Organizational Project Management: Best Practices

November 8, 2023
4 minute read

Many organizations fall into the trap of focusing solely on the day-to-day of project management, which can be hard to avoid in a fast-paced industry. This can lead to a blind spot on whether their daily accomplishments, ultimately, serve the larger goals of the organization.

In its ideal state, a system that keeps all members of the company working in the same direction, on projects that make sense to one another, is critical to achieving these goals even as your organization scales.

This is where organizational project management comes into play.


What is Organizational Project Management (OPM)?

Taking from the Project Management Institute’s 2003 OPM Maturity Model standard is a framework for executing an organization’s overall strategy with a range of projects, combining principles and practices from three key areas:

OPM Model

1. Portfolio Management

Portfolio management involves strategic planning across projects; this means selecting the right projects and allocating enough resources for them to meet individual and, in effect, organizational goals.

2. Program Management

Program management is about overseeing multiple, related projects that are aimed at the same high-level objectives. This is designed to create compounding benefits for the organization, by having multiple projects support one another.

3. Project Management

Project management focuses on principles, methodologies, and best practices for bringing projects from planning to delivery and applying them to each individual project selected by the organization. Its core focus is on matters of scope, time, and cost.

Organizational project management takes the PM principles to create a coordinated approach to running the organization, ensuring that all efforts are aligned and optimized to meet the organization’s larger strategy and goals.

Organizational Project Management vs Project Management

There can be some confusion about how OPM differs from project management. A simple way to tell them apart is this: project management is focused on the individual project, making sure that it is planned and executed to meet its goals. Organizational project management is focused on the relationships between projects, ensuring that they synergize with one another and are connected to the overall company strategy.


Why is Organizational Project Management Important?

Organizational project management offers a wide range of advantages, the key benefits being:

Benefits of OPM


Strategic alignment

The fundamental benefit of adopting frameworks and systems is creating alignment between stakeholders. In OPM, effort is invested into ensuring that everyone can see how each project connects to the organization’s larger objectives. This helps clarify responsibilities, which aids efficiency over redundancy at work.

Strong communication

Clarity of roles also helps establish a line of communication and delivery, further increasing the team’s alignment, especially once a project is handed over from one stakeholder to another. This ensures that the project is in the right hands at the right time.

Faster, more informed decision-making

Building on the strength of communication, OPM also results in systems where information is always updated and in sync between stakeholders—this allows decisions to flow naturally and with more confidence throughout the organization.

Increased customer satisfaction

Combining all of the previous benefits results in the delivery of effective products and services, which translates to happy customers.

Improved competitive advantage

Organizational project management creates effective systems for delivering on an organization’s strategy. Systems add a layer of predictability to the work, which then cascades into higher success rates through quick and high-quality output/performance.


Implementing Effective Organizational Project Management

Now that we understand the concept and importance of organizational project management, it’s time to learn how to set up an OPM structure for success. For starters, it pays to look at this as project management at scale, where the work is broken down into three fundamental phases:


Before anything else: is your organization ready to adopt organizational project management?

Start by clarifying your organizational structure—collect all the information available on your organization’s lines of communication, as well as available resources and project information. How does a company’s organizational structure impact project management? This helps to inform the scope and limitations of your OPM adoption, the most important factor being who in your company is best suited to champion and/or facilitate organizational project management and strategy.

It also pays to take note of your work culture, particularly whether there is an openness to change among your team members. In order for an organizational project management structure to properly take effect, having buy-in from everyone at the company is critical.


It’s time to build your OPM strategy, beginning with creating standards.

OPM Diagram

This means documenting everything: processes, templates, best practices, and internal structures are important to prepare here so that single sources of truth can be established for them. This helps create alignment at the organizational level and reduces the need for constant reorientation, especially when new resources are added to the team. Key processes that need to be outlined are your project management methodology and pipeline, as well as your SOPs on performance management.

This also reinforces the value of having a clear structure in everyone’s view—accountability is established for every piece of the overall strategy.

Monitoring and Improvement

Once your standards have been established, it’s time to put them to the test. At this point, resources are reallocated towards implementing the documented standards for managing work across the organization and monitoring its performance.

Utilize the performance measurement strategy you outlined in the previous phase to evaluate whether the standards in place result in increased productivity and use this to iterate as necessary. Expect to repeat the whole process with every iteration, so you can clearly identify strengths and weaknesses in your strategy and adjust accordingly and with confidence.



Integrate Organizational Project Management at Your Company with Workamajig

Organizational project management provides your team with a framework for ensuring that all efforts contribute to your overall strategy. Whether that’s at the project, program, or portfolio level, OPM allows for efficiency at scale, through faster, more informed decision-making as well as clear communication.

As your marketing team grows, it’s important to have organizational tools for project management that can help you stay on top of this effort.

With Workamajig, the premier marketing management software, you have an all-in-one solution for planning, organizing, and delegating these efforts, and easily transitioning between the phases of every project. Easily adjust your schedule or modify task requirements and assignees to ensure efficiency, and use native reporting tools to measure your progress, as well as identify and address roadblocks along the way.

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