Monthly Archives: January 2009

PMI Standard Updates, OPM3 and Project Governance

PMI launched four updates to its range of standards on the 31st December 2008. The four standards are aligned and consistent which will help ensure all levels of the profession are using the same terms, have the same understanding and can promote harmonisation across all levels of an organisation. Earlier blogs have discussed the changes in the PMBOK® Guide and their impact on the credential examinations for PMP, CAPM, PgMP and PMI-SP. This blog focuses on the changes to OPM3 and The Standards for Program and Portfolio Management and their potential benefits for organisations.

The second edition of PMI’s Standard for Portfolio Management describes good practices in the discipline of portfolio management focused on ‘doing the right work’. It does not matter how good an organisation is at delivering projects and programs if the outputs are of no real benefit to the organisation. On-time, on-budget and not used is just a wast of money and resources.

The new standard builds on the processes for managing a portfolio of projects and programs defined in the first edition to include Portfolio Governance to include the responsibility of senior management to be accountable for investment decisions throughout the portfolio lifecycle; and Portfolio Risk Management. The key element in portfolio risk management is not avoiding risk, but balancing the types of risk accepted to deliver the maximum potential return from the organisation’s overall investment in its portfolio of projects and programs. Portfolio Governance makes sure the investmant is managed effectively.

We have been advocating the need for PMI’s standards to include Governance since 2005, Patrick Weaver presented a series of papers at PMI Congresses that appear to have had some influence on the new Standard. For copies of the papers see:

The most significant difference between the First edition and the Second Editions of the Standard for Program Management is in the development of program-specific knowledge areas. These included knowledge areas that are critical to successful program management as well as knowledge areas that are significantly different at a program level than at a project level.

A second significant difference between the two editions was in the removal of “themes” that were introduced in the first edition.

  • The theme of Program Stakeholder Management was expanded into a knowledge area.
  • The theme of Program Governance was significantly expanded and also became a knowledge area.
  • The theme of Benefits Management was incorporated into the body of the document. 

The challenge now facing organisations is to make effective use of the resources represented by these new PMI Standards; this is where OPM3 comes into play.

OPM3® – Second Edition

OPM3 is a model for measuring project management maturity against a comprehensive set of best practices based on the PMBOK® Guide (projects), Program and Portfolio Management Standards. The updated OPM3 Standard, its self assessment module and the more capable OPM3 ProductSuite are fully aligned with the new PMI standards and have incorporated the concept of Organizational Enablers, previously only found in ProductSuite. Organizational Enablers are the attitudinal and structural elements of an organisation that enable the efficient management of projects and programs.

The updated OPM3 tools and reports allow assessment results to be categorised by Knowledge Area, by Business Results, and by Balanced Scorecard to ensure any planned improvements are focused on the areas of a business that provide the greatest return on investment. In short, OPM3 is the tool that allows organisations to create a better value proposition from their investment in projects and programs.

For more on OPM3 see: (this page will be progressively updated as we develop a better understanding of the new OPM3 tools – Mosaic is one of the very few organisations in the Asia Pacific region with consultants qualifed to deliver OPM3 ProductSuite assessments ).

Changes to our PMP and CAPM Training Courses for 2009

Mosaic’s Mentored Email™ courses for 2009 have been repriced to manage the transition to the PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition.

From Jan 1st our PMP course will be priced at AU$1200 (plus GST for Australian residents) – approximately US$850*, and our CAPM course will be AU$900 (plus GST for Australian residents) – approximately US$650*.

These price changes are primarily to separate the 10% Australian GST component from our price structure. We are attracting an increasing number of clients from the USA, SE Asia and Europe and we do not have to pay GST tax on these sales.

The increase in the base price is to cover the costs associated with converting the courses from the current PMBOK® Guide 3rd Edition to the 4th Edition. Courses started in January and February will be based on our current 3rd Edition materials. Both courses will be available to trainees starting in March, April and May; their selection will depend on their planned exam date (the PMP exam changes on 1st July, CAPM on 1st August). After June we would anticipate only offering the new 4th Edition course.

We believe our PMP and CAPM courses are still exceptionally good value. The materials are developed in-house by Mosaic’s experienced team of Dr. Lynda Bourne and Patrick Weaver. We develop the materials, administer the Mentored Email™ courses and importantly, provide the one-on-one mentoring to help trainees pass their PMI credential examination. We know the courses work, in 2008 only one trainee needed to ask for our free assistance to help them prepare to re-sit their examination.

You can see how the training works for yourself by registering for a course; you to receive Module 1 free of charge, and only pay the invoice for the course if you decide to continue.

*Based on current exchange rates, payments by VISA, MasterCard or funds transfer will attract different exchange rates.