Maturity assessment of a project management office at Fiocruz: a success case

Jefferson de Alencar Ponciano Ramos

Fluminense Federal University – UFF, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil.

Lisâneo Macedo Moreira Melo

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation – Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Edinelson Benedito Alves de Azevedo

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation – Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Highlights: Many companies develop their activities guided by projects that help them achieve their goals. Project management offices are being used by organisations to help them plan, develop, monitor and correct any deviations in the projects that are part of their portfolio. The management provided by the offices may contemplate these stages, suppress some of them or even provide a specific service according to the organisation's needs. The measurement of the maturity of a project office can be done by some methodologies, providing subsidies to evaluate the choice of the best path. Objective: To evaluate the maturity of a project management office of an organization. Design/Methodology/Approach: The PMO Maturity Cube model was used through the application of a specific questionnaire that was answered by the manager of the office under study. It was also inquired through a semi-structured questionnaire and several interactions during the period between July and August 2020. We consulted several documents produced by the office and by some stakeholders. The responses and the subsidized documents provided data to carry out quantitative and qualitative analyses. Results: The present work allowed us to verify the alignment between the activities developed by the Office of Projects of the Presidency (E¬PP) of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) with the purpose for which it was created. Limitations of the research: The non-use of other methods for assessing the maturity of a project management office and the non-extrapolation of the results to other offices of Fiocruz. Practical implications: This study provided an opportunity for self-assessment and reflection by the office manager about its performance, providing opportunities for improvement. Originality/value: Point by point analysis of all twenty-seven questions provided by the model.

Keywords: Project management; project management office (PMO); project management office (PMO); maturity measurement; Fiocruz.


The most prominent institution of health science and technology in Latin America, Fiocruz, linked to the Ministry of Health, has as its mission the promotion of health and social development, generates and disseminates scientific and technological knowledge, and is also an agent of citizenship. It also stands out for the relentless pursuit of excellence in management, and a powerful tool used in the pursuit of this excellence is the PMO, sector under study in this work, which proposes to assess through literature and field research the level of maturity of the office of project management of the presidency of Fiocruz and identify actions for this management to reach the desired level, in addition to contributing to the literature with the enlargement of the collection of studies related to the theme.

Firstly, the definitions of elements that make up the context of a project office are described, soon after it is identified the PGE, then it is characterized which model of PMO is more appropriate to this management and, finally, its level of maturity is measured.


In the scientific literature, we find few models for measuring PMO maturity and no standard models accepted by the scientific community, with most models being developed by industries that commission their needs from consulting firms with experience in the area (Khalema et al., 2015).

The study by Pinto et al. (2010) is usually mentioned for its strategic approach and the development of the concept of functions developed by a PMO (Monteiro et al., 2016, apud Silva, 2018), but few works have measured maturity through the model they proposed (Khalema et. al., 2015, apud Silva, 2018).

In this context, this article will use the maturity assessment model developed by Pinto et al., (2010) called PMO Maturity Cube, which assesses maturity through the application of a questionnaire composed of 27 multiple-choice questions divided into 10 questions referring to the strategic approach, 9 referring to the tactical approach and 8 referring to the operational approach. The decision to apply the departmental questionnaire was made due to the analysis of the EPP's function and the statement of its manager:

”The EPP is a PMO that takes care of all the units linked to the Presidency, but not of FIOCRUZ as a whole” (Carneiro, 2020).

In parallel and as a way to support the analysis of the model questionnaire, another specific questionnaire developed by the authors of this article was applied, which sought to understand a little about the creation of the EPP of Fiocruz, as well as the experience in project management of the professionals who work there.

Evidence was sought to support the answers to the model questionnaire, and such evidence was found in various documents provided by the EPP manager and the Fiocruz website, such as "internal and external audit reports", "audit plans", "EPP strategic route", "EPP activities report", "critical analysis report (RAC)", "ordinances of the Fiocruz presidency", "people development plan", "organizational chart" and "performance evaluation report".

