Making the Leap from Project
How Siemens Improved
Project Performance by
After striving for seven years to improve the effectiveness of project management,
Siemens in the US was concerned it was resting on a plateau and needed a breakthrough to achieve the next level of performance. To help improve the organization’s project performance and organizational project management maturity,
Siemens turned to Managing Successful
Siemens has used organizational process maturity models to help improve performance for nearly two decades. Frustrated by a lack of movement towards the higher levels of organizational project management maturity, Siemens Corporate Research wanted to rethink how it could accelerate improvements, manage organizational change, and deliver business benefits.
Joe Sopko is an organizational project management consultant for Siemens businesses in the Americas.
He is part of the Project and Risk Management group of Siemens Corporate Research (US) and Siemens
Corporate Technology (globally), which works across the organization to develop, measure and improve project management maturity in all Siemens businesses.
He says: “Project management is a core competency of all Siemens companies. More than 50% of the overall
Siemens turnover is based on project business and covers a wide spectrum of products, solutions, and service deliveries. In 2000, we introduced a corporate initiative to help improve project management maturity. This became known as the PM@Siemens Initiative. Even after several years of conducting hundreds of valuable assessments, movement toward higher levels of organizational project management maturity was not meeting corporate expectations. We wanted to find out why we weren’t improving as fast or as much as we could.”
Siemens Corporation in the United States and Siemens
Corporate Research (SCR), the project management consulting organization within Siemens USA, joined forces to develop a revitalized approach to accelerate Siemens USA to the upper levels of maturity.
When we explained MSP and program governance to clients, the response typically was,
“That’s what we are missing!”
Our analysis showed that we needed a more formal approach to benefits delivery and program governance to support internal projects. The outcome was a paradigm shift from traditionally managing improvement initiatives as projects towards formal
Program Management for Siemens USA with regards to its approach to attaining benefits from organizational project management maturity improvement.
“We saw that project managers were good at delivering capability – but they were not always looking at the benefits those capabilities were expected to deliver. Improvement projects were focusing on implementing capabilities based on recommendations from the PM@Siemens
Handbook, maturity assessments and achieving PMI Project
Management Professional (PMP®) certification with an implied alignment to the achievement of business benefits.
The improvement initiatives lacked a direct and disciplined approach to benefits achievement and business change.
We wanted to understand why this was happening because in the project approach, once capabilities were achieved, the project was often disbanded along with the organizations that delivered them (e.g. PMOs). These organizations or teams were often viewed strictly as business overhead whose business relevance was either diminished or not totally understood. With that, we were disbanding an experienced team instead of keeping them relevant to the business and continually contributing to business improvement.”
Sopko himself was already a proponent of Managing
Successful Programs, an internationally recognized standard for managing successful programs and organizational change, as he had used it in a prior workplace.
MSP provided the reasons why getting to a higher level of maturity was…