Immerse Your Team in Decision-Enabling and Business-Support Model

Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O)® brings together a set of principles, processes and techniques to facilitate effective portfolio, programme and project management through enablement, challenge and support structure. These structures can bridge the gap between the strategy and policy makers and the delivery arm of the organisation.

P3O® is a focal point for defining a prioritized and balanced portfolio of change and ensuring consistent delivery of programmes and projects across an organisation, division, function or department.

The purpose of P3O® is to provide universally applicable guidance that enables individuals and organisations to successfully establish, develop and maintain appropriate business support structures that allow:

  • Informed senior management decision-making on such things as strategic alignment, prioritisation, risk management and optimisation of resource to successfully deliver their business objectives;
  • Identification and realisation of business outcomes and benefits via programmes;
  • Successful delivery of project outputs that enable benefits within time, cost and quality restraints.

What is the P3O® certification?


The P3O® is a part of the AXELOS Global Best Practice portfolio. The P3O® certification has Foundation and Practitioner levels, and provides a basis for accreditation of people involved with P3O® so as to provide guidance on how to develop a governance structure that helps optimise an organisation’s investment in change alongside its Business As Usual work.

Target Audience

The P3O® certification is designed for candidates:

  • who needs to understand the terminology and concepts underpinning P3O®;
  • who are members of offices within a P3O® model;
  • who wish to pursue higher level qualifications in P3O®.

Course Outline

Area 1: P3O® Overview

  • Definition of P3O®
  • P3O® Model Elements
  • Objectives and Differences between Portfolios, Programmes and Projects
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Management (PPM)
  • Business As Usual (BAU)
  • Relationship between PPM and BAU
  • Decision-making and Delivery Support Model
  • Governance Responsibilities of P3O®

Area 2: Why Have a P3O®?

  • Elements of Business Change Governance
  • Justification for Implementing P3O®
  • P3O® Value Matrix
  • P3M3 Assessments
  • P3O® Vision, Blueprint, Business Case and Benefits Map
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure Success
  • Common Barriers to P3O® Implementation
  • Maximising the Value of P3O®
  • Types of Funding Models and Cost Models
  • Typical Timescales for Implementing P3O®
  • Delivering Change and Adding Value to an Organisation

Area 3: Models and Tailoring

  • 3 Different Functional Areas and Different Types of Offices
  • Different Strategic Planning or Portfolio Support Functions
  • Different Delivery Support Functions
  • Different Centre of Excellence (CoE) Functions or Services
  • Typical Factors affecting P3O® Model Design
  • Centralized and Decentralized Offices
  • Characteristics and Success Factors for a P3O® Model with Different Offices and Models
  • Key Considerations of Distributed Models
  • Integration of a P3O® Model with a Wider Organisational Model
  • Independent P3O® Assurance Services
  • P3O® Governance Services
  • Roles of Information Assurance and P3O® Role
  • Typical non-PPM Functions
  • Key Drivers and Factors for Sizing a P3O®

Area 4: Implement and Re-energize

  • Key Activities in the Implementation Lifecycle for a Permanent P3O®
  • 4 Sections of a Typical P3O® Blueprint
  • Implementation Lifecycles for a P3O®
  • Key Activities and Outputs of Processes of the Implementation Lifecycles for Different P3O® Types
  • P3O® Information Flow
  • Key Sources of Threats to Achieve the Blueprint
  • PPM Maturity
  • Implementing and Re-energising a P3O® in a given scenario

Area 5: How to Operate a P3O®

  • Tools and Techniques for P3O®
  • Benefits of using standard Tools and Techniques
  • Critical Success Factors to ensure Successful Implementation of Tools and Techniques
  • Portfolio Prioritization and Optimization
  • Complexity Modelling
  • Management Dashboards and Knowledge Management
  • P3O® Information Portal
  • Facilitation – Workshop Techniques

Area 6: Roles

  • P3O® Management, Generic and Functional Roles
  • Skills and Competencies needed for P3O® Staff
  • Key Responsibilities of P3O® Management Roles
  • Key Responsibilities of P3O® Generic Roles
  • Key Responsibilities of P3O® Functional Roles
  • P3O® Resources and Team Structure of P3O® Roles

P3O® Exam Format

 P3O® FoundationP3O® PractitionerP3O® Re-Registration
Question TypeMultiple ChoiceMultiple Choice;
objective testing based on a case-study scenario
Multiple Choice;
objective testing based on a case-study scenario
No. of Questions75 (5 trial and unscored)80 (4 main questions,
each subdivided to 20)
30 (3 main questions,
each subdivided to 10)
Duration60 minutes2.5 hours1 hour
Passing Score (%)35 out of 70 (50%)44 out of 80 (55%)17 out of 30 (55%)
Exam StyleClosed-bookRestricted open book
– only the Official Manual
may be used
Restricted open book
– only the Official Manual
may be used

"The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

~ Aristotle