to avoid the disruptive effects of change.
PM Cultivation PM Cultivation is the process and principles involved on how to attract, identify, screen interview using scenarios, hire, onboard and cultivate new project managers.
BA Cultivation BA Cultivation is the process and principles involved on how to attract, identify, screen interview using scenarios, hire, onboard and cultivate new project managers.
Change Management Change management refers to any approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations using methods intended to re-direct the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly reshape a company or organization.

Grouping activities into nodes is highly subjective.  And the definitions can change from place to place.  So, it is important to create and agree on the nodes, their names, and the their meanings early in the process of developing your organization’s fingerprint in the form of a BKPM maturity model.

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