The questionnaires were applied directly to the manager representing the EPP, however, the opinion of the other members of the office was also present, since the "performance evaluation report" used in the research was developed by the entire team.

After receiving all the answers to the model questionnaire, which is the main one of this study, a qualitative analysis was performed where the answers were analyzed and compared with the various research documents made available by Fiocruz, and it was evidenced the full alignment of the perception of the respondent with what is documented or it was found opportunities for improvement, in most cases, also supported by future actions described in the supporting documents.

The next step was a quantitative analysis, where the score achieved between the answers for the current and desired levels and between the current and maximum levels was compared to classify the maturity level of the EPP in the strategic, tactical and operational approaches.

Conclusions were supported by both qualitative and quantitative analysis, which complement each other perfectly in this work.

To provide a levelling of information to the reader, we present below some concepts of terms related to project management.


Project ”is a temporary effort undertaken to create a unique product, service or result” (Project Management Institute - PMI, 2017, p. 4).

”It is an undertaking with a well-defined objective, which consumes resources and operates under the pressure of deadlines, cost and quality. Moreover, projects are considered exclusive activities in a company” (Kerzner, 2006, p. 15).

It is noted that the exclusivity is a common adjective to both definitions and it is noticed that the word project in this context refers us to something much larger than an architectural project; project in the discipline of project management refers to the means used for the realization of a need of an organization, be it in any area of knowledge.

Project management

”Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” (PMI, 2017, p.10).

”Project Management is a branch of knowledge that deals with the planning, monitoring and control of unique undertakings, which characterize projects” (Dinsmore, 2009, p.05).

It can be inferred that project management is the art of structuring how the project is planned, executed, monitored and controlled to meet its objectives.

Project office

In general, ”the PMO is an area that centralizes certain activities, also called functions, related to the practice of project management, to make the organization achieve better results through projects” (Pinto et al., 2010, p. 03).

A PMO ”is an organisational structure that standardises the governance processes related to projects and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools and techniques. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to directly managing one or more projects” (PMI, 2017, p.48).

According to the definitions, a PMO is an entity focused on supporting the implementation, execution, monitoring and closure of projects within an organisation, or in some cases is responsible for directly managing one or more projects. Its configuration depends on the purpose for which it was conceived and what are the proposed objectives.

According to Pinto et al. (2010), it is not uncommon to find a corporate PMO providing services in the strategic approaches (when it directly supports the top management), tactical (when it standardizes a methodology for the organization) and operational (when it assumes for itself the direct management of the project). The fact is that in real life we often have to combine all three approaches for corporate, departmental and project-programme offices.

Maturity in project management office management

”The degree of maturity of a PMO is the result of how much it can generate value for its customers and the organization as a whole. And the evolution of this PMO will occur according to the maturity of the organization, which will cause its customers to have different needs and, in general, increasingly sophisticated”. (Pinto et al., 2010)

There is still the need to evolve on the issue of project management office maturity because few models are recognized and available. Among them we mention the PMO Maturity Model and the PMO Maturity Cube, the latter being the model to be studied in this work.

Although not much explored in case studies, a preference for the PMO Maturity Cube model is noted in the work of some researchers, perhaps because its essence was born from a mapping of the function performed by PMOs in various parts of the world. The 27 functions recommended in this model were based on research conducted by Aubry et al. (2008), where they mapped the activities performed by approximately 500 PMOs.

For the authors of the model, the better the PMO provides its services related to the required functions, the greater added value the PMO brings to the organization.

Using a specific questionnaire for each PMO amplitude, the model identifies which services are offered under each different approach, and with what level of sophistication they are performed.

Each of the three questionnaires (corporate, departmental, program-project) is divided into three parts: evaluation of strategic, tactical and operational services. When filling out the questionnaires, organizations indicate the current maturity stage of each service for that specific scope, as well as the desired maturity stage for the PMO under analysis, that is, it is a self-assessment.

