On Whatever Happened to Organizational PM Maturity




13 October 2020

Ref: Whatever Happened to Organizational PM Maturity, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue X –October 2020


Dear David,

Of course, we are delighted you tackled the PM maturity issue, which also all of us believe is of extraordinary importance in the complex context of today’s world. We are both involved on this matter in Italy, just using the Prado model in a previous survey[1]. At present, together with an ISIPM team, we did an upgrading process of the Prado questionnaire (aligned to ISO 21500), in order to adhere to the Italian Standards about competence of Project Manager (UNI 11648), which allows to get a relevant official certification). The whole task was obviously supported and approved by Darci himself, and we called this upgraded model ISIPM-Prado®. As already mentioned in PMWJ Italy report[2] we launched a beta test survey in Italy, getting a first result in 2019[3], showing an average maturity level of 2,7 getting the top score dimensions in “PM competence” and “Methodology”; at least the overall consciousness that PM can lead to success is improving!

Now a more consolidated survey is in process, eventually to be finalized in mid-2021 (see the Italian questionnaire at https://maturita.isipm.org/).

As you probably know, the European Union has launched an ambitious program (called shortly “Recovery Plan”) which will allow to finance (through a mix of grants and loans) each European Country in order to face economic and social problems generated by CoViD pandemia. A big share of the cake would be assigned to Italy. Good news, but as ISIPM we suggested, via newspapers and web professional magazines (e.g. in Italian https://www.agendadigitale.eu/procurement/recovery-fund-italiano-perche-ce-bisogno-di-un-portfolio-manager/), to establish a portfolio/program/project office (PPMO) at the Government premises, for supporting local and central administration to plan, select and implement the high number of projects which are already proposed by the various governmental entities and enterprises. Many governmental entities have already developed a strong competence on that (as far as we know, mainly in the ICT Dept, but not only: see the Genoa Bridge reconstruction[4]).

What link this proposal has with a PM maturity model? Because we also suggested that in the procurement process, both governmental contracting authorities and bidding companies have to show an adequate PM maturity level …

But we are still waiting for an answer!

At the same time, here in the academic world a debate arose about the scientific validation of PM maturity models effectiveness (anyone of them: Prado, OPM3, etc.). In our opinion this is a false issue, or at least it has an unfeasible answer: we all are (unfortunately) aware of the testing process of a CoViD vaccine. It would be unlikely to build a testbed of many different organizations and to make a longitudinal performance analysis (with or without a placebo model). We do not mind too much this debate, because as somebody wiser than us told: “project management, as medicine, is not a science, but a practice”! In other words, although we fully support the Prado model, any sound model is acceptable, as a Chinese motto says: “The colour of the cat doesn’t matter as long as it catches the mice”…

More to come!

Andrea Fraticelli
Management Board ISIPM (Italian Institute for Project Management)

Federico Minelle
Scientific Committee ISIPM (Italian Institute for Project Management)



How to cite this work: Fraticelli, A. and Minelle, F. (2020). On Whatever Happened to Organizational PM Maturity, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue XI, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/pmwj99-Nov2020-Fraticelli-Minelle-on-organizational-pm-maturity-Letter-to-Editor.pdf

[1] Andrea Fraticelli, Russell D. Archibald and Darci Prado “Maturity in Project Management: The Italian Experience” PM World Journal, Vol. III, Issue XI (November 2014). https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/pmwj28-Nov2014-Fraticelli-Archibald-Prado-Italy-PMMM-Maturity-Series-Article.pdf

[2] Massimo Pirozzi “Italy Project Management Roundup” PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI (December 2019). https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Pirozzi-6th-Report-from-Italy-Italiano.pdf

[3] Andrea Fraticelli, Federico Minelle “LA MATURITÀ DI PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ITALIA.I RISULTATI DELLA RICERCA ISIPM­PRADO® ANNO 2019” (in Italian) il Project Manager n. 42 FrancoAngeli ed. (April-June 2020)

[4] Pirozzi, M. (2020). “Italy Project Management Roundup”, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IV (April). https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/pmwj92-Apr2020-Pirozzi-7th-Report-from-Italy-English.pdf