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Association of International Project Management Officers - AIPMO®

AIPMO IPMO-Practitioner Certification (IPMO-P)

The International Project Management Officer (IPMO)® is the most important industry recognized certification series for PMOs. There are three levels of certification reflecting the level of competency: Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert.

Certified IPMO Practitioners have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training and competency assessment, that they have an in-depth understanding of PMO principles and practices including the design, implementation and operation of enterprise wide-PMOs.



Practitioner Certification in PMO – IPMO-P©

Since project management offices began to appear in organizations, academic researchers, project management practitioners and their organizations have been asking how best structure project management offices (PMOs), what roles, functions and leadership styles should they adopt to provide the maximum value.

High-performing Project Management Offices (PMOs) are more than three times as likely as their low-performing peers to reach their full potential in contributing business value to their organizations. In 2012, a survey from PMI (2013) showed that PMOs completed an average of US$100 million worth of projects. Additionally, they delivered around US$71 million in value by way of revenue increases and/or cost reductions. The problem is that less than 33% of PMOs reach the full potential which indicates a limited understanding in how PMOs should be defined not only at the project, program and portfolio levels but also what they do, how they do it, and the configuration that optimally supports the organizational needs of today, and tomorrow.

This course brings together the latest in academic research and best practices across the project, program and portfolio (strategic) areas into a PMO framework that will allow the attendee to understand the building blocks of project, program and portfolio management, success factors, success criteria, PMOs types, assessment of the current PMO setups in terms of SWOT and then a roadmap to strategically design and implement and integrated approach to ensure PMO alignment with organizational needs.

You will be able to design and establish PMOs from a services and capabilities perspective within the context of the organization, the project types they support, PMO functions including their ability to act as catalysts to knowledge sharing units that seed and support innovation groups whilst understanding the risks associated with long-term PMO performance. In doing so, will you will have opportunity to find out why some PMOs might perform below expectations as well as learn how to improve individual and collective PMO performance in an organization to achieve maximum business value.

This course is also designed to be hands-on, encompasses the day-to-day operational aspects of PMOs by detailing the challenges and best practices to improve communication and optimize resource utilization. You will learn how to prioritize projects, and monitor progress and budgets on a continual basis. You will take away key documents from the course that can be used immediately at your workplace to carryout PMO strategic and operational reviews, as well as the day-to-day activities.


Who Should Attend

  • PMO Directors/PMO Managers
  • Project/program management professionals
  • Consultants (involved in projects and/or organizational change)
  • Project/program/portfolio managers with expertise in PMOs
  • Experienced PMO Core team



Key Takeaways


  • Understand the value of high performing PMOs
  • Describe the different roles of PMOs in a single and networked context and across different levels of the organization
  • Understand the similarities and differences of organizational project management maturity versus PMO maturity
  • Hand-on experience on applying the PMO lifecycle using the detailed case study to walk through a real PMO enterprise example
  • Experience establishing mandate for PMOs implementations
  • Identify the steps required to implement PMOs ranging from a single project based PMO, to enterprise wide PMOs
  • Learn new tools and techniques never used before in the PMO arena

What You Need to Know


Classroom training: 5 days:


The training approach includes:

  • Lecture
  • Team exercises
  • Group discussions
  • Detailed five-day Simulation Case Study
  • Presentations and role play
  • Exam preparation
  • Exam – 1 hour 30 minutes with 75 multiple choise questions


  • 5 year plus experience in project and/or program management
  • 2 years plus as a PMO member or higher i.e., manager/director
  • Ideally a formal PM certification such as PMP, or PRINCE2 or IPMA (Levels C or higher i.e.,B or A), IPMO-F Certification

Certification Exam

  • Exam given at the end of the course moderated by the instructor
  • Open book exam 75 multiple choice questions
  • Duration 1:30 hours


On successful completion of the course and examination, course delegates will be certified as IPMO-Practitioner™.

Detailed Course Outline

  • Course introduction
  • Agenda for the five day course
  • Welcome to the delegates

  • How Organisational Vision, Mission and Operational Objectives are Linked to the Realisation of Organisation Strategy through Portfolios comprising Projects and Programmes
  • How Project, Programme, Product and Portfolio Management Life Cycles are Related
  • Functional, Matrix and Projectised Organisations
  • Challenges and Risks Associated with Projects, Programmes and Portfolios
  • Project Methodologies - Pros, Cons and Risks Associated with Knowledge-Based, Procedural-Based and Competency-Based Methodologies
  • Complexity and the Need for Principle-Based Methodologies
  • Understanding the Difference Between Project Management Success and Project Success
  • Success Factors and Success Criteria – What They Are and How to Select the Right Ones to Achieve Success
  • Type 1 and Type 2 Errors - Impact on Project, Programme and Portfolio Success
  • Understanding the Difference Between Project Management Success and Project Success
  • Stakeholders and their Impact on PMO Performance and Project Success
  • History and Evolution of PMOs (Tactical vs Strategic)
  • Mapping Project, Programme and Portfolio Success Factors to the PMO Function
  • Why Organisations are Now Giving Senior Management Attention to Fully Understanding the Potential of PMOs in Both Single and in a Multi-PMO Construct.

