Why Your Organisation Needs a P3O

So – you’re working in an organisation running projects and programmes, you have established PMOs and now you’re wondering – does my organisation need a P3O?

The first thing we need to establish is the difference between a P3O and lots of different PMOs within an organisation.

Your organisation may have numerous Project Management and Programme Management Offices, in which various PMOs deliver different services such as reporting, quality assurance, Centre of Excellence services etc. The P3O looks at PMOs within the organisation within a wider context, taking a step back to understand what it is the organisation is trying to deliver, and how best to support these deliverables.

This may be easier within organisations with a high level of maturity, in which projects and programmes are recognised and well established within the business. Whilst it is possible in lower maturity organisations, from a PMO perspective, part of the role is to educate the organisation as to how projects and programmes can be delivered, and how the PMO can help.

This requires the right level of skills and capabilities within the PMO – often more difficult to understand in organisations with less of a buy into projects. Many people within the organisation may have worked within the PMO, but don’t take that step back to see the broader picture of the overall design of the PMO, and why it is there.

So, where does the P3O come in?

The P3O provides the foundations of establishing PMOs, by understanding the way in which they fit together within the organisation, the necessary resources, tools, techniques and capabilities, what works for the organisation (and what doesn’t!), and the consequences of these approaches being successful.

The P3O also works to design, implement and re-energise individual PMOs within an organisation, based specificially on the unique needs of said organisation. The P3O ensures the delivery of relevant services, the right level of knowledge and capability within PMOs, as well as ensuring PMOs are being resourced appropriately.

It is important to remember that there is no single recommended design for a PMO or P3O. For either to be effective, it must be designed with the individual context in mind, and able to deliver the services required to address the needs and wants of both the organisation and the key stakeholders.

It must also be able to facilitate effective decision making, and ensure the successful delivery of projects and programmes.

Why does my organisation need a P3O?

The P3O is there to solve a problem within an organisation. This could range from recognising how projects are delivered, being aware of what projects and programmes are in progress, how much money is being spent, how to deliver them well, developing a successful governance structure to a whole host of different business problems. This is the beauty of P3Os – they are tailored and developed specifically to each individual organisation.

P3O author Eileen Roden explains more in the following video.

If your organisation has a business problem that needs addressing – it needs a P3O!

Where can I learn more about P3Os?

If you’re looking to learn more about P3Os, the place to start is the P3O Foundation course. This course covers the fundamentals of P3O, giving you a solid foundation in the P3O model, the terminology and concepts involved – the course also covers the key functions and services in a P3O model – considered to be one of the most useful areas for a PMO practitioner. The course also covers the tools and techniques used in a P3O and looks at the different types of PMOs with the model.

The P3O Foundation course helps PMO professionals understand what the various choices are, factors that would influence those choices and the implications of making the wrong choices!

We also have three great learning options available – classroom teaching, distance-learning and our brand new eLearning!

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