Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Program & Project Assessment (P&PA)

 

This page contains the following FAQs related to Program & Project Assessment (P&PA).

 

1. What is Program & Project Assessment (P&PA)?

2. Why is P&PA needed?

3. How do Organizational Assessments compare to P&PA?

4. Is P&PA only for IT Projects?

5. How can I stay informed about P&PA?

                                                                                        

1. What is Program & Project Assessment (P&PA)?

Program & Project Assessment (P&PA) is a risk mitigation strategy used to proactively manage delivery performance. It consists of the structured evaluation of one or more subject matter areas where progress is measured and assessed against established baselines. P&PA provides an organization with effective oversight and tracking of its large, business critical, and high risk programs and projects. ProjectRx's P&PA framework is aligned with methods from leading subject matter experts (SMEs) in the area of project management and is complementary to portfolio management.

2. Why is P&PA needed?

Research and surveys from leading subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field of program and project management report that approximately fifty percent (50%) of projects fail to meet their objectives. The strategic, financial, and value based impact that delivery issues may impose on a program or project can be staggering. While there continue to be positive trends such as 1) the ongoing evolution of project management standards, 2) the number of organizations viewing project management as a required competency, and 3) the number of experienced and certified project management professionals, the delivery gap has still not closed beyond that of a "coin flip".

 

P&PA provides an effective oversight approach resulting in improved program and project performance. In a 2007 survey, Robbins-Gioia identified that more than seventy percent (70%) of participants valued the concept of an independent, separate group of people designated to assist them in overseeing large-scale initiatives, as opposed to the oversight being performed by the same individuals doing the implementation1.

 

A survey of project management professionals performed by ProjectRx during November 2008 identified that

  • Sixty-nine percent (69%) presently perform formal assessments or audits, or would like to,
  • Seventy-seven percent (77%) thought that PMBOK® does not adequately address project assessment, and
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) would like to see the development of a practice standard

 

1 = Results of the 2007 Independent Project Oversight Support Survey conducted at a Gartner CIO-level project portfolio conference in Boston, MA.

P&PA Survey Results
01PRx Survey.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [37.3 KB]

3. How do Organizational Assessments compare to P&PA?

Organizational assessments are designed to facilitate the evaluation of organizational processes and use of best practices. However, in order to determine whether specific programs or projects will meet their delivery objectives (i.e. what management really wants to know), a P&PA approach is required.

 

While organizational assessments can help improve the maturity level of organizations relative to project management, they are not accurate predictors of success for individual programs or projects. The majority of organizations are made up of multiple divisions, business units, and/or teams that operate at different maturity levels. Additionally, the programs and projects being managed by those divisions, business units, and/or teams do not necessarily equate to the same level of an organizational assessment. Most organizations tend to have a mix of projects that are either doing well, just getting by, or are experiencing issues. There are many factors beyond project management processes and best practices that can have a significant impact on project delivery. For example, a program or project may be leveraging its processes effectively and still have significant risk associated with it becoming overcome by events (OBE).

4. Is P&PA only for IT Projects?

No. While many clients may use P&PA for IT projects, the framework is designed to handle a variety of uses. In addition to the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC), other methodologies such as Product Development (PDLC), Six Sigma, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), IT Governance, Quality Management (QMLC), and Integrated Baseline Review (IBR), are supported. P&PA features flexible assessment life cycles, milestones, and rating methodology.

5. How can I stay informed about P&PA?

The best way to stay informed of developments regarding Program & Project Assessment (P&PA) is to:

 

Additionally, our Links Page provides links to websites of leading Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Office of Government Commerce (OGC, UK), and the IT Governance Institute (ITGI).

 

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