A P3O model provides a decision enabling/delivery support structure for all change within an organisation. This may be provided through a single permanent office which may exist under several different names e.g. Portfolio Office, Centre of Excellence, Enterprise or Corporate Programme Office. It may otherwise be provided through a linked set of offices (portfolio office, programme offices, project offices), both permanent (enabling/supporting business objectives and consistency of delivery) and temporary (enabling/supporting specific programmes and projects), providing a mix of central and localised services.
The Cabinet Office's PRINCE2®, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®), and Management of Risk (M_o_R®) all touch on the need to provide adequate support structures for these best practices. However, currently there is no single source of this information that either organisations or individuals can go to find guidance or advice on setting up or running an effective delivery support office in alignment with the Cabinet Office's Best Practice guidance.
This guidance - aligned to the Cabinet Office's PRINCE2, MSP, and M_o_R - will bring 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. These structures also bridge the gap between the strategy/policy makers and the delivery arm of the organisation.
The purpose of the Portfolio, Programme and Project Office (P3O) guidance is to provide universally applicable guidance that will enable individuals and organisations to successfully establish, develop and maintain appropriate business support structures that will allow:
- Informed senior management decision making on strategic alignment, prioritisation, risk management, optimisation of resource etc to successfully deliver their business objectives (portfolio management)
- Identification and realisation of business outcomes and benefits via Programmes
- Successful delivery of project outputs that enable benefits within time, cost and quality restraints.
The guidance will provide:
- An Introduction to P3O - Discussing why, when and how to use P3O models including the difference between portfolio, programmes and project environments and their different requirements
- Value - What value P3O can bring to the organisation including a business case, funding models and performance measures
- Model - An overview of the different P3O models with examples
- Functions and Techniques - Details on the functions/services and techniques/tools used by units of a P3O model.
There are no pre-requisites for the foundation examination. Candidates must achieve a pass at foundation level before completing the practitioner examination.
P3O has one main manual, published by The Stationary Office, called "Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices".
This manual is provided as part of the course fee unless advised otherwise by the delegate.
P3O examinations are currently only available in English. Chinese and Polish translations are underway, and further translations are likely to follow based on demand.
The "Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices" manual is currently available in English. Chinese and Polish translations are underway, and further translations are likely to follow based on demand.
FGI's Foundation courses are delivered over 3 days and the Practitioner courses are delivered over 5 days.
The P3O Qualification Scheme is developed by the APM Group Ltd in partnership with the Cabinet Office and The Stationery Office (TSO).
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%.
The Practitioner exam is an objective testing style paper. The paper consists of 7 questions with a total of 70 marks available to be completed within 2 1/4 hours. Candidates need to achieve a mark of 35 or more to pass the paper, and may only take the P3O Guide into the exam room for reference during the exam. A pre-requisite for this exam is a pass at Foundation level.
The Foundation examination is not valid for a defined period and will not expire. Candidates who pass the Practitioner exam are recognized as a "P3O Registered Practitioner". Individuals will remain registered for a period of 5 years. To maintain the registered status, practitioners must complete and pass a P3O Re-Registration examination 3-5 years following their initial/previous practitioner certification.
P30 foundation provisional results are given on the day by the trainer and these are then checked and confirmed by APMG. This takes approximately 3 weeks.* The practitioners results are emailed to delegates approximately 3 - 5 weeks after sitting the exam.*
For both the foundation and practitioner, certificates will be sent on average 3 weeks after the exam results have been released.*
Pass marks for the P3O examinations are as follows:
- Foundation: You will need to score 30/50 to pass the Foundation exam.
- Practitioner: You will need to score 35/70 to pass the Practitioner exam.
Candidates who have passed the P3O Practitioner examination can put "P3O Practitioner" on their business cards.
Only organisations licensed to do so are allowed to use the P3O logo. Such organisations include P3O ATOs (Accredited Training organisations) and P3O ACOs (Accredited Consulting organisations) accredited by APMG-International. The P3O logo is a registered trademark of the Cabinet Office and must not be used without their permission or appropriate license.
The main difference between P3O and PPSO lies between the levels of detail. P3O contains much more detail about the design of a P3O, roles and responsibilities and setting up/refreshing. The PPSO courses and exams focus very much on the techniques that a PSO person would be expected to use in their day-to-day jobs.
A P3O model provides a decision enabling/delivery support structure for all change within an organisation. This may be provided through a single permanent office which may exist under several different names e.g. Portfolio Office, Centre of Excellence, Enterprise or Corporate Programme Office. It may otherwise be provided through a linked set of offices (portfolio office, programme offices, project offices), both permanent (enabling/supporting business objectives and consistency of delivery) and temporary (enabling/supporting specific programmes and projects), providing a mix of central and localized services.
The ISEB PPSO courses and exams focus very much on the techniques that a PSO person would be expected to use in their day-to-day jobs, such as project planning (critical path, Gantt, resource histograms), monitoring and control (including earned value analysis), change control, risk management and investment appraisal.
*Please note that these are average time scales and are only offered as a guide as they are subject to change.