Each stage corresponds to a specific score and, at the end of the process, total scores are obtained corresponding to the organization's current and desired situation, divided into strategic, tactical and operational approaches. Based on these scores, the current and desired maturity levels are calculated.

The current maturity level in each of the approaches is given by comparing the score related to the current situation of the organisation with the total number of points possible to be obtained in the model. The desired maturity level is given by the comparison between the score related to the desired situation of the organization with the total number of points possible to be obtained in the model.

The current and desired maturity are represented using percentages. The current maturity level represents how much the PMO is adherent to all possible services to a PMO in its highest maturity stage. The desired maturity level, on the other hand, represents where the PMO would like to get to, a situation in which it would be fully adherent to its goals and mission, considering only the services that interest it in the expected maturity stages.

According to Pinto et al. (2010), the PMO Maturity Cube model classifies maturity in three levels. The basic level corresponds to the percentage of 0% to 33% and is reached in the initial moment of the PMO. The intermediate level corresponds to the percentage from 34% to 60% and corresponds to the offices that have specific assignments to be performed. The advanced level corresponds to a percentage between 61% and 100% and is reached by offices that hold the knowledge to adequately execute their activities.

Figure 1 below illustrates the model's maturity levels, amplitude and approaches.


Figure 1. The three dimensions of the PMO Maturity Cube

Source: Pinto, Cota and Levin (2010)

PMO Fiocruz

The EPP was created in August 2018 to contribute to the scientific and technological development of Fiocruz through the pursuit of excellence in the management of projects of the Presidency.

As a strategy for this improvement process, project management tools were used to rationalize the use of financial and human resources, standardize performance evaluation methods, with special attention to the integration of similar initiatives and the articulation of complementary initiatives.

The creation of the office also aims to ensure in the development of projects the best principles of governance that should guide all entities of public administration.

The EPP provides project management services within the scope of the Presidency of the Foundation and its structures.

The EPP also has three ”managers” who share administrative responsibility, each with a portfolio of projects. They are outsourced employees and provide administrative support to the ”coordinators”, the name given to the technical managers of each project, who are civil servants, at all stages of the project life cycle.


This section will discuss the answers to all questions of the PMO Maturity Cube model, as well as its correlation with documentation produced by the EPP and/or external bodies that corroborate with the answers or define opportunities for improvement as desired in each question.

In the item ”provide advice to the Department's Top Management”, in alignment to ensure the best governance principles* that must guide all public administration entities and with the attribution is given by Mansur (2009) Support and Support to the Top Management, the EPP shows the current level equal to the desired one, which corresponds to the maximum level of the model and that also meets the analysis and judgment matrix, an integral part of the ”performance evaluation report 2019” of the EPP, where the team members evaluate that the EPP brings subsidies to the decision-making of the senior management assigning a maximum score for this indicator (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 169).

*In the Governance dimension, the criteria were to provide 'subsidies to the decision-making of the senior management'... (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 133).

Although not stated as an objective in the creation of the EPP, it is a desire to identify existing interdependencies between the component projects and/or programs of the department's portfolio, however, without tracking changes in these interdependencies, which corresponds to level 1 of the model, and this was recorded in the lessons learned item of the ”performance evaluation report”, where it states that ”The creation and dissemination of a portfolio of projects managed by the EPP favour both the dissemination of the research products to the general public and also favours the strengthening of the EPP as a project management office in the field of public health” (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 142).

In the item ”Develop and maintain a strategic framework of projects and/or programs of the department”, the EPP is at level 1 of the model, which is the desired level, however, not the highest, because it provides information regarding the projects and programs components of the department portfolio in an executive dashboard, but this is not often used by senior management of the department as support for decision-making, as shown in the following statement of the EPP manager: ”We provide the information and the strategic planning board of the entire Fiocruz that makes analysis and takes care of the portfolio” (Carneiro, 2020).

