Organizational process assets are an input/output to PMBOK processes but it’s an important tool for project management.
Before we define it; Let’s dig deep for a better understanding.
The term organizational process assets (OPA) consists of three words:
Organization: What is an Organization?
Organization is a group of people with vested interests.
It’s the way things, elements, and humans are organized in a systematic way.
It’s a synonym for federation, company, body, composition, association.
Organization is a broad term, but since we are discussing it for project and project management, we will limit it to human-created bodies.
Examples of Organization:
- Ants organization in a colony.
- Medical, research, tech, and other organizations.
Process: What is a Process?
Specific steps or chain of events or series of actions/changes necessary to obtain particular results.
It’s a systematic series of natural, chemical, programming, mechanical operations performed to achieve the end product.
It’s a synonym for practice, approach, procedure, method.
The process can be seen everywhere from manufacturing to nature.
Examples of a Process:
- The human ageing process.
- The mobile app development process.
- Automobiles manufacturing process.
Assets: What are Assets?
Assets are any tangible/intangible items owned by a person or a company.
It could be a person, valuable item or thing or something useful and effective.
It’s a synonym for belongings, goods, valuables, strength.
Examples of Assets:
- Apple’s assets are their design and manufacturing.
- China’s assets are their skilled labor.
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:
- Lessons learned
- Historical data and information
- Earned value
Organizational Process Assets and PMBOK
According to PMBOK; The definition of 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:
- Processes and procedures.
- Corporate knowledge-base.
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.
Organizational process assets examples:
- A project manager can use existing project management templates from previous projects conducted by the organization.
- A project manager can use previously calculated risk analysis or daily wages etc.
Organizational Process Assets and Project Management
Organizational process assets (OPA) plays an important role in project management and if utilize properly, it can be an indispensable tool for the success of the the project.
When organizations perform projects; It collects data, information, reports, analysis, research, lesson learned, create templates, and combine all these documents in organizational repository.
These documents are extremely useful in initiating or planning a new project.
It can save a lot of time, effort, and cost on the new project.
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.
Over to you!
Let me know your feedback in the comments below.
I would like to understand from you what could be diffrent thoughts for the below scenario
What is the ‘best mindset’ suited for dealing with uncertainities and grey areas in projects? Can this be institutionalized in an organization?
Thanks for the comment.
Can you be more specific as I am a bit lost with your question ?
By uncertainties, you mean Risk or something else and where exactly are you pointing while referring to grey areas ?
Hello Amir Abbas,
Could you tell me the factors that are contributing to the increasing vulnerability of organizational information assets?
WoW, That’s a nice question and probably a topic well worth to write a case study.
Well, there could me many factors, but I’ll touch on only factor and we can discuss it further if you are interested.
We are living in a dangerous world. We (here by “We” mean, Organization and it’s employees) are connected to this world via various means, Network, Social Community, Social Media, Land and Wireless connectivity and the list goes on and on.
So, one of the biggest threat is the IT (Yes, Information Technology) itself and business environment dependability on IT. (There are at least a hundred factors in IT that could lead to increasing vulnerability of Organizational Process Assets) but I’ll talk only on Business environment connectivity both physically and wireless to the outside world.
So, Businesses inter-connectivity, inter-dependability, specifically mentioning wireless network connectivity exposes organization and it’s employes to the world of untrusted networks.
We are looking for guidelines and best practices how to elaborate an OPA. Could you recommend us further readings?
I am on the move, will recommend later.