By: Chris Vandersluis
The Project Management Maturity (PMM) model is a pretty hot topic these days. There are waves of consultants who are making a good living helping organizations assess their “project maturity level” which is pretty much always displayed hierarchically with more mature always shown as being better than less mature. Proponents of the concept say the PMM model shows the capabilities of an organization to manage projects. There’s a whole conversation to be had about how organizations become more effective and I’m not sure just climbing the Project Management Maturity model necessarily gets you there. But that is a subject for another day. Whether or not you're a fan of the PMM model, there is another kind of maturity model that I've seen with organizations who use Project Management systems.
When we work with organizations who are deploying a project management system, it’s very common to find that the desire of organization is to reap the benefits of every single element of the new system they’ve just had demonstrated by the vendor. The client sees reports and screens and workflows and functions that they’ve only ever dreamed of and they imagine a world where all that functionality works as smoothly in their organization as it does in the sales demonstration. It is usually unclear to the client that the demonstration data and demonstration configuration that is being demonstrated was carefully developed in order to showcase as much of the product as possible. In the case of Microsoft Project and Project Server, this may extend far beyond the single product to include the entire stack of technology.
The client sees screens that initiate from Windows SharePoint Services or from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server forms. They see functionality that touches Active Directory or SQL Server Reporting Services. They might see workflow from