As it could not be otherwise, in strict alignment with the purpose for which it was created, that is, to be a strategic instance for the Presidency of Fiocruz to act in the management of projects and accompany them through planning, monitoring, control and evaluation activities with the objectives of unifying the management of projects and structuring processes of project qualification, also playing a normative role in conjunction with the Office of the President and the Vice-Presidency of Management and Institutional Development - VPGDI, the EPP is at the highest level of the model in the item ”promote project management in the department”, because it defines and executes a structured plan for the promotion of project management at all levels of the department, reviews and improves policies and guidelines for project management in the department.

Regarding the finalisation processes, in line with what the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) recommends, the EPP makes the initiation, planning, execution and closure of the project, always with monitoring and control of all stages (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 48).

The internal processes that support all the steps described, some carried out by the Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development in Health (Fiotec) or by some management support team, are the management of supplies, budget and financial execution, events and meetings, grants, archives, tickets and per diem, accountability and protocol and dispatch (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 78, 107, 108, 114, 120 and 157).

The maximum level was achieved in the item to monitor and control its performance, as it formally requests feedback from its customers on its performance and has performance indicators for the processes under its responsibility, continuously demonstrating its performance to its customers. In addition, it shares goals with its customers and structures itself for continuous improvement and increasing its maturity, assessing the need for elimination, maintenance or creation of new services.

This dynamic is evidenced in the ”performance evaluation report”, which states that this report will present the results and systematized products of the evaluative research ”Performance Evaluation and Knowledge Management in the Project Office of the Presidency of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation”, conducted in the period from July 2017 to December 2019 (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 9).

Although the EPP has reached the maximum level in this function according to the model studied, it is noted an opportunity for improvement cited in the ”performance evaluation report” itself, which would be to analyze the satisfaction of users of the EPP services (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 132).

In the function to participate in the department's strategic planning process, the EPP was scored at level 2, as it participates informally and regularly in the department's strategic planning process, and the goal is to formally participate in this process. Although the ”performance evaluation report” shows that the planning dimension is broken down into medium and long-term activity planning, this planning is limited to the EPP itself, not extending to the department, as stated by its manager: ”Every four years, an internal congress is held with representatives from all units of Fiocruz, where the four-year strategic plan is generated that is broken down to all units until it reaches the department level, and only those elected are entitled to vote in the definition of that plan” (Carneiro, 2020).

As no representative of the EPP was elected at the last congress, its participation in the definition of goals was informal, being an objective to participate formally in the next cycle.

Aligned with the attribution of the EPP to expand and consolidate the process of monitoring and evaluation of projects and to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of projects, in the category of managing one or more departmental portfolios, the current level is 3 because the EPP has a list of active and prioritized projects of the department and establishes formal processes acting as a facilitator in the definition (identification, categorization, evaluation, selection), development (prioritization, balancing and authorization) and execution (monitoring, review and change management) of the portfolio, however, it does not have an integrated system to automate the management processes of this portfolio, and the automation of this process is a goal of the EPP.

Evidence that the EPP is in stage 3 of this question can be found in the ”performance evaluation report”, which states that the strategic management of projects, a component that involves the coordination of the EPP and the monitoring and evaluation team seeks the adequacy of the projects to the guidelines and principles described above, in addition to monitoring and evaluating their execution (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 49).

Given the response to the function identify, select and prioritize new projects of the department, it is clear that this is not an EPP assignment, as 0 is the current and desired level, i.e., the EPP does not perform this function. This answer is also in line with the objective and attributions defined in the act of creation of the EPP, as none of them cites new projects (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR). The entire portfolio made available for management by the EPP is defined by Fiocruz.

