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P3M3, also known as the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model 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). The hierarchical approach enables organisations to assess their current capability and then plot a roadmap for improvement prioritised by those KPAs which will make the biggest impact on performance.


P3M3 is owned by Axelos, a joint venture between the UK Government and Capita which took ownership of the materials in Jan 2014. Prior to this, P3M3 was owned by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), a department within the UK Government with a remit to help public sector organisations improve their efficiency, gain better value for money from procurements and deliver improved success from programmes and projects.

The P3M3 aims to provide an assessment and measurement score for the portfolio, programme and project-related activities within process areas that contribute to achieving a successful project outcome. The levels described within the P3M3 indicate how key process areas can be structured hierarchically to define a progression of capability which an organisation can use to set goals and plan their improvement journey.

The levels facilitate organisational transitions from an immature state to become a mature and capable organisation with an objective basis for judging quality and solving programme and project issues.

P3M3 assessment can be applied both to project management activities being carried out at the individual project level and those activities across an organisation, to score programme and project frameworks and approaches.


Companies and organisations can utilise the P3M3 model via materials available on the Axelos web-site on a self-assessment basis. The assessment itself provides a measure which indicates maturity. Being assessed provides useful business information, but does not provide an award or accreditation to the business being assessed. See accreditation.

There is some advantage in having a third party carry out such assessments to ensure objectivity and impartiality. Some hire an individual specialist to undertake the self-assessment on their behalf, or engage an accredited consultancy company to perform this as a service.

P3M3 accredited consulting companies are usually able to offer a suite of assessments:

  • PRINCE2 Maturity Model(P2MM)
  • Project Management Maturity Model(P1M3)
  • Programme and Project Management Maturity Model(P2M3)
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model(P3M3)


The accreditation scheme offered by Axelos is aimed at consulting companies, for such to become accredited in the provision of P3M3 assessments.

Unlike other related methodologies such as PRINCE2 and MSP, Etc., there is not a similar accreditation for individual practitioners. Instead, there is the Registered Consultant (RC) scheme, aimed an individuals working within accredited consulting companies (ACOs).

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