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P3O® - Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices

Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) is a methodology from the UK Cabinet Office which gives guidance on establishing a portfolio, programme and project structure (portfolio, programme and project office 'P3O') within an organisation.

Below we provide information on the P3O methodology, the relevant books and qualifications.

What is on this page?

What is P3O?

P3O is a methodology from the UK Cabinet Office which sets out the principles for establishing a P3O (portfolio, programme and project office 'P3O') within an organisation.

P3O is aligned with PRINCE2®, MSP®, and M_o_R® - it brings together in one place a set of principles, processes and techniques to facilitate effective portfolio, programme and project management through enablement, challenge and support structures - the P3O.

P3O Lifecycle

P3O looks at the lifecycle of a portfolio, programme and project office and describes the use of a project-based approach to scoping and setting up a suitable portfolio, programme and project office model within an organisation.

The core P3O manual includes checklists for start-up, continuous improvement, and reviving and closing down temporary offices. Additionally, it looks at the functions and services carried out within P3O, and the techniques and tools used to facilitate them.

P3O Training and Qualifications

As might be expected, there is a solid range of qualifications linked to the P3O framework.

P3O Foundation

The Foundation qualification focuses on the concepts, structures and duties of a P3O. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 40 minutes. It is a closed-book examination and has a pass mark of 60% (30/50).

There is a growing range of accredited P3O Foundation training courses

P3O Practitioner

Gaining the P3O Practitioner qualification recognises an individual has sufficient knowledge of the P3O methodology to design, implement, manage or work in a P3O environment. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate an overall understanding of the entire P3O model  (elements, roles, functions and techniques).

The Practitioner exam is an objective test, 7-question exam with 70 marks available in total. You have to score 50% (35/70) in order to pass the exam. You have two and a half hours to complete the exam, you are allowed to take a copy of Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O manual) into the exam with you.

IT Governance now offer a growing range of P3O Practitioner courses.

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