Regarding the function of managing the benefits of projects or programs of the department, the EPP evaluates itself at level 2, which is the maximum level of the model. It monitors the progress in the realization of the expected benefits for the department during and after its end, evaluating the business results and comparing them with the department's original strategic objectives linked to the strategic planning. An EPP activity report is issued annually and, evidencing the self-definition of this item, we have the record that the project office has established measures for the prevention of possible deviations in the expected results of the management of technical cooperation projects of the presidency by creating and improving structures of governance, risks and controls (EPP Activity Report, 2018, p. 25).

In this same report, we see that one of the results of the EPP's strategic project management is the correction of possible deviations from the analysis of the results indicated by the performance indicators (EPP Activity Report, 2018, p. 9).

The last strategic function provided by the model studied is to map the relationship and the environment of projects inside and outside the department, which the EPP defined itself at level 2, the maximum level for this function, in which the EPP identifies the stakeholders of the portfolio of the department, analyzes their expectations, creates a relationship strategy and acts proactively to implement it.

In the objective formally defined for the EPP, there is an aspect of the relationship with stakeholders, since one of its functions is to also play a normative role in an articulated manner with the Office of the President and the Vice-Presidency of Management and Institutional Development (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR).

In the ”performance evaluation report”, we also find mention regarding the analysis of the mobilization of the socio-technical network and the trajectory of the execution and results of the research developed regarding the involvement and participation of stakeholders, as well as the search for the understanding of the network relationships that are established internally of the EPP with Fiocruz and its sectors involved in the realization of the projects (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 16).

Another evidence of full compliance with this function is the mention in the ”audit report”, which says that in the documents DOC-EPP-04 Stakeholders map rev. 00 and DOC-EPP-02 Stakeholders expectation rev. 00, the stakeholders and their expectations that are controlled and monitored through the indicators are determined (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 9).

The tabulations with the scores assigned by the EPP itself to its current and desired level are presented below, as well as it is shown what is the maximum possible score to be achieved for each strategic issue.


Focusing now on the tactical scope, we have the item develop and implement the standard methodology of project management of the department. In this item, the EPP is also considered at the maximum level of the model, level 4, because it develops and improves the standard methodology for the department and this is used widely and correctly. In the analysis and judgment matrix produced by the EPP members in the ”performance evaluation report”, it was considered that the methodology adopted by the EPP is defined (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 171), i.e. it is mature enough to be used by the department.

Correlating with the formal attributions of the EPP, one has to structure a management model for the project office proposing effective policies of strategic and operational control in project management and propose an improvement of the existing mechanisms of project management (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR).

A strong point identified by the model is the function to develop skills in project management, in which the EPP establishes a specific career in project management for the department supported by a corporate development plan of skills in project management involving training, certifications and/or postgraduate degrees, which corresponds to level 4, the maximum level of the model.

Once again there is the alignment with the EPP attributions, in this case in the attribution of improving the processes of knowledge management and research management applied to project management (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR). The ”performance evaluation report” shows that initial training in PGE is provided for all new project analyst professionals (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 177), and the ISO 9001:2015 ”audit report” shows us that the needs for hiring people, the needs regarding the education of employees and the training needs for the functions performed are described in DOC-EPP-05 organizational competencies of the EPP rev. 00 (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 11).

An opportunity for improvement was found in the function implement and manage project management information systems, as according to the EPP manager, it provides a project management information system for the department with a focus on monitoring and control, which is used by project/programme managers and stakeholders in most of the department's projects, however, this system does not use a single and integrated database with all projects, which corresponds to level 1 of the model, and the desired level is 3, the maximum level for this function that, in addition to the description given above, still offers an integrated project management information system for the department and which is effectively used by project/program managers and stakeholders in all projects of the department.

The long-term action (2025-2028), integration of work processes and technologies, can be a path for the EPP to reach the desired level (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

In the function manage interfaces with customers, we verified that the foundation, in this case, represented by the EPP, conducts a customer satisfaction survey post project delivery through FRM-EPP-40, customer satisfaction survey (post-delivery) rev. 00 and also that the satisfaction survey systematics is determined in DOC-EPP-07, satisfaction survey rev. 00 (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 13). This finding highlights the maximum level, in this case, the level 3 self-assigned by the EPP in this function, which is to manage the relationship with customers of the department projects managing expectations, assessing satisfaction and ensuring compliance with the agreements established, having the authority to directly influence the management of the projects involved.

