Organization Project Maturity Model (OPMM)

Maturity has various meanings but from an organizational sense, it is the ability of the organization to act on its experience, to learn, change and improve, essentially what is known as the learning organization[1]. Maturity is seen as being the integration of attitude, knowledge, and action across the management of projects, programs and portfolios. A more mature organization does have a higher rate of project success.

“The central hypothesis behind the OPMM is that an organization’s ability to manage projects successfully can be assessed by analyzing key attributes that define how well project management is being carried out”[2]. OPMM is a 4-level model used to communicate maturity. The 4 stages of OPMM are:

  1. Stage 1: ‘ad-hoc’: In this stage, the projects simply happen. They do not have any endorsed business plans or assigned resources with no/incomplete milestones. No tracking of success or failure of the projects is done. These are typically small projects and the outcome depends on the skills of the individuals involved with the project.
  2. Stage 2: ‘aware’: This stage is achieved after an organization learns from the failed projects in stage 1. Formal project management methods are introduced in organizations at this stage. Project management is still not part of the organization culture and is not seen as one of its core competencies.
  3. Stage 3: ‘competent’: The organization at this stage has adopted project management as a core competency. The organization is aware of its capabilities and all projects are initiated only after proper business analysis has been done. The organization is quality conscious. Change and risk are always taken into consideration in such organizations.
  4. Stage 4: ‘best practice’: The organization at this stage is best in class and does project execution by the book. Organizations have well-developed portfolio management practices. Monitoring, measuring and improving processes are a part of the culture.

Nine maturity attributes namely methods, stakeholders, governance, capability, organization, business, support & tools, metrics and resourcing are used by OPMM to describe each stage. In essence, OPMM is a very simple and well-defined model for measuring the project process maturity within an organization and is less complex and straight forward when compared with other maturity models such as OPM3, P3M3 and CMMI.

[1] – Senge, P.M. (2006). The fifth discipline. London: Random House Business.
[2] – Knapp, M. (2019). ENTERPRISE PORTFOLIO GOVERNANCE : how organisations optimise value from their project portfolios. S.L.: Springer Verlag, Singapor. Page 98

Positive Impact Investments

Positive impact investments are investment approaches that seek benefits on both; eco-social and financial fronts at the same time. Business sustainability 4.0 is not only about surviving, making profit and growth but also encompasses social, environment and spiritual development of humanity. Issues such as climate change, social justice, inequality, global poverty, etc. have negative environmental and social consequences that directly affect the operating environments of any organization.

Corporate culture has taken positive impact investments into consideration especially since the implementation of both 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)[1] of the United Nations and the Paris climate accord (COP21)[2] has become an unavoidable obligation for businesses. Portfolio management frameworks today are not capable of taking Impact investments into consideration. Also, no systematic approach is proliferated to connect strategy, culture, impact, and investments from an organization’s perspective[3].

Rockefeller foundation defines impact investing as, “involving investors seeking to generate both financial return and social and/or environmental value—while at a minimum returning capital, and, in many cases, offering market-rate returns or better”[4]. Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) and IRIS+ Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)[5] projects have sought to provide a standardized taxonomy and a set of consistent definitions for measuring, managing and optimizing impact.

IRIS+GIIN makes it easy for businesses and individuals to manage impact themes, provide resources in terms of core metrics sets which include data on the five dimensions of impact namely WHAT, WHO, HOW MUCH, CONTRIBUTION, and RISK. It also provides guidance and research into the relevant areas for a proper Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) framework that can both be used by an individual as well as an organization alike.

Impact investors normally apply a theory of change which conventional investors do not do. The mission of impact investors is to “influence the financial markets by creating new sustainable assets by growing the eco-system of sustainable entrepreneurs, by growing the eco-system of financial intermediaries active in the field and by growing the investment community investing in positive impact. They normally choose an educate, innovate and incubate approach”[3]. They also consistently focus on thematic issues such as water scarcity, climate change, pollution, poverty, global conflict resolutions, etc. A systematic analysis and further in-depth details on various forms of impact investments can be found at BridgeVenturs.com[6].

Personally, I try to make sure and do invest in companies with an explicit strategic goal to have positive impact investment in the portfolio. I also try to look up at the leadership to make sure that they are high asset individuals who have been previously involved or have shown explicit intent on thematic issues. Do share your thoughts on your investment philosophies.

[1] – https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html
[2] – https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/what-is-the-paris-agreement
[3] – Wendt, K. (2018). Positive Impact Investing A Sustainable Bridge Between Strategy, Innovation, Change and Learning. Cham Springer International Publishing.
[4] – Jackson, E. and Ltd, A. (2012). Accelerating Impact Achievements, Challenges and What’s Next in Building the Impact Investing Industry. [online] Available at: https://assets.rockefellerfoundation.org/app/uploads/20120707215852/Accelerating-Impact-Full-Summary.pdf [Accessed 24 Oct. 2019]
[5] – https://iris.thegiin.org/standards/
[6] – https://www.bridgesfundmanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Investing-for-Impact-Case-Studies-Across-Asset-Classes.pdf

Organization Vision & Mission

Vision for an organization is, “what the person, team or organization wants to create in its best possible future. It is an evocative description of what is possible. A vision is not “something out there” that is impractical, but a way of setting a compelling scenario. Creating this image of the future requires the ability to expand one’s sense of possibilities and then focus on what new initiatives can lead to success”[1].

