Almost, every good organization keeps a database of all the information pertaining to the organization.

Whether those information are available to every employee or not, and either should be available or not, that’s not the scope of this post.

That is rather a totally different topic and may also be organization specific and so shall be based on their policies and procedures.

Customer satisfaction is the focal point of almost every good organization.

Hence every organization formulate certain processes, policies and procedure that could help achieve excellence in their projects.

e.g: Many organizations has set certain process assets as a standard for a specific work unit or operation to be performed, and these process assets can be part of Organizational Process Assets.

These assets can be modified and tailored according to the needs of the project, regardless of whether these assets are newly created or modified or are part of an on going standard policy.


What are Organizational Process Assets?


As explained above, Every organization keeps a database of all the information and records of the previous executed projects, and these information are stored in a central repository called Organizational Process Assets.

The project management office (PMO) is normally responsible to store and share these assets and information with project managers. Good project managers not only benefit from these historical documents but keep all current project documents updated and store in the repository at the end of the project.

Lists of OPA’s:

So Organizational Process Assets may include but not limited to:

  •  Documents
  • Templates
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Plans
  • Guidelines
  • Lessons learned
  • Historical data and information
  • Earned value
  • Estimating
  • Risk

Organizational Process Assets and PMBOK


According to PMBOK; The Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide:
Organizational Process Assets are “the plans, processes, policies, procedures, and knowledge bases specific to and used by the performing organization”.

Organizational Process Assets (OPA) has been mentioned 30+ times in PMBOK, either as an input process or as an updated document to many output processes.

PMBOK has categorize OPA into two:

  1. Processes and procedures.
  2. Corporate knowledge-base.


organizational process assets flow diagram

OPA is an important concept and is critical to project success for both new and experienced project managers.

One way of looking at OPA’s are: It acts as a bridge of knowledge and experience of the past projects, helping the present project and forwarding these assets to future projects.


Importance of Organizational Process Assets


There is a famous saying;

“Why re-invent the wheel”.

The saying is quite self explanatory.

If there is something already in place, you do not need to create it again.

e.g: If your organization have already a template of a project management plan from exactly the same kind of project that they have done a while back.

Isn’t it wise to use the template and alter it according to your project or create a new one?.

The project manager and project management team extensively use Organizational Process Assets for the success of the project.

In most organization, it is the responsibility of the project management team to search for the historical information before executing a project and collect all the necessary and relevant documentation.

Whether you are preparing for CaPM, PMP or any other PMI exam certification, this concept will be helpful in your exam as well as in your real life projects and project management.

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