Why is P3O so important ?

Posted by Kevin Brady on Tue 5th August 2008 at 12:21 PM, Filed in PMOProfessional Qualifications

P3O stands for Portfolio, Programme and /or Project Office. It is a framework put together by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) the Association of Project Management Group (APMG) and their publisher the TSO. It is supposed to resolve the problem of a total lack of industry best practice benchmarks for the promotion, set-up and execution of Project /Portfolio Management Offices (PMO)

PMOs are one of the hottest topics these days. Their use is behind many of the large scale programme successes delivered by the “Big Five Management Consultancies” in recent years. Like all good things you can’t keep them a secret forever and with the successful release of the MSP Book and the associated qualification, people in the state sector are now starting to see the need for PMO’s. This is despite the fact that MSP treats this aspect of its framework like an after thought, by sticking the PO (project /programme office as the APMG /OGC) in an appendix at the back of the MSP book. However, just a basic understanding of MSP leads to the quick realisation that a MSP programme has no hope of success without the set-up of a PMO at its heart.

It was therefore no surprise to receive an email from a Local Government Project Management Centre of Excellence (COE) telling me that this is their hottest area of enquiry at this present time. However, they were having great difficulties in handling PMO related enquiries because of the almost total lack of industry approved best practices. Furthermore, I was told that if they could recommend best practices there simply was not enough PMO staff available on the market to support the new PMO’s that would be set-up on the back of this advice.

This growing demand for PMO resource is evidenced by the sharp rises in PMO salaries. Without a best practice PMO framework, new staff cannot be trained easily to meet this increasing demand. I am hoping P3O and its associated qualification will break this downward spiralling relationship between the lack of PMO best practice, and the lack of trained PMO resource.

Let’s hope P3O lives up to all the hype. Industry is crying out for a best practice benchmark in this area. This is an area I will be watching closely bearing in mind the P3O book will be published in the autumn of this year.

Make sure your copy is on order smile

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Totally agree with the comments here Kevin and it’s definitely something to look forward to seeing in more detail in Autumn. We also blogged about P3O here:


Posted by Lindsay Scott  on Wed 6th August 2008 at 11:31 AM | #

For any PMO professionals out there looking for more information and guidance on P3O - the PPSOSIG has announced a new conference on P3O (hope you don’t mind me plugging it Kevin??)

18th March 2009
Location: Aston University, Birmingham
Host: PPSOSIG (Programme and Project Support Office Specialist Interest Group)
Title: “P3O Examined - What Does it Mean for your Organisation?”
More information: http://www.ppsosig.co.uk

Guidance on how to implement a PMO, dozens of checklists on the services your PMO could offer, pointers on how to make your PMO successful and an insight into the different models of PMOs in existence are just some of the latest guidance from the OGC in the form of “Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O)©

So what will the new P3O guidance mean to your role, your PMO and your organisation?

Posted by Lindsay Scott  on Tue 28th October 2008 at 02:04 PM | #


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