The mission for an organization is defined as “the core purpose for which a person, team or organization is created. It is summarized in a clear, short, inspiring statement that focuses attention in one clear direction by stating the purpose of the individual’s, business’s or group’s uniqueness”[1].

To create a vision, one needs to follow a 5-step visioning sequence as described in [1].

  1. Clarify Values – Define key values and what they mean in action
  2. Scan the current situation – Examine the current environment internally and externally
  3. Define the mission – Clarify the basic purpose
  4. Create a vision – Generate a clear image of the preferred future
  5. Implement the vision – Create strategic plans, action plans, and feedback loops to implement the values, vision and mission

Vision helps bring people together around a common dream. It also helps in work coordination and team collaboration by helping everyone make a rational decision supported by clear vision and mission statements. It also helps build the foundation for business planning and make incongruent and/or non-compliant behavior more noticeable. Vision is also a compass allowing for recognition of core competencies and creates awareness of the current reality as well as provides a map to pave the way to produce a shared future.

Vision captures the minds, hearts, and spirits, giving people a higher purpose for their actions. A vision paints a picture of how the organization will be in the future. The vision tends to evolve but needs to be big enough so that it does not substantially change every few years[1]. Besides defining a proper vision and mission statement, the organizations also need to communicate the same both internally and externally to various stakeholders, employees, customers, and prospective markets. A proper communication plan, in the end, results in alignment, empowerment, respect, interdependence, innovation, and commitment on the part of the individuals and groups within the organization.

[1] – Jaffe, D. T., & Tobe, G. (1993). Organizational vision, values and mission. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezp.sub.su.se

Regurgitating?

Well, I just had to write about this since people in general and some, in particular, like to regurgitate the same things again and again. Regurgitating[1], of course, adds value for yourself if you are going to learn and practice but it adds little value to the already existing knowledgebase. Internet especially because of its open nature is a place where regurgitating ideas and information happens on a much larger scale. Sometimes they are just clickbait[2] and sometimes they are outright wrong in the information that is being presented.

This is generally a waste of resources and time since no new information is added. Regurgitation does not extrapolate or induce new ideas to already existing ones. There is no added benefit and/or value (derived / direct / indirect). The best it can do is not distort the information for the unoriented and the worst it can do is create totally false and divergent information with some roots in facts and most other in baseless assumptions.

Parsing information over the net and getting to understand the context, as well as the base of the information, is a very good engineering problem. Identification of fake news, for instance, is one such area where quite a few algorithms are implemented. But the problem with such algorithms is that they only allow for regurgitation of information. Any content which builds up on top of the regurgitated information can be detected as “anomaly” in the fake news detecting algorithms.

Personally, I think academia is doing the right thing. Any regurgitated information needs to be properly referenced. Ideas that are built on information which is not referenced properly should be rejected. This is not something new, blockchain is already based on such a referencing scheme just to name one of the technologies. In the ideal world, if all the information is referenced properly, one can focus on plagiarism instead of an anomaly detection routine to get rid of regurgitated information without restricting the building of new ideas and concepts.

As one of my friends always used to say, everything builds on top of one another. Her argument was that if even our imaginations, dreams, etc. build-up on existing information that is available to us. And I kind of agree with her on that aspect. So to conclude, let’s regurgitate information but make proper references and remove plagiarism.

[1] – https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/regurgitate
[2] – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=clickbait

Vision & Mission Statements

Vision and mission statements are very important in setting the organizational culture and leadership values in any organization. The organizational aspirations are valued by the vision statements whereas the mission statements put the vision in the context of the business environment and push the organization to execute for the achievement of that vision. In simple words, “a vision is what the company aspires to BE, and mission is what the company is in the business to DO”[1].

The vision and mission statements in any organization ensure that everyone is working towards common goals and objectives. These two statements pave the way and generate a roadmap for defining & aligning with the strategic objectives and goals in any organization. They, in general, define the purpose of existence for the company and also act as guidelines for general decision making within the organization.

The vision of any organization is generally a futuristic one and shows where the company wants to be and what it wants to achieve. The mission shows the path to achieve that vision and is generally embedded into what the organization is doing right now and how it joins the present and the future to align with the vision. Many organizations use these statements interchangeably without understanding the subtle difference in both.

Vision sets strategic objectives and goals. The mission allows one to steer the organization towards obtaining those strategic objectives and goals and associated decision making in any aspect. A correct understanding of these two invariably helps the organization to align and gravitate towards a common point, increasing efficiency and productivity, and reducing unnecessary deviations in the execution of the strategy.

According to Harris (2007), “Identity encourages employees to interpret corporate identity and apply it to their unique situation and skill set. Guiding principles serve as a platform to nurture desired behaviors in the organization. Together, these two tools better prepare staff to respond to customers”[2]. The customers in context can be both internal and external customers as well as stakeholders who are synced and aligned according to the vision and mission statements.

Proper vision and mission statements allow for the generation of corporate identity and guiding principles. Company brand value and brand management also has a huge dependency on the vision and mission statements which builds the identity of the organization. They also allow for power decentralization and delegation as the alignment and orientation of the employee is the same as that of management and allows for quick and rational decision making. What do you say?

[1] – Project Management Institute (2018). The standard for portfolio management. Newtown Square, Pa: Project Management Institute, p.32.
[2] – Harris, P. (2007). We the people: The importance of employees in the process of building customer experience. Journal of Brand Management, 15(2), pp.102.‌