P3O® Foundation

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P3O® Foundation Exam Online Tutorial

P3O® Foundation exam aims to provide understanding and knowledge about the various techniques, principles, and processes of the P3O® framework which facilitates effective Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management. The P3O® Project Office Foundation Certification exam certifies an informed member of, an office within a P3O model.

The Foundation certification is one of the prerequisites to qualify for the P3O® Practitioner certification.

Target Audience

  • Members of offices within a P3O model
  • Anyone who needs to understand the terminology and concepts underpinning P3O
  • Those who wish to pursue higher-level certifications

Examination Format

P3O Foundation Exam Questions are in Multiple Choice and Multi-Response format. You get 60 minutes to complete the 75 questions of this exam. Moreover, this examcan be taken in English, Chinese, Dutch, German and Polish language. Also, P3O Foundation Exam Cost is £245.

Exam NameP3O® Project Office Foundation Certification
Exam CodeP3O® Foundation
Exam Duration60 minutes
Exam TypePortfolio, Programme and Project Management 
Exam FormatMultiple Choice and Multi-Response Questions
Number of Questions75 questions – 70 live questions and five trial
Exam Fee£245.00
Pass Score50% (35/70)
Exam LanguageEnglish, Chinese, Dutch, German and Polish

Schedule the exam

You can schedule the P3O Foundation certificate exam via following routes –

  1. Sit the exams at the end of a training course with an Accredited Training Organization (ATO)
  2. Study privately and then book the exam without a training course via PeopleCert

Course Outline

The P3O Foundation Course Outline covers the following domains:

P3O Foundation Course Structure

Domain 1- Overview (OV)

LV1Topic 1: Key PPM definitions:
1.1 PPM
1.2 Portfolio, program, and project
1.3 Portfolio, program, and project management
1.4 Business as Usual

Topic 2: What a P3O is:
2.1 Definition of P3O
2.2 The potential elements of a P3O model and their definitions
LV2Topic 1: Key concepts of a P3O:
1.1 The objectives of and differences between portfolios, programs, and projects
1.2 The objectives of and differences between portfolio, program and project management and how they help to deliver change
Topic 2: The organizational context of P3O:
2.1 The relationship between Business, as Usual, change and PPM
2.2 How the elements of a P3O model align to portfolio, program and project lifecycles
Topic 3: How a P3O provides a decision-enabling/delivery support model and how each P3O model element helps to deliver change
Topic 4: What a P3O is:
4.1 The relationships between the elements in a P3O model and the organization
4.2 The objectives and key functions of each P3O model element
Topic 5: The governance responsibilities of, and services offered by, a P3O and its links with other aspects of corporate governance

Domain 2: Why Have a P3O? (BC)

LV2Topic 1: The ways that a P3O can help an organization deliver its strategy:
1.1 The elements of Business change governance support and enablement
1.2 The terms ‘doing the right programs and projects’ and ‘doing programs and projects right’
LV2Topic 1: How a P3O can help an organization deliver its strategy and add value, including its role in supporting and enabling business change governance
Topic 2: The Best Management Practice principles for extracting value from program and project management and how a P3O model can help deliver them
Topic 3: How to recognize stakeholders and the typical requirements of different stakeholders
Topic 4: The P3O Value Matrix and how it can be used to identify stakeholder needs
Topic 5: How to recognize the problem to be solved by establishing the P3Oand the analysis of recent issues and reviews
Topic 6: The use of P3M3 assessments to identify key P3O functions
Topic 7: The role of the outline Vision Statement and initial Blueprint in defining how the P3O will add value
Topic 8: The purpose, typical contents, and approach to developing the P3O Business Case
Topic 9: Typical P3O capabilities and linked outcomes, benefit drivers, and the use of a Benefits Map to show relationships between outputs, capabilities, outcomes, and benefits
Topic 10: Typical constraints and how they impact on implementation
Topic 11: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
11.1 What they are
11.2 Their purpose
11.3 How they can be used to measure the success of a P3O
Topic 12: KPIs:
12.1 Typical KPIs to measure the success of a P3O
12.2 Minimum areas for setting improvement targets
Topic 13: Common barriers to P3O implementation and how to overcome them

Domain 3: Models and Tailoring (MO)

LV1Topic 1: Functional areas in which the P3O can provide services
Topic 2: The different types of offices which a P3O can consist of, specifically permanent or temporary
LV2Topic 1: The different strategic planning or portfolio support functions offered within a P3O
Topic 2: The different delivery support functions offered within a P3O
Topic 3: The different center of excellence (COE) functions or services offered within a P3O
Topic 4: Typical factors that may affect the design of the P3O model
Topic 5: Where a P3O should report in order to add value to an organization
Topic 6: The types of P3O models and how they differ for centralized versus decentralized offices
Topic 7: The characteristics and underlying success factors for a P3O model with an organization portfolio office
Topic 8: The characteristics and underlying success factors for a P3O model with hub portfolio offices
Topic 9: The characteristics and underlying success factors for a virtual P3O model
Topic 10: The characteristics and underlying success factors for a temporary P3O model
Topic 11: The reasons for and key considerations of distributed models
Topic 12: How and why the emphasis of functions and services offered by the different offices in a P3O model can differ
Topic 13: The need to integrate a P3O model with the wider organizational model, the role of the Head of P3O in doing so, and the use of embedded resources
Topic 14: Independent P3O assurance services and how they can be delivered
Topic 15: How P3O governance services align with the wider organization
Topic 16: The role of information assurance and the role the P3O will typically play in supporting it
Topic 17: Typical non-PPM functions which are sometimes undertaken by a P3O and why, and the impact this can have on a P3O
Topic 18: The key drivers and other factors which should be considered when sizing a P3O

