Enterprise Environmental Factors & Organizational Process Assets: Importance in Project Management

Enterprise Environmental Factors &  Organizational Process Assets

Pradip PMP

Last updated March 30, 2017


What are Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs) and Organizational Process Assets (OPAs)? Why are they required for a project's success? As a project manager, you need to know the answers to these questions.

If you are going to appear for the PMP examination, let me tell you that EEFs and OPAs are the most important areas of focus for all processes in the "Integration" knowledge area. So, don't worry about the memorization of ITTO (Input, Tools & Techniques, and Output). And, yes it is easy to memorize!

What are Enterprise Environmental Factors?

You need different approaches to deal effectively with the cultural, political, and legal environments the project is operating within the organization. Enterprise Environment Factors (EEF) include all policies, practices, procedures, and legislations that exist both inside and outside of the organization that will impact the way you manage a project.

This ranges from environmental, anti-discrimination, and occupational health and safety legislation to the choice of project management system used by the organization, its personnel management policies and PMI’s Code of Ethics. Some elements of the EEF are mandatory, others just represent good practice or cultural norms. But regardless of the nature of the factor, you have to work within the physical and cultural environment to be effective.

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These are very important inputs in case of project planning. You must know the organizational culture, norms, and policies for your project success. Here are a few examples of EEFs:

  • Organizational culture, processes, and infrastructure
  • Product standards 
  • Quality standards 
  • Government standards
  • Market standards and conditions
  • Codes of conduct
  • Staffing guidelines
  • Reviews and training records
  • Work authorization systems
  • Political unrest
  • Organizational communication channels
  • Risk databases
  • Project management information systems (PMIS) – Automation tools like schedule tool

Enterprise environment factors are so important that they can enhance or reduce the project management options and positively or negatively impact the project success.

What are Organizational Process Assets?

Most organizations have developed a range of templates, contracts, registers, and assessment tools to assist the management of the project. Organizations have also acquired knowledge in the form of lessons learned and the organization’s knowledge base that can be very useful.

Therefore, Organizational Process Assets would include anything the organization has acquired that you can use in the management of the project. They are formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. These are very important for the planning stage, Irrespective of the nature of the project. Whether your project is long-term or short-term, OPAs are a must. 

Here's a list of OPAs:

  • Standardized guidelines
  • Proposal evaluation criteria
  • Work breakdown structure templates
  • Project schedule network diagram templates
  • Risk templates
  • Organizational standard processes
  • Project closure guidelines
  • Defect management processes
  • Lessons learned and historical databases
  • Change control procedures
  • Financial control procedures
  • Project files

An ideal project manager will include all this information during project planning. You can seek the help of PMO (Project Management Office) to get this information, or seek the advice of the identified key stakeholders.

To sum it up, OPAs improve the management of the project and EEFs establish guidelines to help you manage the project. Both OPAs and EEFs can be updated if there's any change implemented in your project.

Have any questions? Comment away!

About the Author

Pradip Dwevedi, PMP is currently the Lead PMP Trainer / Corporate Trainer at Reputed Global R.E.P.s, India and also the Head – Project Management at Invida Trans IT Solutions PVT LTD. Prior to this, he was Divisional Manager at Stylo Graphic Imaging and before this he was working as Facilitator/Team Leader at Aptara.


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