In this blog post, I’m going to discuss the enterprise environmental factor (EEF), organizational process assets (OPA), and the difference between these two.
Although this is a straight forward concept, I have seen many people have misunderstanding here.
Enterprise environmental factor (EEF) and organizational process assets (OPA) are widely discussed in the PMBOK Guide and are input in almost all processes.
Therefore, it is necessary for you to have a better understanding of these terms.
Please note that you may or may not see a direct question on these topics on the exam, but having a better understanding about the EEF and OPA will certainly help you on your PMP Exam.
Enterprise Environmental Factor (EEF)
Before we start discussing the enterprise environment factor, let’s understand the “environment”.
The environment can be defined as something related to the natural world and the impact of human activity on its condition, or the culture that an individual lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact (Wikipedia).
The environment is a condition we live in. It influences our behavior in a certain way.”
For example, in cold weather we need to wear woolen clothes to keep ourselves warm. Here, the cold weather is the “environment” which forces us to cover ourselves with woolen clothes.
This is the impact of a cold environment on us.
Likewise, the enterprise environmental factors influence the organization, the project, and its outcome. Every organization has to live and work within the EEF.
The enterprise environment factor can be either internal or external.
Examples of external enterprise environmental factors are as follows:
- Government regulation
- Market conditions
- External political conditions
The following are a few examples of internal enterprise environmental factors:
- Organizational culture
- Type of organizational structure
- Internal political conditions
- Available resources
Organizational Process Assets (OPA)
Before moving on to the OPA, let’s talk about assets.
The definition of assets says: “It is a useful or valuable thing or property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitment, or legacies.”
Simply put, assets are something that you can own, keep, and make use of.
For example, you can have a car which helps you move around, you can have a house to live in, a computer to work on, etc. This list is endless. These things are called assets.
In the same way, organizations also have assets which help them in achieving their objectives. Here these assets are called organizational process assets (OPA). These organizational process assets are kept in some central repository so that they can be used whenever required.
Organization process assets can be divided into two categories.
The first category is for processes and procedures for conducting work, which includes the following:
- Standard template
- General guidelines
The second category includes corporate knowledge base for storing and retrieving information. For example:
These organizational process assets influence the project success, and they keep growing as the organization becomes larger.
For example, let’s say that you’re in the identify risks process and are identifying the risks. You decide to start identifying risks by using a check list.
Are you going to create this checklist from scratch or will you look in any similar past project records to find it out?
Of course, you will go for the second option and find a risk checklist from previous records and customize it as per your project requirements. This will save you a lot of time.
In project management, a very famous saying is “why re-invent the wheel”, which means if you have something available to you, you don’t have to remake it.
Organizational process assets are used extensively in project management. It is the responsibility of the project management team to look for any relevant documents in historical records before starting to build something from the beginning.
The Difference between Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors
You may think that these two serve the same purpose and they are the same; however, they are not.
Organizational process assets help organizations to continuously improve their process, help project management teams to learn, and share the best practices by using a collective knowledge base.
On the other hand, enterprise environmental factors may or may not help your organizations. These are the conditions in which your organization has to work. These do not fall under the control of the project management team.
For example, if the government increases taxes, it will hurt your profit; however, if they decrease taxes, it will increase your profit.
The other difference is that it is not easy to change the enterprise environmental factors; you have to live with them. While OPA can be customized according to the suitability, and they make the project management team’s life much easier.
The key point is that organizational process assets always support the project team, while enterprise environmental factors can sometimes help the project and other times may hurt it as well.
What are your thoughts on enterprise environmental factor and organizational process assets? If you have something on your mind, share it through the comments section.