5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 2: Organizational Process Assets (OPAs) and Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs)


Later, when you study the processes, you will see that they are composed of inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs, which are collectively sometimes referred to as ITTOs.  Two of the inputs to processes you will see most often are Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors.

The purpose of this post is to compare and contrast them; the next posts will list them in detail although this details can certainly be found in the PMBOK® Guide.

Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors are kind of like the software and hardware of a computer. Software is something that can be easily adapted by the usage, and Organizational Process Assets or OPAs are likewise under the control of the project team. Enterprise Environmental Factors or EEFs are part of the organization’s internal culture or external environment, but these are generally not under the control of the project team.

Despite what I said about software, however, be aware that a project management software system is considered by the PMBOK® Guide to be part of the EEFs or company culture. The actual project management plans that come out of that software for any given project, on the other hand, will be part of the OPAs.

The OPAs can be broken down into two broad categories, processes and procedures and the organization’s knowledge base. The project charter, plans, and detailed schedule will, when the project is done, enter the knowledge base so a new project that is similar to the old one won’t have to start from scratch. In addition, the lessons learned or list of things that went wrong or could be improved upon also become part of this knowledge base and are meant to be consulted on future projects. That is why they are used so often as inputs to project management processes.

The EEFs can also be broken down into two broad categories, internal and external EEFs. Internal EEFs are the “company culture” which can affect the way a project is run. The external EEFs are the “societal forces” which can affect the way a project is run. Because they can both affect a project, they are both often used as inputs to project management processes.

The next post will go into more detail about Organizational Process Assets or OPAs.

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