Biggest shake up in the P3M market for 20 years

From the mid 90’s when PRINCE2® hit the streets, the UK Government, through the OGC became the globally recognized home of best practice; in fact it is where the term was established.

In the years that followed, the OGC was a production line for great products that helped establish portfolio and programme management, as well as a range of associated products such as risk, portfolio office and value management.  Amongst the many successes, PRINCE2® and MSP® became the biggest selling P3M qualifications in the world.

Aspire Europe have been very proud to have been at the core of this global movement, providing lead authors for MSP® and being involved in the design of the other products.

In 2010, the change of political party in the UK heralded a change of direction and the writing was on the wall when the OGC was scrapped and the growth of the MPA (Major Projects Authority).  This new group was focused on a very limited range of high profile projects rather than the overall performance of delivery across all public organisations.

In 2013 the UK government announced the joint venture vehicle called Axelos, through which it passed the intellectual property and revenue potential for the portfolio of products. It is difficult not to feel sympathy for the trusty partners of the OGC throughout, the APM Group, which provided the examination and accreditation services for nearly 20 years found themselves out in the cold.

What can we expect in 2014?  Well, the shake-up has created multiple examinations boards that are competing for a reducing number of candidates.  The revenue is being spread across 7 examination boards, to the first impact has been that examination fees have now gone up.

Axelos produced their 12 month strategy in November 2013 which set out a number of foundations on which they will build their ITIL® and P3M product sets, which will be based on:

  • Accreditation and support for partners
  • Extension of the product set into academia
  • Creation of a community of practice

We are more interested in the 2014 P3M Roadmap which is available for you to review. The main idea is the modularization of the product set which would be the continuation of strategy that has seen the emergence of P3O® (Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices), M_o_R® (Management of Risk) and MoV® (Management of Value) in the last few years.

At the centre of the product set appears to be P3M3®.  This will be the first new product released in 2014 which is the domain of the Accredited Consultancy Organisation. This is an interesting signal for the future as Axelos are proposing to accredit consultancy organisations themselves with a new scheme coming out in 2014, rather than using the APM Group scheme.

Some things that we are likely to see as consequence of this:

  1. Much wider base of organisations delivering qualification courses with potentially more choice for customers
  2. APM Group has been producing a range of non OGC products for some years with limited success, but now that their main customer has moved on, the entrepreneurial spirit that drove the early days of APM Group will hopefully return
  3. Market entrants with more competitor products now that the UK Government quality stamp is no longer there
  4. More direct contact between Axelos and the end users as the supply chain shortens

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