Project management & Agile practices

Enhancing project maturity will aid the Energy Sector in its current green transition

Energy and water supply plays a significant role in Denmark's green transition and security of supply. Therefore, the energy sector's projects must succeed, meet time and budget constraints, and deliver the planned benefits. This requires a higher degree of project maturity than what currently characterises the sector, the report concludes.

Respondents assess that the project maturity of the Energy Sector is lagging behind other industries, as concluded in the report ‘Project Management in a Changing World’ conducted in 2023 by Mannaz and RUC (led by Professor Jan Pries-Heje).

Offshore wind farms, solar energy parks, replacement of the Tyra platform in the North Sea, energy islands (in the North Sea and near Bornholm), Power to X projects, a green hydrogen connection to Germany, and projects involving CO2 storage are just some of the major projects managed by the Energy Sector. Denmark’s green transition and security of supply are directly dependent on the Energy Sector’s major projects, making it particularly problematic that the project maturity of this sector is lagging.

At the same time, the Energy Sector depends on timely approvals from authorities and other administrative processes. It is therefore problematic that both public administration and management also rank low in the table below. This certainly does not help the sector in realising its goal of creating green energy in the coming years.


Project maturity depends on leadership

The goal of raising project maturity levels requires involvement from leadership. This includes allocating necessary resources to the project (including personnel, equipment, and funds), making ongoing decisions, providing guidance to project management, and taking responsibility for the project’s life after completion – among other things.

PMI (Project Management Institute) concluded in a global survey (2017) that 77% of so-called Champion organisations reported actively engaged sponsors, compared to only 44% of Underperformer organisations.

Organisations with an appropriate level of project maturity can make balanced decisions for their projects – meaning that both operations and projects/changes can proceed concurrently without experiencing management deficits or arbitrary decisions regarding resources or budgets.

When considering respondents’ answers in the table above, the Energy and Water Supply could improve their project maturity. Higher project maturity is attractive because it can increase the proportion of successful projects – both in terms of meeting schedules and budgets and delivering the intended benefits.

*)Champions: More than 80% of their projects are completed on time, within budget, and deliver the intended benefits. Underperformers: Less than 60% of their projects are completed on time, within budget, and deliver the intended benefits.

Get advice on increasing project maturity in your projects here:

Higher project maturity is a valuable contribution to higher project success. Delays and cost overruns with the largest projects can be significant and lead to a loss of trust from investors and other stakeholders… and in the worst case, may delay Denmark’s green transition.

It also involves managing (significant) complexity. Associate Professor Magnus Rotvig Perlt Hansen and Professor Jan Pries-Heje described in ‘Project Management in a Changing World’ several approaches that can be used. A higher level of project maturity brings management’s attention to employing these complex approaches.

At Mannaz, we work according to a 5-step model (see illustration) to increase project maturity.

If one is ‘too low’ in project maturity relative to the quantity and scope of the organisation’s projects, you may experience:

  • Large budget overruns
  • Significant delays
  • Difficulties in both maintaining operations AND the project portfolio, as the same resources must cover both areas
  • Inadequate management effort in the projects may result in conflicts with the customer


Analysing the stage of the organisation’s project maturity from the perspectives of leadership, project managers, and project participants (also from the board’s perspective) can provide a valuable and neutral picture of the current situation.

Then one can initiate one or more efforts to increase project maturity:

  • Training of the project’s steering group. This work is often quite different from ‘ordinary management’, as the purpose is to increase project success and not to control the project manager. Steering group expertise is a completely special discipline where the steering group should support the project manager and the project.
  • Categorise the projects – for example, by risk or complexity into A, B, C, and D projects. This ensures that the best people and management use their energy on the most critical project, while the less complex projects can be used as ‘training ground’ for less experienced people and with far less management attention and effort.
  • Choose a project model, as the ‘Project Manager’s Report’ shows that it increases the use of many valuable tools, such as risk analysis. You simply get a roadmap for implementing projects, ensuring that too many ‘easy’ solutions are not chosen along the way.
  • Training of project managers, in interaction with management, is also essential. This ensures better knowledge sharing between projects, as both speak the same language and have more effective project management.
  • Training of project participants. They must deliver the work in the projects and are therefore indispensable, but they often have other tasks in the operational organisation competing for their time and energy, and which may not necessarily have the same criticality, time frame, etc. as the project.
  • Consider system support for projects and the project portfolio. IT can really give a big boost, ease reporting, and the latest tools also have some extremely useful AI facilities for, among other things, risk assessment.

The most important advice for strengthening project maturity is that leadership must lead the way and not expect the problem to be solved with a quick fix. It takes a lot of practice and perseverance to succeed with large and complex projects. In the end, it is worth the effort, if Denmark is to succeed in the green transition.


Meet Henrik

Henrik Bjerregaard Nielsen
Vice President, Projects & Programmes
+45 4517 6000

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