What is P3M3®?

P3M3 is a management maturity model that looks across an organization at how it delivers its projects, programmes and portfolios. P3M3 is unique in that it considers the whole system and not just the processes. You can tailor the P3M3 assessment to meet the needs of your organization and it can be deployed in multiple ways.

P3M3 provides three maturity models that can be used separately to focus on specific areas of the business, or more generally to help your organization assess the relationships between portfolios, programmes and projects.

The current version of P3M3 (version 3.0) includes:

  • Increased scope
    • Asset management
    • Commercial management
    • Behaviours.
  • Increased diagnostic capacity.

The P3M3 maturity model sub-models are:

  • Portfolio Management (PfM3)
  • Programme Management (PgM3)
  • Project Management (PjM3).
  • Structure of P3M3
  • Benefits of P3M3
  • How to get the most from P3M3

P3M3 Maturity Model

Each sub-model is further broken down into seven perspectives:

  • Organizational governance
  • Management control
  • Benefits management
  • Risk management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Finance management
  • Resource management.

The P3M3 model has five maturity levels:

  • Level 1: awareness
  • Level 2: repeatable
  • Level 3: defined
  • Level 4: managed
  • Level 5: optimized.

P3M3 allows an assessment of the process employed, the competencies of people, the tools deployed and the management information used to manage and deliver improvements. This allows organizations to determine their strengths and weaknesses in delivering change.

There are no interdependencies between the models so an assessment may be against one, two or all of the sub-models. It is possible for an organization to be better at programme management than it is at project management.

Through baselining an organization's performance it is possible to identify areas where an organization can most effectively increase its project, programme and portfolio capability. Therefore the kind of benefits expected from using P3M3 to develop and implement an improvement plan would be:

  • Cost savings
    • on delivering project outputs and programme outcomes
    • Integrate processes across an organization
    • More effective use of budgets
  • Improved benefits delivery
  • Improved quality of delivered projects and programmes
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increase return on investment
  • Providing plans for continual progression
  • Recognizing achievements from previous investment in capability improvement
  • Focusing on the organization’s maturity, not specific initiatives (you can run good programmes and projects without having high levels of maturity – but not consistently).

Please see the introduction to P3M3 for more examples and greater detail.

Register to download the guide

P3M3 supports organizational assessments at project, programme or portfolio levels. It may be across all elements of the model or only selected parts of the model. The former gives a rounded picture of the organization's capabilities and performance. Whereas focusing on any one of the individual perspectives that makes up P3M3 is relevant to tracking improvements in specific areas such as benefits management.

To help users we have devised different options for the P3M3 assessment:

  1. A standalone self-assessment - this is appropriate for those wanting to know more about P3M3 and understand how it works. It can be used to give an estimate of the organization's likely maturity level if a fuller assessment were undertaken.
  2. A facilitated self-assessment - this is appropriate where an organization wants a more robust estimate of its maturity, perhaps as part of an interim measure of progress. This sort of assessment is supported by a P3M3 consultant who can advise on how to gather input across an organization, the sort of people to seek input from or provide challenge to assumptions and address optimism bias.
  3. Full diagnostic or certified assessments - these are appropriate when an organization need a robust and independent assessment of it PPM capabilities as the baseline to improve its capabilities or as the basis for promoting its own capabilities. These types of assessments are possible through a P3M3 qualified AXELOS Consulting Partner (ACP).

Further details of the types of assessment can be found in the introduction to P3M3.

Download the Introduction to P3M3 (registration required)

Further details of the self-assessment can be found on our P3M3 Maturity model page.

Further details of the certified or diagnostic assessment and qualified P3M3 consultants can be found on our Working with an AXELOS Consulting Partner page.