P3O as a profession
31 May 2018
It can be argued that effective programme and project management does not happen in isolation without the involvement of Portfolio, Programme and/or Project (P3O) Offices that provide the decision enabling and support business model for all transformational change within an organisation.
Given the importance of P3Os and what they provide to an organisation, particularly now with the onset of digitial disruption that a new globally recognised certification program is desperately needed? A multi-level, competency-based accrediation program that recognises a P3O professional's knowledge and skills, and supports their lifelong P3O career aspirations and progression. What would you like to see happen?
"PMO" has become wildly diluted in meaning and can often have conflicting expectations at senior stakeholder level.
We probably all recognise the scenario of building a Portfolio PMO function for an organisation only to have a sub-set of the PMs and PgMs assume they are going to receive an admin support function, and are surprised and resistant when they learn that they will receive governance and quality assurance. This can be addressed, but it demonstrates a lack of industry consistency can slow things down and muddy expectations.
A useful move would be to rebranding "PMO" and clarify the different types. P3O is already a step in the right direction. A certification model would certainly help.
I set my first pmo up in '99 when there wasn't much of a template to follow. Not sure when after that I read the first draft of the p30 manual and was dismayed that 50% of it was an apology for existance. It was only at the end of last year I actual sat the p3o exam and It was good to see that Eileen Roden had redrafted the manual to be something worthwhile.
I sat p30 because I'd also fairly recently sat IPMO-E "E" for Expert and from the Association of International Project Management Officers. The jury will have to be out for a while as to whether IPMO's suite of qualifications becomes a benchmark (to declare an interets I teach the Fdtn, Practitioner and Expert).
The PPSO, P3O and IPMO suite serve varying, different needs rather than being a straight overlap. Given that PMO is a term with so many potential meanings that's appropriate.
WE DO need a way to give people the right skills. Those skills range over "Can be project service provider" either as "Can support a project as the PM's right-hand",or "Can support a division with its set of projects", or "Can support the program manager by overseeing the contained projects" or "Can be the execs strategy partner", or "is the reporting engine that puts good data on exec's desks", or "Is the guardian of standards and the source of tools and templates".