Domain 4: Implement and Re-energize

LV1Topic 1: The key activities in the implementation lifecycle for a permanent P3O and their sequence
Topic 2: The four sections of a typical P3O Blueprint
LV2Topic 1: The need to use a defined process to implement the P3O, typically based on MSP principles
Topic 2: The key activities and outputs of the Identify process
Topic 3: The key activities and outputs of the Define process
Topic 4: The use and typical content of a P3O Blueprint
Topic 5: Which reports are created at portfolio, programme and project level or by transition management and the typical information flows between the P3O model and senior management and the wider organization
Topic 6: The key sources of threats to achieving the Blueprint
Topic 7: The key activities and outputs of the Deliver (Deliver Capability/Realize Benefits) and Close processes
Topic 8: The implementation lifecycle for a temporary program or project office:
8.1 The focused set of stakeholders Organizational context
8.2 Definition and implementation of a temporary program or project office
Topic 9: The implementation lifecycle for a temporary program or project office:
9.1 Running a temporary office through to delivery
9.2 Treatment of internal resources
Topic 10: The implementation lifecycle for a temporary program or project office:
10.1 Closing down a temporary office
10.2 Recycling

Domain 5: How to operate a P3O (including tools and techniques) (TT)

LV1Topic 1: The three ways tools may be used
LV2Topic 1: What tools and techniques are, how they can be used and where they can typically be found within an organization
Topic 2: Typical benefits of using standard tools and techniques
Topic 3: Typical critical success factors that will ensure the successful implementation of tools and techniques:
3.1 Typical critical success factors
3.2 How to achieve critical success factors
3.3 How organizational maturity impacts on successful implementation
Topic 4: Common P3O tools and their functions
Topic 5: Typical objectives, uses, and benefits of P3O techniques:
5.1 Portfolio prioritization and optimization
5.2 Complexity modeling
Topic 6: Typical objectives, uses, and benefits of P3O techniques:
6.1 Management Dashboards
6.2 Knowledge Management
Topic 7: Typical objectives, uses, and benefits of P3O techniques:
7.1 P3O Information Portal
7.2 Facilitation – workshop techniques
Topic 8: Typical objectives, uses, and benefits of P3O techniques:
8.1 Skills development and maintenance
8.2 Business-process swimlanes
Topic 9: Typical objectives, uses, and benefits of P3O techniques:
9.1 Capacity planning for resource management
9.2 Assurance, gated reviews, and health checks

Domain 6: Roles (RO)

LV1Topic 1: The three types of P3O roles and whether a specified P3O role is a management, generic, or functional role.
LV2Topic 1: The skills and competencies needed for P3O staff
Topic 2: The purpose, including skills and attributes where stated, of each P3O management role
Topic 3: The purpose, including skills and attributes where stated, of each P3O generic role
Topic 4: The purpose, including skills and attributes where stated, of each P3O functional role
Topic 5: The key responsibilities of each P3O management role
Topic 6: The key responsibilities of each P3O generic role

For More details visit: P3O® Foundation FAQs

P3O Foundation Exam FAQ

Exam Policies

AXELOS provides exam details to the potential candidates with a view to creating better outcomes. These exam details are a compendium of exam procedures, exam details, before and after exam policies. AXELOS is a globally recognized certification body, committed to nurturing best practice communities on a global scale.

Preparation Guide for P3O® Foundation

P3O® Foundation preparation Guide

Exam Objectives

It is vital to understand the P3O exam pattern in order to feel confident about the upcoming certification exam. It is highly recommended to review each and every objective rigorously. This includes reviewing each topic and its respective sub-topic. Don’t forget to do your homework before you begin with your preparation as it will help you to stay on the same page as the P3O exam.

Sample Papers

AXELOS vendor has a series of sample papers that the candidates can use to help prepare for the exam. These papers are meant to guide you on how the questions are typically presented and you can use them to test your knowledge and understanding while you study. However, the actual questions you receive in your examinations will differ from the examples in these papers.

P3O Foundation Online Training

The P3O Foundation Training Course typically lasts for three days and the examination generally takes place at the end of the training, depending on the training provider. Interested candidates can also opt for self-study for the Foundation exam and may choose to take training in another format, such as distance learning. Training is delivered by AXELOS’ Accredited Training Organizations, who set their own rates.

P3O Foundation Book

We all are familiar with the importance of books and how efficient they are. They not only help you understand the concept better but also makes your basics clear. AXELOS understands your concern and thus it provides the following books in print and pdf format,

  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) – 2013 edition – PDF
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®) – Online Subscription

Please note if you buy the pdf version, you will not be allowed to use them in the open book exam.

Online Discussion Forums

There are chances that even after going through your books, you are left with some major doubts. In such cases, make sure you join a community or an online forum where you can clear all your exam-related doubts. With so many candidates going on the same journey as yours, you’ll be able to connect with them easily. Also, joining online forums will add nothing but will lead to enhancements of your own skills. 

Evaluate your Skills with Practice Tests

You must take the P3O Foundation Practice Exam if you wish to strengthen your preparation process as well as boost your confidence. Also, to keep a mark of your mistakes you should always go through the wrong answers. Doing this provides you with a room to think where you’re lacking and you can start working on your weak areas, so remember to practice before you attend the final certification exam. For more practice sets, CLICK HERE.

P3O Foundation free practice test

Boost your chances to qualify the exam. Get ready to Practice and Prepare for P3O Foundation Exam