PM² in 3 minutes

The basics

PM² is a project management methodology developed by the European Commission. Its purpose is to enable project managers to deliver solutions and benefits to their organizations by effectively managing the entire lifecycle of their projects.


PM² is the umbrella under which we find the European Commission’s methodologies for managing (agile) projects, programmes and portfolios.


Currently the following elements are publicly available for PM²:

•   For Project Management: The PM² project management methodology Guide, version 3.1

•   For Agile: The PM² – Agile guide, version 3.01

•   For Programme Management: The PM² programme management Guide, version 1.00

•   For Portfolio Management: The PM² Portfolio management guide 1.5


The core is a strong but lightweight methodology for managing projects suited for medium to large projects in the public domain. Initially developed for internal projects with the European Commission but over time PM² has developed in a mature approach that is currently used by most European Agencies and Institutions within the European Union and increasingly by other national public service organizations across Europe. One of the distinguishing traits of PM² is the emphasis on not only the process side but also the necessary mindset for successful project management.


The current PM² project management methodology version 3.1 was launched in December 2023. It defines a clear and bespoke governance structure, has a phased approach and a very valuable and helpful set of supporting document templates for running projects. In its basis PM² is ‘founded’ on established best practice approaches to project management but other than most also addresses the challenge of not only delivering project results but also the benefits.

A certification in PM² is also provided in five different languages.

Target audience

PM² is relevant for all functions on either the business or the solution side of projects, programmes and portfolios, such as senior managers, project owners, business and project managers, project team members and supporting staff.


Scope and constraints

PM² is relevant for all organizations running projects in a public sector environment and for organizations and professionals (wanting to be) supplying services to agencies or institutions that have adopted PM².


•   PM² has a very pragmatic and flexible approach to running projects

•   Supports both traditional and more Agile approaches to projects

•   Aligned with a broad range of existing PM Best Practices as well as IPMA’s competence base line for Project Managers

•   Has focus on both the outputs and the benefits of projects

•   Highlights not only the procedural side of project management but also addresses the required mind-set for being truly successful in achieving results

•   Tailored to suite projects in the public domain

•   Strong ‘installed base’ in European Institutions

•   Supported by a wealth of practical templates

•   Offers an integrated approach to projects, programmes and portfolios



•   PM² as project management methodologies is aimed at mid to large size projects

•   The focus is typically on projects with a clear business case for change

Relevant reading

The landing page of the European Union for PM²: