How's ICT Project Management Going in Portugal?

How's ICT Project Management Going in Portugal?

David Silva (Universidade do Minho, Portugal), Jose Angelo Pinto (Ambithus, Portugal), Paula Gomes (INESC TEC, Portugal) and Filipa Ramalho (INESC TEC, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch053
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Abstract

This chapter presents the preliminary results of an IT organizational project management maturity research called OPM3® Portugal Project, which is currently underway. It was designed by Portuguese research and development organization Ambithus, based on PMI's (Project Management Institute) OPM3® (Organizational Project Management Maturity Model) standard. A descriptive analysis of IT organizations is made, the case studies selection criteria are explained, and a relevant literature revision of clustering models is made. Preliminary results from the IT organizations are presented and organized by Project Management and Portfolio Management processes, and Organizational Enablers. After the results analysis, it presents a list of processes and procedures that serves as the guidelines for what IT organizations need to improve to obtain a better level of maturity in Project Management. The overall results show that the IT Portuguese industry is strong on its processes and has a good level of maturity in project management.
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Introduction

All over the world, organizations are increasingly focusing on efficiency and effectiveness, and seeking to perform more with fewer resources. It becomes more important than ever to devote special attention to the production of the results, since there is only one opportunity to do things well. This special attention has a name: Project Management (PM). According to Kalantjakos (2001), in recent years society have witnessed the explosive growth of PM over the world. Organizations, from the largest to the smallest, are establishing goal-oriented work in such a way that they can produce the results in the first opportunity. To achieve this, it is mandatory to organize the work using PM.

The concept of Best Practices (BP) has been developed as a set of things or actions that organizations consistently use, showing results superior to those achieved with other means. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. BP is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. In PM, a BP is a great organizational process for a substantial number of Project Managers that assess particular practice as a favourable means for achieving certain outcome (goal and/or objective). According to Bjørkeng, Clegg & Pitsis (2009), the concept practice, in the work context, defines a particular operation or method as active, not being merely a process punctuated by events, but a movement that develops through the intensity of connections that lead the construction process.

The BP are made available to Project Managers to implement in their areas of expertise and professional intervention. These BP are also seen/understood as an impulse to eliminate or reduce a given problem, or the fomentation of a simple change that is often driven by the overwhelming era in that we live in, (we are dependent on continuous information and communication) making also possible the existence and/or opening of new business opportunities.

As usually understood by most people, a project is always temporary, always has a purpose, and may be aiming the creation of products, services or simply achieve a certain result. There are some good projects that aren’t always successful, by a whole raft of reasons: deadlines are not met, the result was not the intended or expected costs are exceeded. To prevent such situations from happening, the Project Managers began to reference the concept of maturity in projects, addressing the use of BP, preferably suitable to the organization in which the project is allocated and adapting to the area of action, size, complexity, and resources of the organization. It is exactly because of this need that the OPM3® model appears.

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