Getting Started with P3O®

The Portfolio, Programme and Project Office (P3O®) course is designed to provide the knowledge and understanding you need to work within a P3O®.

When you are looking to either get into PMO work or get better at the work you already do as a PMO practitioner; the P3O® course is an excellent course to do to understand the different models and approaches organisations have to PMO.

There’s long been a belief that no PMOs are the same, and that’s true to a certain extent because no two organisations are the same either.

There are, however, lots of similarities and these tend to be because organisations look to existing best practice to help them structure and implement the PMOs that fit their business needs.

P3O® is one of the best practice guidance available and at the beginnig of the course it’s crucial that delegates understand the fundamentals before getting into “what is P3O®?”:

  • What is a project?
  • What is a programme?
  • What is a portfolio?
What is a project?

It’s a temporary endeavour delivering to the business case. Projects are all about outputs. Project management is therefore about planning; delegating; monitoring; controlling and providing the motivation to achieve the objectives within performance targets.

What is a programme?

A programme is also a temporary and flexible organisation which consists of a set of related projects to deliver outcomes and benefits aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives. Programmes are all about outcomes. Programme management is about providing direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformation activities to achieve and realise benefits of strategic importance.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is the totalityof an organisation’s investment in the changes required to achieve strategic objectives. Portfolio management is the co-ordinated collection of processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational change and business-as-usual.

So what is the P3O?

With the three ‘Ps’ explained, the P3O® is about providing a decision-enabling and support business model for all business change within an organisation. The P3O® offers functions and services and integrates with the governance arrangements and the wider business functions e.g., finance.

In a business there can be single; multiple; virtual; temporary and permanent PMOs.

The conceptual model of P3O® means it could be just one person who is in effect providing all of these types of PMOs at once because ultimately it comes down to the functions and services the PMO provides. Within each part of the model, different functions and services are offered and carried out. The P3O® course gives the overview of what functions and services are offered in each part.

P3O Foundation

Understanding the potential P3O® landscape in a business is a crucial step anyone working in – or wanting to work within PMO needs to take.

Once you begin to understand the differences between project, programmes and portfolios that’s when you can get into the detail of the different functions and services offered and how those are carried out by the PMO.

P3O® gives that high level view – the foundations of why PMOs exist and what they do.

To start your journey to a deeper business understanding of why PMOs exist and what makes them work, start with the P3O® Foundation course first.

PMO Learning’s P3O® course is delivered by P3O® author and leading PMO expert, Eileen Roden. She brings P3O® alive with her passionate, experience and energy.

Read more about P3O®:

P3O training

The P3O® courses on this page are offered by PMO Learning. P3O® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited. P3O® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. The Swirl logo™ is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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