Maturity in Project Management Series: Foundations of the Prado-PM Maturity Model


By Russell D. Archibald

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Darci Prado

Minas Gerais, Brazil

The Prado-PM Maturity Model (Prado-PMMM) was launched in December 2002 and reflects forty years of experience on the subject by Darci Prado within IBM and two large, Brazilian international consulting firms: INDG and FALCONI. The initial goal was to create a simple and easy to use model that provides reliable results. Since 2002 it has been used by hundreds of Brazilian organizations and others in Italy, Spain, Portugal and the USA, and the results obtained are consistent with expectations, and with what have been obtained with a thorough, much more lengthy diagnosis. This model has also been used since 2005 in a maturity survey conducted in Brazil by Darci Prado and Russell Archibald [1]. This same survey was conducted in Italy in 2010.

1 – Focus of the Model: Departmental

The Prado-PMMM model should be applied to individual departments of an organization, such as engineering, information technology, product development, etc. So it is a departmental model and not a “organizational type model” in which the focus is on the organization as a whole.

In departments that the model is applied there usually exists a portfolio of projects whose content is renewed periodically (typically annually), and where we usually have a PMO (Project Management Office). The projects in this portfolio are usually linked to the mission of the department, such as in the following examples:

  • The department of engineering, construction and installation of a mining company with the charge of planning and implementing the expansion or improvements in the field equipment and facilities of the company;
  • The computer department of a bank, tasked to develop, acquire and install computer applications across the enterprise;
  • The Research & Development department of a steel industry, tasked with creating new uses for the company’s products;
  • The New Product Development department of a beverage company, in charge of developing new products for the company;
  • A department of a large real estate construction company in charge of residential and commercial building construction in a particular city;
  • A projectized department of a food factory, in charge of designing and building a new plant (green-field). 

Thus, the Prado-PMMM model should be applied separately to each department of the same organization. Then we can typically find a situation in which an organization has departments with different levels of maturity. Eventually, it may happen that an organization is at level 2 in the computer department, at level 3 in engineering and at level 4 in the development of new products department. Repeating:

It remains to add that the model was designed to be universal, ie, it must work well for any type of organization and any category of projects.

2 – Basic Characteristics of the Model: Results Orientation

The model was created to honor the practice, or rather the practical experience and results achievement. It is currently in version 2, and since its inception the model has gone through successive cycles of continuous improvement. Throughout its evolution the author always tried to align its content with the thoughts of leading world authorities in management. Two of them were of fundamental importance:


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Editor’s note: The Project Management Maturity series of articles by Russell Archibald & Prof Darci Prado is based on their extensive research on this topic in Brazil, the United States and other countries.  Russ is one of the pioneers in the project management field and the originator of the Archibald Project Categorization Model.  Darci is the developer of the Prado Project Management Maturity Model which has been successfully implemented by many organizations in Brazil.  More about this model and related research can be found at http://www.maturityresearch.com/. 

About the Authors

flag-usa-mexicorussell d archibaldRussell D. Archibald

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 

Russell D. Archibald: PhD (Hon) ESC-Lille (Fr), MSc (U of Texas) & BS (U of Missouri) Mechanical Engineering, PMP, Fellow PMI and Honorary Fellow APM/IPMA (member of the Board of IPMA/INTERNET 1974-83), held engineering and executive positions in aerospace, petroleum, telecommunications, and automotive industries in the USA, France, Mexico and Venezuela (1948-1982). Russ also had 9 years of active duty as a pilot officer with the U.S. Army Air Corps (1943-46) and as a Senior Pilot and Project Engineer with the U. S. Air Force (1951-58.) Since 1982 he has consulted to companies, agencies and development banks in 16 countries on 4 continents, and has taught project management principles and practices to thousands of managers and specialists around the world. He is co-author (with Shane Archibald) of Leading and Managing Innovation: What Every Executive Team Must Know About Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (2013); author of Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects (3rd Edition 2003), also published in Russian, Italian, and Chinese; other books (in English, Italian, Japanese, and Hungarian); and many papers on project management. Web-site: http://russarchibald.com  E-mail: [email protected]   

To see other works by Russ Archibald, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/russell-d-archibald/

flag-brazilpmwj18-jan2014-archibald-PHOTO PRADODarci Prado, PhD 

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Darci Prado is a consultant and partner of INDG in Brazil. He is an engineer, with graduate studies in Economical Engineering at UCMG and PhD in Project Management from UNICAMP, Brazil. He has worked for IBM for 25 years and with UFMG Engineering School for 32 years. He holds the IPMA Level B Certification. He was one of the founders of Minas Gerais State and Parana State PMI chapters, and he was member of Board Directors of Minas Gerais State PMI chapter during 1998-2002 and member of the Consulting Board during 2003-2009. He was also the president of IPMA Minas Gerais State chapter during 2006-2008. He is conducting a Project Management maturity research in Brazil, Italy, Spain and Portugal together with Russell Archibald. He is author of nine books on project management and is also author of a methodology, a software application, and a maturity model for project management.  Darci can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Darcy Prado, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/darci-prado-phd/