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Assess and improve the capabilities of an organization for managing projects, programs and portfolios to achieve its strategic goals. Explanation of OPM3 of PMI. ('03)

Contributed by: Drs. Frans Eijpe, PMP



The OPM3 Model - Domains and Maturity LevelsWhat is OPM3? Description

OPM3 is an abbreviation of "Organizational Project Management Maturity Model". Using OPM3, organizations can assess their level of maturity. They do this by analyzing the existence in their organizations of about 600 best practices, built up from defined capabilities. OPM3 relates to 4 levels of maturity, for its 3 domains:

  1. Projects.
  2. Programs.
  3. Portfolios.

After gaining knowledge of what constitutes best practices in organizational project management, an assessment can be performed of the current maturity level of organizational project management. Following this, a directory of best practices and defined capabilities is used to define a path for improvement.

Origin of OPM3. History

OPM3 was developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which recognized the need for a standard that assist organizations to improve their capabilities to implement their strategies through the execution of (multiple) projects. Besides "A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK) which focuses on managing single projects.
After 5 years of development by over 800 project managers from more than 30 countries, the first edition of OPM3 was released in December 2003.

OPM3 Elements

The model encompasses 3 elements:

  • Knowledge,
  • Assessment, and
  • Improvement.

Usage of OPM3. Applications

OPM3 is a scalable and generic model, it is applicable to profit and non-profit organizations of different sizes, industries and geographical locations. Organizations may also be divisions, business units, departments etc.

Steps in OPM3. Process

  1. Gaining knowledge of what constitutes best practices in organizational project management.
  2. Assessment of the current maturity level of project management in the organization.
  3. Identify a path for continuous improvement, based on the knowledge of best practices and the current maturity level of project management in the organization.

Strengths of OPM3. Benefits

OPM3 is the first model of its sort, that describes best practices for project management, program management and portfolio management in a maturity model. It is aligned with the PMBOK, a global accepted standard for Project Management.

Assumptions of OPM3. Conditions

OPM3 focuses on the clear correlation between the capabilities of an organization to manage projects, programs and portfolios and its effectiveness in implementing strategy.

Book: Project Management Institute - Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) -

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