How Good is Your PMO? (P3M3 Measurement)

P3M3® Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management Maturity Model (Axelos Best Practice)

What is it?

P3M3 is now a standard among maturity models, providing a structure with which organisations can assess their PMO performance and put improvement plans in place. It is a reference guide for structured best practice. It breaks down the broad disciplines of portfolio, programme and project management into a hierarchy of Key Process Areas (KPAs). P3M3 is aligned to the Prince2, MSP and MoP best practice methodologies.

What are the Key Elements Measured?

P3M3 was released in June 2008, with a further update, version 2.1, being released in February 2010. The first version was developed as an enhancement to the Project Management Maturity Model. For instance it can provide assessment on:

  • PRINCE2 Maturity Model(P2MM)
  • Programme and Project Management Maturity Model(P2M3)
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model(P3M3)

P3M3 consists of a graded collection of components describing the characteristics of effective process maturity levels using a five-level maturity framework:

  • Level 1 – awareness of process
  • Level 2 – repeatable process
  • Level 3 – defined process
  • Level 4 – managed process
  • Level 5 – optimised process

There are also Process Perspectives

P3M3 focuses on seven Process Perspectives, which exist in all three models and can be assessed at all five Maturity Levels. These include the basic themes of project and programme management:

  • Management Control
  • Benefits Management
  • Financial Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Risk Management
  • Organisational Governance
  • Resource Management

Who are the Key Stakeholders?

These will be senior executives, senior responsible owners, portfolio managers and programme managers. However, all PMO staff involved in the operation of portfolio, programme and project management offices may find it useful gaining a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to support improvements.

What P3M3 is not

P3M3 is not a tool for assessing individual projects or programmes. Unlike Prince2 and MSP, there are no certified P3M3 practitioners.

What it is good for?

P3M3 has become an essential tool in assessing organisations project and programmes capabilities and aiding them in the implementation of change in a structured way. As organisations endeavour to identify competitive advantages and leverage them through improved efficiency and delivery, management models designed to assess performance and identify opportunities for improvement are increasingly important.

P3M3 allows organisations to review their maturity and capability through all seven process perspectives across all three models – portfolio, programme and project management – but also offers the flexibility to review just one or two of the process perspectives, whether across all three models or across only one or two of them. This is useful to gain a better understanding of an organisation’s overall effectiveness in say, resource or stakeholder management. 

How do I get it?

Hire an experienced consultant to conduct a short training programme for key stakeholders in your organisation.