Although it does not formally appear as an objective and attribution of the EPP, in the function of providing a set of tools for project management, it again defines itself at the maximum level of the model, level 3, where it provides tools adherent to the existing methodologies and processes standardized and integrated for the department, which is fully used.

The short-term actions (2018-2020) corroborate this vision, such as the use of cloud technology for information management, the definition of the distribution list, access control and controlled copies of EPP documents, implementation of the document management and confidentiality policy, creation of the master list of forms used by the EPP and their purpose of use, implementation of ISO 9001:2015 INMETRO certification and implementation of the quality management program (Strategic Roadmap of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 1).

A desire for improvement is also perceived when verified among the long-term actions (2025-2028) the identification of the different information systems used for registration, monitoring and evaluation of projects (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

In the question of acting in the allocation and movement of resources between the projects of the department, once again level 3, the maximum level of the model was indicated as the current level of the EPP, because, according to its coordination, it has a vision of the pool of resources and authority to allocate and move resources between projects of the department.

In a passage in the ”performance evaluation report” it is cited that, about the DAB Fito I and II projects, a complexity factor referred to the resource allocation process, since it involved several actors and institutions, which demanded greater support from the EPP for the management of this Decentralised Execution Term (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 120). Also if there is a need to hire, the general coordination requests Fiotec, which is the one that takes care of all the human resources related to employees (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 11).

In the function implement and manage the lessons learned database an opportunity for improvement was identified, since it is intended to move from level 1, where the EPP stores the lessons learned from the projects of the department in isolation without integration of the lessons of the various projects, there is no structuring of a database, to level 3, the maximum level of this question, where in addition to consolidate, it also implements and disseminates a tool for recovery of lessons learned for projects of the department.

One sees a similarity between the storage of lessons learned with the formal assignment to improve knowledge management and research management processes applied to project management (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR).

Among the short-term actions of the EPP strategic planning, we see that the use of cloud technology for information management may be aligned with this desire to structure a database (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 1). An alignment with the structuring of a database can also be inferred in the medium-term actions, implementation of document management in the EPP and development of the knowledge management area in projects (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

Implementing and managing the risk database is another function where an opportunity for improvement was verified, since it is intended to move from level 2, which consolidates the risks managed in the department's projects by creating a risk analytical structure and structures a database, to level 3, the maximum level, which, in addition to consolidating risks, still implements and disseminates a tool for retrieving information about risks.

Attesting to the current level, we have that the control of risks and opportunities is carried out through the spreadsheet of Risks G. Projects_EPP, where the risks of the processes and the strategic ones that were identified in the SWOT matrix were classified through criteria that determine the small, medium and large risks (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 11). We can also see in the ”performance evaluation report” that in the EPP risk matrix spreadsheet there is a risk management plan identified (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 160).

To achieve the desired level we can cite, as an example of the function implement and manage the lessons learned database, the medium-term action use of cloud technology for information management, which can assist in information retrieval (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

Interestingly, in the function of recruiting, selecting, evaluating and determining salaries of project managers, despite being a public foundation, according to the statement of the EPP coordinator, it establishes criteria for the recruitment, selection and evaluation of project managers, in addition to establishing a plan of positions and salaries, which again corresponds to level 3, the maximum level of the model: ”The so-called project managers are employees of the EPP itself and exercise the function of administrative support to the technical coordinators of each project in the health area, and the autonomy to recruit, select, evaluate and determine salaries is given because the project managers are outsourced employees and not concurs” (Carneiro, 2020).

Table 2 shows the scores for the tactical approach.


