In between delivering PMO courses, I grabbed Eileen to have a chat about P3O©. Eileen is the author of the second version of P3O – Project, Programmes and Portfolio Offices to give it its long title – and is of course our lead trainer here at PMO Learning.
P3O is probably the most recognisable of the PMO courses that exist in the marketplace today and Eileen has delivered many of them over the years.
I wanted to know why PMO practitioners opt to do the P3O course and Eileen gave me the top two reasons in her experiences when delivering this course.
PMO practitioners want to know:
- Which functions and services their PMO should offer and in turn understand if these functions and services are any good and making a difference in the business, and;
- How to gain support for a PMO
The course does cover the different functions and services the PMO can offer – the P3O course concentrates more on the ‘what to do’ rather than ‘how to do it’
You could argue that no 5 day course could realistically cover all the ‘how to do it’ if you consider just how many functions and services can exist in a PMO.
She also went on to say that stakeholder engagement is indeed covered in the course – but its a small part because of the need to cover such a large curriculum in such a short space of time.
The P3O course is good for getting the overall understanding of what PMOs are there to do; how they can be put together (the different topography like hub and spokes); the optimal sizes of them and the approach they take (supporting, directive, enabling, strategic)
Most PMO practitioners who consider the course opt for the full five days – taking the Foundation exam at the end of the third day before progressing to the Practitioner level with a final exam on the fifth day. Having said that, PMO practitioners who are not managing a PMO can gain the value they need from just taking the Foundation course for 3 days – saving both time and costs. It’s the final two days of the Practitioner level that is really geared towards PMO Managers.
If you’re looking for a good overview of the types of PMOs that exist and the functions and services it offers – P3O Foundation will give you that – plus of course it’s a certification widely recognised.
If you’re wanting to understand how to gain support for a PMO – it’s the P3O Practitioner level that you need to look at. A word of advice though – the Practitioner level cannot be taken unless you’ve done the Foundation level.
PMO Learning’s next open public P3O courses take place in December – you can do 3 days of Foundation, 2 days of Practitioner or opt for all 5 days in the week commencing 10th December.