P3O® (Portfolio, Program and Project Offices) is a decision enabling/delivery-support model for all business change within an organization, typically providing support through a Portfolio Office, a Program Management Office, a Project Support Office or any combination of these delivery support functions.
P3O (Portfolio, Program and Project Offices) was published in 2008 by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC); it is now owned by the Cabinet Office, part of HM Government.
P3O offers guidance for setting up and running support offices, for all levels of change within an organization. It offers advice to organizations on current best practice thinking about what previously was referred to as PSO (Program or Project Support Office) or PMO (Program or Project Management Office).
The main functions of a P3O/ PMO in an organization are to facilitate:
- Informing senior management’s decision making on prioritization, risk management and development of resources across the organization to successfully deliver their business objectives (portfolio management)
- Identification and realization of outcomes and benefits through programs and projects
- Delivery of programs and projects within time, cost, quality and other organizational constraints
As a decision enabling/delivery support model, P3O may be a single permanent office, e.g. Portfolio Office (strategically focused), a Strategy or Business Planning Unit, a Centre of Excellence, or an Enterprise/Corporate Program Office. It may also be a linked set of offices e.g. Portfolio Office, Program Offices and Project Offices; or it may be a permanent or temporary mix of central and localized services.
Portfolio managers, senior managers, program directors, consultants, portfolio-, program- or project- office managers who are involved in or responsible for optimizing, developing or re-energizing the organizational decision process to translate business strategy effectively into concrete actions, programs or projects.
Scope and constraints
The scope of the method is the support structures and processes around strategic change initiatives and their delivery via programs and projects within organizations P3O is part of the Best Management Practice methods developed by the Cabinet Office. This means it is fully aligned with PRINCE2®, MSP® and MoP®.
The P3O guidance claims that the method can significantly increase an organization’s chances of successfully delivering its strategy, reducing benefits lost and delivering programs and projects more cost effectively. The approach is fairly new and not yet widely adopted.
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