As for the operational approach, we have another opportunity for improvement, given that in the item providing specialized services for project managers, the EPP is located at level 1 of the model, providing project managers of the department with more basic services to support project management, such as documentation support, preparation of schedules and facilitation of meetings, and the intention is, in addition to these basic services, to reach level 2, the maximum level of the model to provide more advanced services, such as risk analysis, preparation and management of contracts and project recovery.

The ISO 9001:2015 ”audit report” evidences a part of the basic services described in this item when it reports that the operator is responsible for the administrative management of the projects demanded by the ministries of the federal government in the scope of the Fiocruz presidency, assisting the researchers (clients) of Fiocruz as to the financial account allocated to the projects (approved by the ministry) and as to the fulfilment of the research schedule related to the matters demanded (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 14).

The administrative function is also reported in the formal attribution to carry out the monitoring of the cooperation actions regarding the administrative aspects together with those responsible for the projects (Ordinance 1070/2018-PR).

As for the desire for improvement, the action of project recovery can be correlated with the medium-term action (2021-2024) implementation of document management in the EPP and the long-term action (2025-2028) development of a knowledge management program for recording best practices, retention by course and presentation of cases, where the presentation of cases can work projects already managed by the EPP (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

Evidence that supports the self-definition at level 2 of the model in the action informing the status of projects to senior management as it receives the status information, analyzes and provides a report to senior management/sponsor of the department, generating alerts, is the indication made available in the ”performance evaluation report” that the activities of the EPP have served as subsidies to the decision-making of senior management (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 169).

There is no interest and nor is it a goal to advance to level 3, the maximum level of the model, which, in addition, to report the status as reported above, the EPP would still have to interact with stakeholders in search of the solution of the problems.

Monitoring and controlling the performance of projects and programs of the department is an assignment assessed at the maximum level, level 3 of the model, because the EPP monitors and controls the performance of projects and programs of the department under the point of view of the deadline, cost, quality and customer satisfaction, providing follow-up reports and proactively taking preventive and corrective actions with the project manager and senior management.

The ”performance evaluation report” evidences this degree of maturity when recording that, in the production function, production coordination dimension, activity reports and monitoring are prepared (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 164).

Adding to this evidence the ”audit report” verified that the monitoring of the activities to meet the contract agreed between the parties on the tasks to be performed during the research needs is carried out through the monitoring reports of the activities described in the execution schedule (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 15).

Critical analysis meetings are held periodically to identify actions for the treatment of non-conforming situations. The ”performance evaluation report” cites the execution of the action plan arising from the RAC as an improvement of the internal processes of the EPP (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 170).

As the ”performance evaluation report” states, originally the EPP team was structured as a project support team of the vice-presidency - later becoming a project office, bringing activities, practices and a form of work organization compatible with the support function to researchers and project coordinators (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 17). This definition comes to meet the self-assessment of the EPP when it sees itself at the maximum level, level 3 of the function provide mentoring for project managers, where it structures a process to proactively provide mentoring to project management professionals of the department according to pre-established criteria.

The logical matrix of the EPP project management processes, document attached to the ”performance evaluation report” shows us that the strategic management of projects, which encompasses the monitoring and control activities, is an EPP assignment (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 48).

The transfer of technical knowledge can be evidenced in the short-term action (2018-2020) development of the learning trail as a strategic mechanism of the office (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 1).

Having a structured process with the objective of capturing and storing project documents of the department analyzing the quality of the documentation and providing information retrieval mechanisms to users who use them takes the EPP to level 3, the maximum level of the function manage files and collections of project documentation. According to the statement below from the manager of the EPP, mandatorily all processing of projects is performed by the Electronic Information System (SEI), where all documentation is received, analyzed, archived and made available for consultation: ”The SEI is a Federal Government system that we are required to use. We open the process virtually in the SEI, there is no longer a process on paper. There is no project if there is no SEI” (Carneiro, 2020).

