Galloping to Greatness in Strategy Implementation - PART 4 #dynamiccapabilities #heuristics / by John Schlichter


In the previous three parts of this article, we have seen how talking about improving strategy-implementation capabilities in terms of horse-racing can demystify capability-building. In Part 1, we explored standardization. In Part 2, we explored measurement. In Part 3, we explored both control and continuous improvement. These are the four maturity levels of OPM3, a PMI standard that gives users the option of progressing through these maturity levels in any combination of three domains: the project, program, and portfolio management domains. The idea is that you must combine these three domains to turn ideas into results or to convert strategies into outcomes, and to be able to do that capably you must progress through the agendas (or maturity levels) of standardization, measurement, control, and continuous improvement.

I have explained the detailed aspects of each of the maturity levels, which I know intimately because they are details that I personally authored and wove into the original OPM3 standard, and they are what made that model work. Unfortunately, those essential details have become lost to most users over time, which is one of the critical weaknesses of the way that PMI standards are created and managed, i.e. centralization. PMI extracted the important details from OPM3 and repackaged them as software which they rented to users for many thousands of dollars, eventually pricing themselves out of the market. Hopefully PMI will correct the situation by making that content available to users again. When PMI does that, users will need to know that there are things that OPM3 does not prescribe which they will need to decide. In other words, there were some spaces that were intentionally left blank for you to fill in.

For example, in the previous installments of this article, I wrote about “speed” and “safety.” But OPM3 does not prescribe either “speed” or “safety” as aspects of performance that must be measured. In fact, OPM3 does not specify any metrics. When I originated and led the program to create OPM3, I ensured that OPM3 was agnostic regarding metrics. I did this because PMI’s policy when our team created OPM3 was that PMI standards must be generic enough to be applicable to most organizations most of the time. For years I have been outspoken that standards are maps and that the world needs many of them (not simply one generic map that is abstract enough to be applicable to everyone but customized for nobody). Indeed, the creation of industry standards should be decentralized through emerging technologies that include blockchain and allow the proliferation and customization of all kinds of maps. But that’s a story for another day.

The point about metrics is that every organization is different. The leaders of each organization should have the freedom to decide how their project, program, and portfolio management processes shall be measured. While this is a “feature” of OPM3, it might also be viewed as a “weakness,” depending on your perspective. To ensure it is a strength and not a weakness, you must choose an OPM consultant who has demonstrable expertise in Organizational Project Management metrics.

After OPM3 was published, OPM Experts LLC created a tool for identifying, developing, and implementing the correct OPM metrics in any organization. That proprietary tool is called the Strategy Implementation Maturity Protocol for Learning Enterprises (SIMPLE®). See SIMPLE® has been used in many organizations to help them focus on the aspects of Organizational Project Management performance that are most relevant to their own environments (per figure 3).

 Figure 3: SIMPLE® helps you improve performance.

Figure 3: SIMPLE® helps you improve performance.

SIMPLE® helps to accelerate the creation of capabilities via your OPM3 implementation. We supplement OPM3 with SIMPLE® to create a database that is custom designed for collecting the metrics most relevant to your organization. Contact us today to learn more about ways to take your organization to the highest levels of maturity and capability in Organizational Project Management. You can be a champion. You belong in the Winner's Circle.