P3M3® Portfolio, Programme, And Project Management Maturity Model – In 3 Minutes

The basics

Author: Bert Hedeman

P3M3® is a Registered Trade Mark of Axelos Limited

P3M3 has become a key standard amongst maturity models, providing a framework with which organizations can assess their current performance and put improvement plans in place.

Target audience

The main target  audience is senior executives, portfolio managers and program managers  However, all roles involved in the maturity of portfolio, programme and project management may find it useful gaining a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to enable improvement to happen.


P3M3 was released in June 2008, with a further update, version 2.1, being released in February 2010. The first version was developed as an enhancement to the Project Management Maturity Model. P3M3 is now owned by Axelos Limited.

P3M3 consists of a hierarchical collection of elements describing the characteristics of effective processes.

Maturity Levels

P3M3 uses a five-level maturity framework:

–        Level 1 – awareness of process

–        Level 2 – repeatable process

–        Level 3 – defined process

–        Level 4 – managed process

–        Level 5 – optimized process

Process Perspectives

Hereby P3M3 focuses on seven Process Perspectives, which exist in all three models and can be assessed at all five Maturity Levels:

–        Management Control

–        Benefits Management

–        Financial Management

–        Stakeholder Engagement

–        Risk Management

–        Organizational Governance

–        Resource Management


Embedded within the Process Perspectives are a number of attributes. Specific Attributes relate only to a particular Process Perspective. Generic Attributes are common to all Process Perspectives at a given Maturity Level, and include planning, information management, and training and development.

Scope and constraints

P3M3 is an maturity assessment model to assess as well the project management, the programme management as well as the portfolio management in an organization. P3M3 It is not an assessment tool for individual projects or programmes.


As organizations strive to identify competitive and performance advantages, and leverage them through improved efficiency and delivery, management models designed to assess performance and identify opportunities for improvement are increasingly important. Maturity models in particular have become an essential tool in assessing organizations’ current capabilities and helping them to implement change and improvements in a structured way.

The flexibility of P3M3 allows organizations to review all seven Process Perspectives across all three models – portfolio, programme and project management – but they can also review just one (or several) of the Process Perspectives, whether across all three models or across only one or two of them. This can be useful to gain a better understanding of an organization’s overall effectiveness in, for example, risk management or resource management.