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If ever there was a time to deliver efficient and consistent change in an organisation, it is now and the OGC's Portfolio, Programme and Project Office (P3O) guidance sets up the structure to deliver just that.

What is P3O? In essence, it's a way of providing joined-up support for launching change. The Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) P30 gives guidance on establishing, developing and maintaining a decision-making and enabling structure or management environment for all levels and all kinds of change in an organisation.

What does it look like? It can be a single office or a set of linked offices with a strategic, challenge and assurance role;this is no glorified administration department. Several office types are possible. The portfolio office gives senior managers a panoramic view of the portfolio, of progress, conflicts, risks and benefits against investments. The Centre of Excellence assists organisations to improve their portfolio, programme, project and risk management (P3RM) through best practice, training, and so forth. Temporary offices support programmes and projects.

Which model should I use? That depends. The vision and goals of the sponsor, the size and maturity of the organisation, P3RM, all of these factors will influence the choice of model, the staffing and the pace at which you design, build and adopt P3O. A small company may only need one P30 expert;a large one, an army of them. One organisation may launch P30 quickly;another roll it out in stages.

How does the company benefit? It's about the bottom line. P30 helps decision pick the right programmes and projects and see that they are done right. Every success or failure is visible to staff so they can escalate problems to the right level and allow investment management judgments to be made early. Companies can balance change and business-as-usual agendas. P30 drives efficiency and consistency and delivery, in terms of cost and time, becomes predictable, stickable.

Does the company really need P3O? Judge for yourself. The OGC seven questions in Business Benefits of P30 Implementation which we've listed at the end can help you do that. Steve Boronski, an ILX Senior Management Training Consultant, also has an effective formulato check if you have one or need one;it's based on the questions: if you make X investment, will you get Y benefits and will it improve Z Key Performance Indicators?

Where is the evidence that it works? No-one wants to throw good money after anything in these hard times unless there's a clear return. P30 can give that and BT Design (P3O: No Skeletons in the Cupboard at BT Design) show how it worked for them.

How does yet another certificate benefit individuals? Senior managers will understand the structure for achieving strategic objectives. Programme managers will bring consistency to programmes and effect standardized strategies within projects. Project managers can integrate with programmes and deliver consistent outputs. P30 also offers a career path and more information is available from theProject Management Office Special Interest Group.

What's the training and qualification structure? P30 slots perfectly in with the OGC products such as PRINCE2, ITIL, MSP and M_o_R. It comprises P30 Foundation and P30 Practitioner level qualifications and is accredited by the APMG. There is the guidance, support and documentation that you would expect and the OGC already provides aP30 Online Repository.

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PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) offers a structured approach to project management and is one of the most recognised and used project management qualifications in the public government and private sector both in the UK and internationally.

With two certification levels: Foundation and Practitioner our Prince2 2009 training courses (residential and non-residential) also include the conversion courses from Foundation to Practitioner, Prince2 Overview, re-registration and upgrade from 2005.

Visit CourseMonster and learn more about PRINCE2 training courses