Understanding the Essence of P3G (Project, Programme, and Portfolio Governance) and Its Significance in PMO

Project, Programme and Portfolio GovernanceEvery so often a new book comes along which has a big impact in the world of PMO. In 2022, the Project, Programme, and Portfolio Governance (P3G) book was launched by TSO and a course and examination followed.

At PMO Learning, we are always looking for learning and development options for PMO practitioners and this one fills a big gap in the training and development market. [You can take a look at the course here]

In this article, we cover the essence of P3G and why understanding P3G is not just beneficial for PMO practitioners; it’s crucial for the success of projects, programmes and portfolios and, by extension, the organisation.

We start with the basics, what is governance?

In the context of projects, programmes, and portfolio management, governance refers to the set of policies, regulations, functions, processes, and procedures established to guide, control, and monitor the management and execution of these initiatives. Governance serves as a framework for decision-making and oversight, ensuring that project, programme, and portfolio activities are aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives, conducted efficiently, and managed in a way that maximises value, minimises risk, and enhances stakeholder satisfaction.


The Essence of P3G

At its core, P3G is a structured approach to managing projects, programmes, and portfolios by establishing standards, practices, and processes that ensure accountability, transparency, and strategic alignment. It’s about governance structures and frameworks that guide decision-making, resource allocation, and performance management across all project-related activities.

  • Projects are individual endeavours with a specified start and end aimed at creating a unique product, service, or result.
  • Programmes consist of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
  • Portfolios are collections of projects, programmes, and operational work chosen to achieve strategic objectives.

The governance of these elements involves oversight, regulation, and guidance to ensure that an organisation’s project management activities support its strategic goals.


Governance Course for PMO ProfessionalsWhy P3G Matters to PMO Professionals

Governance frameworks underpin all activities within a PMO. It’s a common experience for PMO professionals to acquire their understanding of governance directly through hands-on experience, as each organisation adopts its unique governance approach. However, similar to acquiring knowledge in project management, PMO operations, risk management, or planning, understanding governance is crucial. It enables PMO teams to explore and adopt best practices in governance, tailoring them to enhance their PMO’s effectiveness and contribute positively to their organisation’s overall strategy.

Strategic Alignment

One of the primary reasons P3G is vital for PMO professionals is its emphasis on strategic alignment. By ensuring that projects and programmes are not only aligned with but actively support an organisation’s strategic objectives, the PMO is actively managing and supporting strategy execution activities. This alignment helps the portfolio-focused PMO in their work of prioritising projects, optimising resources, and ensuring that every initiative contributes to the broader goals of the organisation.


Enhanced Decision-Making

P3G provides a framework for decision-making that encompasses clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability. This structure enables PMO professionals to work with their senior management teams to help them make informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information and best practices. The P3G structure helps to foster a culture of transparency and accountability, where decisions are made with a clear understanding of their impact on strategic objectives.

P3G - Project, Programme and Portfolio GovernanceImproved Risk Management

The governance framework offered by P3G includes mechanisms for identifying, assessing, and managing risks across projects, programmes, and portfolios. For PMO professionals, this means being better equipped to help identify potential issues, have mechanisms in place to help mitigate risks, and support the risk management process across projects, programmes and portfolios.

Resource Optimisation

P3G enables PMO professionals to oversee and optimise the use of resources across all projects and programmes. By providing a clear overview of all ongoing and planned initiatives, P3G helps in ensuring that resources can be allocated efficiently, avoiding over commitment and underutilisation.

Continuous Improvement

Finally, the governance framework advocated by P3G promotes continuous improvement in project management practices. It encourages PMO professionals to regularly review and refine project management processes, methodologies, and performance metrics. This enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of all delivery and also ensures the PMO continues to be fit-for-purpose.

For PMO professionals, P3G is not just about understanding a framework; it’s about embracing a philosophy that emphasises strategic alignment, informed decision-making, risk management, resource optimisation, and continuous improvement. By incorporating P3G principles into change delivery, PMO professionals can significantly contribute to the achievement of organisational goals, demonstrating the indispensable value of PMOs in today’s complex and fast-paced business environments.

Click here to view upcoming dates for the Project, Programme, and Portfolio Governance Professional Course.


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