The pie and matrix concept
My last post introduced the "pie". Today, I'll explain how we turn a pie on its side to represent a matrix. To recap, many iterative project methodology models are circular. For example, in my last post, I chose slices (or project stages) Plan, Discover, Design, Construct, etc. Now, let's take this two-dimensional pie and flip it on its side to show its edge. The side view is what I call the pie's layer. Let's say this layer is called Project Management. Under the first slice called Plan is a cell that aligns with Project Management. If you were to look in this cell, you may find process steps such as identify business needs, define budget, etc. Basically, the layers and their cell content can contain process methodology, best practices, or procedures steps. As we all know, project management is only one factor in project processes. There can be others such as risk management, project implementation, or steps for a regulation. The idea of looking at the pie from its three-dimensional layer view is you can start to stack up more process layers, such as adding toppings to a cheese pizza. This is where the matrix becomes clear. The slices are columns and the layers are rows. What is interesting about this model is it forces each process methodology or best practice to align with each other.
Many companies are struggling with different process methodologies on large projects, each method having its own structure and nomenclature. Let's say if an IT team is using the PMI standard for project management and the RUP method for the systems development life cycle. Now throw in an audit committee with their own process for Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. You end up with groups of people on the same project speaking different languages.
What if we formulated a pie-matrix structure that forces all team members to agree on the naming of the project stages (pie slices). Then add each process methodology as a layer. The simpleness is you now have stage alignment between standards. This is the basic model I created for the PIEmatrix platform and this was only the starting point. PIEmatrix is an open web platform and is process content agnostic, meaning its up to our users to enter any best practice content they choose. We expanded the platform to allow further integration of different standards with pointers across standards boundaries. We added project task management features for the front line team members, dashboards for governance, and an SaaS model where people can collaborate together from anywhere around the world, all speaking the same process language and working together on the same page.