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Can Project Management Maturity Fuel Great Ideas?

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My last post discussed how project portfolio management helps organizations achieve their objectives. Now I want to discuss how such success is possible.

Achieving project management objectives relies on the maturity of project management understanding within an organization. It's not about the skills of the individual project manager. Rather it's about the organization's understanding of what is possible with project management.

Apple is one organization making effective use of such maturity. The company has a reputation for delivering quality products by combining superior design with technology -- not focusing solely on innovation.

With the iPhone and other iOS products, Apple gained a larger share of the market -- not by sacrificing its distinction as an organization, but by transforming it.

Apple's product designers balance technology with humanity. While designers are both rewarded and pushed into continually brainstorming, researching and testing new ideas, the focus is on usability and simplicity.

Apple's project teams worked out a way to "make the magic happen" through project management maturity.

Organizational project management coupled with Apple's creative environment paved the way for achieving project successes and organizational objectives.
 
The project to develop the iPhone grew from the iPod; the App Store grew out of the opportunities the iPhone provided. Their maturity was not only due to Apple's management skills, but grew from developing its own project management methods.

Apple's strategy, fueled by its maturity, allowed these and other projects in the company's portfolio, to be managed with a greater chance of success than its competitors.

As with all well-run organizations, project management maturity facilitates the implementation of ideas.

What do you think? Does project management maturity spark great creativity?

Editor's note: See more on project management maturity.

 

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6 Comments

I don't think Apple is a great example in this case. The driving force behind Apple is only a few people, and that's well known.

Project management maturity has nothing to do with creativity, if anything, it might be inversely proportional. The more mature the organization is from a PM perspective, the more it is rigid and hesitant to embrace new ideas.

I believe that if you have a well-run company with a staff that has a passion for learning and change, project management maturity just comes along with that.

If businesses don't adapt to their surroundings and changing industries then they are doomed to fail. That is why I believe Apple has become so successful throughout the years. They have spotted the change in the industry and capitalized on that and made huge profits. Those profits have helped their project management maturity too.

-Dawn

There is no doubt that organizations like Apple that have mature project management processes will produce higher quality products, will have faster time to market, and will out perform their competitors. Project management maturity is about delivering results and exceeding customer expectations that can lead to generating game-changing ideas whether it's IBM, GE, or NASA. 

Roger,

Very good article. I have been involved in several organizations where the project managers were very experienced with an exceptional track record but the organizations didn't understand what was possible with project management. And worst of all, they were not willing to listen and learn about the possibilities and added value that proper and mature project management can bring to the table.

Thank you and I look forward to learning more on the topic.

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet, MBA, PMP

Project management maturity has a dependency on the organizational processes/structure/culture.

I have seen it applied in a large shipping company, another time in a virtual team context working with diversified teams on a global manufacturing IS roll out.

Product development and innovation is a blend of ideas and creativity. Their set of processes could mature also over time to make it more "agile", "adaptable" and "pro-business."

Managing these innovations as projects then become easier - the tools and processes do support the creativity, great products that result.

Maureen, PMP

It's true, with the project management maturity, it helps the organization optimize resources and deliver better products.

Being in a project makes people work harder and smarter since it provides challenges, time-bound, and limited resources. And with those limitation, it makes people focused and give chances for new ideas and innovation to be fostered.


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