To cope with uncertainty, ambiguity and the speed of change, today’s organisations need to develop more but less complex competencies. To maximise responsibilities for success and related benefits, an organisation must have the right governance with the right vision. The P3O guide aims to make governance work cohesively to get the big picture of the organisation and ensure better decision-making.
Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) Definition
Axelos gives the following definition of Portfolio, Programme and Project Office:
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, for example Portfolio Office, Centre of Excellence, Enterprise or Corporate Programme Office.
Why P3O is the spine of the organisation
The P3O guide has the portfolio office as its focal point with the aim of providing portfolio managers and other change professionals with the processes, role descriptions, functions, services and techniques to succeed.
Therefore, if an organisation were a human body, P3O would be its backbone, with the task of supporting what happens within the whole enterprise.
Objectives of the P3O Guidance
The purpose of P3O is to provide universally applicable guidance that will enable individuals and organisations to establish, develop and maintain appropriate business support structures.
Who is P3O for?
P3O can be applied by both project and programme managers and can provide them with a better understanding of how the portfolio works and the interdependencies between all change initiatives.
P3O is also useful for general managers: it helps them to identify what they need to do to create value for the organisation, to be more effective and to see how all elements fit together.
Just as the spine supports the body, P3O supports business leaders by helping them to manage the whole organisation more effectively and get the best out of implementing change strategies.
The risks of organizational change
Obviously, changes are undertaken because they are thought to bring opportunities and benefits within the organisation. But every change also carries risks, such as:
- Too many projects or programmes to manage simultaneously
- Excessive expenditure
- Unnecessary projects
- Poor decision-making power
The Portfolio Office is therefore under constant pressure to add value to the organisation and this is where P3O comes in.
The Benefits of P3O
The 3 main benefits of P3O include:
- Strategic Alignment: the Portfolio Office must ensure that change initiatives reflect the strategic objectives
- Prioritisation: serves to stick to the budget and reduce unnecessary work
- Risk Management: gives guidance on risk management and prevents costly over-spending
- Optimisation of Resources: increasingly important as the organisation does ‘more with less’
- Quality Protection: P3O helps focus on what needs to be done and what customers want.
- Recording of Benefits: to demonstrate that value improves the organisation
Managing Projects and Programmes Strategically
The need to shift the work of organisations towards more programme-based or project-based change has meant the need to align with strategic and corporate objectives.
This entails more attention to governance, such as business strategies, and understanding how efficiently an organisation can cope with change.
To learn more about this topic, read also: How to create awareness of the positive impact in a P3O structure
QRP International organizes courses in P3O (Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices). Write to us for more information!