Managing one or more programs or projects of the department is a self-assessed operational function also at level 3, the maximum level of this question, where the EPP offers assistance to project/program managers whenever requested as a specific methodology and tool, and in some cases assumes itself the management of certain projects.

The ”performance evaluation report” demonstrates the use of specific methodology by the EPP where it reports that in the EPP institutionalization criterion there is a methodology adopted (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 171).

The ”audit report” also provides that the methodology of the processes is established in the SOPs (standard operating procedure) of each process (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 10).

As the EPP aggregates professionals highly skilled in project management, these, in most cases, directly manage the projects in its portfolio, allowing professionals trained in disciplines related to research developed by Fiocruz to devote themselves exclusively to the technical area of these projects.

Acting proactively in the department having an established process of audit of project management with procedures of action and, in addition, use the audit results to provide feedback to those involved is a characteristic of the EPP that classifies it at level 3, the maximum level of the model on the issue of conducting audits of projects. According to the statement below from the manager of the EPP, one notices that the auditees perceive the value of the audit work: ”The role of the EPP is to create and apply knowledge in practice, always respecting the norms of the organization. This is done through audits, ISO certification which, in addition to charging those responsible, also serve to review and improve working methods to optimise processes. At least annually internal audits are carried out when one of the audited processes is always administrative management (project management). In two internal audits carried out in 2018 and 2019, the involvement and commitment evidenced by management and the quality sector and the high involvement and commitment shown by the elements participating in the audit were highlighted as main strengths” (Carneiro, 2020).

The ”audit report” shows that the audit team concluded that the EPP meets the identified standards and audit criteria and considers that the management system continues to achieve its intended outcomes (ISO 9001:2015 Audit Report, 2019, p. 8).

Conducting post project management reviews (lessons learned) has shown to be a point of evolution, as the EPP intends to move from level 2, where it facilitates the process of capturing lessons, analyzes, consolidates and presents improvement propositions for department projects, to reach level 3, the maximum level of this issue to also establish a process integrated into the methodology for reuse of lessons learned by other managers in current or future projects of the department. A concern with the lessons learned can be evidenced in a passage in the ”performance evaluation report”, where it is said that for it to be possible that the achievement of goals is satisfactory to the production level of the EPP, it is necessary a balance between efficiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction and that this balance is necessary so that the organization can make institutional strategic alliances and that provides an organizational environment that is transformed according to the lessons learned from the challenges that arise in the context of project management (Final Research Report, 2020, p. 132).

To achieve the level 3 mentioned above, again one can resort, now with due adaptations, to some medium-term actions (2021-2024), such as the development of the management area in projects and implementation of document management in the EPP (Strategic Route of the EPP of Fiocruz, 2018, p. 2).

Finishing the stage of the presentation of the results, Table 3 brings the ascertainment for the operational approach.



Although from the temporal point of view the EPP is a ”new” project office, it meets all the characteristics of a mature office to meet the needs for which it was created, effectively managing projects linked to the presidency of Fiocruz.

In all approaches proposed in the model, the EPP showed to be at an advanced level, reaching a percentage above 60% between the current and the desired. The small difference between the score achieved in the desired level and the maximum score of the model shows us the desire of almost total adherence to the attributions defined by the PMO Maturity Cube.

The EPP also proved to be a versatile office in the sense of the amplitude of its performance, since, despite stating in its objective to be a strategic instance for the presidency of Fiocruz, it was verified a large performance in the tactical and operational spheres.

It can be inferred that at the current stage the EPP is an office that meets the objectives of its creation, given that its format and the way it performs the management of its project portfolio meets the Presidency's expectations.


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Received: 31st Oct 2020

Approved: 09th Mar 2021

DOI: 10.20985/1980-5160.2021.v16n1.1685

How to cite: Ramos J.A.P., Melo, L.M.M., Azevedo, E.B.A. (2021). Maturity assessment of a project management office at Fiocruz: a success case. Revista S&G 16, 1, 65-76.