The use of maturity models in improving project management performance: an empirical investigation

Naomi Brookes, Michael Butler, Prasanta Dey, Robin Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of the paper was to conduct an empirical investigation to explore the impact of project management maturity models (PMMMs) on improving project performance.
Design/methodology/approach – The investigation used a cross-case analysis involving over 90 individuals in seven organisations.
Findings – The findings of the empirical investigation indicate that PMMMs demonstrate very high levels of variability in individual's assessment of project management maturity. Furthermore, at higher levels of maturity, the type of performance improvement adopted following their application is related to the type of PMMM used in the assessment. The paradox of the unreliability of PMMMs and their widespread acceptance is resolved by calling upon the “wisdom of crowds” phenomenon which has implications for the use of maturity model assessments in other arena.
Research limitations/implications – The investigation does have the usual issues associated with case research, but the steps that have been taken in the cross-case construction and analysis have improved the overall robustness and extendibility of the findings.
Practical implications – The tendency for PMMMs to shape improvements based on their own inherent structure needs further understanding.
Originality/value – The use of empirical methods to investigate the link between project maturity models and extant changes in project management performance is highly novel and the findings that result from this have added resonance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


  • cross-case analysis
  • maturity models


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