  • Introduction to the PMO Lifecycle Framework
  • Business Strategy and Environmental Enterprise Factors
  • Governance
    • The Concept of Governance
    • PMO Governance Responsibilities
    • Oversight of a Cluster of Networked PMOs
  • Adaptive Alignment
  • Continous Improvement

  • Strategy Management
  • Consulting
  • Portfolio Management
  • Business Relationship Management
  • Financial Management
  • Product Management
  • Reporting including KPIs (Senior Management)
  • Capacity Management
  • Information Security Management
  • Supplier Management
Project/Programme Management/Portfolio Related
  • Governance and Performance Management
  • Design Coordination
  • Knowledge Management
  • Risk Management
  • Standards, Methodologies and Processes Management
  • Constantly Changing Factors Management
  • HR Management including Talent Management
  • Change Management
  • Schedule and Cost Management
  • Issue/Problem Management
  • Resource Management
  • Reporting (Project Related)
  • Configuration Management
  • Quality Management
  • Administration and Support
Service/Capability Management
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Measurement
  • Service Improvement

  • Identification of Existing PMOs and Potential PMO Need
  • Identification Approaches
  • Evaluate Existing and New PMO Opportunities Within Organisational Context
  • Evaluation Approach using Tools and Techniques Map and Categorise Existing PMO Topography
  • Strategise How PMOs will Best Fit and Support Organisational Needs)

  • Business Needs
  • Business Justification
  • Building PMO Business Case(s)
    • Initiative Specific PMO
    • Organisational PMO
    • Tools and Techniques
  • Design, Pilot and Implement
    • Design
      • Understand the Design Concepts Associated with the Different Types of PMOs including the Characteristics of Each Type of PMO
      • Determine the Role of the PMO(s): Superordinate, Subordinate and Coequal Roles in a Framework of Servicing, Controlling and Partnering, and the Services and Capabilities of Each One
      • Know Which Governance Models are the Most Appropriate to Support the Objectives for Each PMO
      • Insourced / Outsourced Pros and Cons
      • Know the Value of Defining and Aligning PMO Principles to Project, Programme and Portfolio Principles
      • Sizing Options
      • Understanding the Success Factors That Need to be in Place to Implement the Enterprise PMO Lifecycle Framework
      • Understanding the Success Factors That Need to be in Place to Implement the Enterprise PMO Lifecycle Framework

  • Pilot
    • Why and How to Pilot a Newly Designed PMO
    • Measures of Success
    • Feedback into Improving the PMO Design Process
  • Implement
    • Establishing a PMO Mandate (Charter)
    • Developing a PMO Vision Statement
    • Develop Stakeholder PMO Management Plan
    • Create Roadmap to PMO Maturity
    • Estimating and Assigning Resources
    • Establishing Processes and Tools
    • Implementing a Knowledge Repository
    • Establishing an Information Structuring Methodology
  • Defining Metrics and Tools
    • Understand the Difference between Operational, Performance and Strategic KPIs and How They Are Related
    • Understand the Value of KPI Dashboards and the Risks of Using Them
    • Understand PMO and Project Tolerances
  • Planning for Quality (QA and QC)
    • Challenges of Meeting Project Quality Requirements
    • Understanding the Stakeholders' Product, Process and Project Quality Expectations
    • Translating Expectations into Quality Standards and Metrics
    • Tools and Techniques Used
  • Leveraging Organisation Process Assets
    • Establishing Standards for Information
    • Managing Historical Information
    • Automating collaboration
    • Reusing Information
    • Incorporating Best Practices

  • Run PMOs
    • PMO Services and Capabilities Catologue
      • Description of Roles of the PMO and the Resulting Services and Capabilities Offered
    • PMO Operations Handbook
      • Understand Core Processes, Skills, Knowledge and Competencies to Run a PMO
      • Roles and Responsibilities
      • Understand Tools and Techniques Used in Running a PMO
  • Identifying and supporting troubled projects
    • Learn How to See the Traits of Problem Projects (Proactive Approach)
    • Establishing a Control Process
    • Determining Root Causes from the Lists of Symptoms
    • Conducting Performance Assessment
    • Turning Around a Troubled Project
  • Monitor, Adjust and Control
    • Proactive and Reactive Aspects of PMOs
      • PMOs as Firemen
      • PMOs as Reporters
      • PMO as Supporters
      • PMO as Leaders
      • PMOs as Star Gazers
      • PMOs as Innovators
  • Assessing Project and Programme Capability Maturity Levels
    • Select or Design the Appropiate Maturity Models
    • Revaluate the Models to Ensure they are Aligned with the Measures of Maturity
  • Managing and Controlling Quality
    • When to Use Peer Reviews, Walkthroughs and Audits from Both Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) Perspective
    • Auditing PMOs, Projects, Programmes and Portfolios
      • Purpose of Audits
      • Audit Lifecycle
      • Proactive and Reactive Audits and the Impact on the Audited Manager
      • Audit Reports
    • Auditing Quality

  • Reason Why PMOs are Retired
  • Detailed Process to Close a PMO
  • Tools to Support the Closing Processes
  • Facilitation of PMO Lessons Learned Discussions
  • Guidelines for Transforming a PMO into Another Entity

  • PMO Success
    • Is PMO Success a Good Term to Use
    • How to View PMO Success
    • Ways to Measure PMO Success
  • PMO Maturity
    • Defining maturity
    • Maturity models
    • Defining maturity metrics
    • Supporting an assessment process
    • Defining the ‘to-be’ state
    • Analyzing gaps
  • Link between PMO Maturity and PMO Success
    • Insights into current research

The case study has been designed to allow the participants to enact several roles including consultant; project team member; Head of PMO; senior management and performance manager throughout the PMO lifecycle within an industry. The participants will work in teams throughout the case study and follow a structure that builds upon a real-life scenario of an organisation in transition. The case study models the types of decisions and issues associated with PMOs including the optimal placement and configuration from an enterprise perspective. As part of the case study the teams will produce key document deliverables (artifacts) and manage the types of internal and external influences on a PMO. There will be role play and coaching throughout the week. The case study builds on the knowledge gained throughout the course and embeds the knowledge through the 30 plus exercises.

How the Course Differs from the IPMO-Expert™ Level

Both courses (IPMO-P and IPMO-E) follow a similar structure utilising the PMO lifecycle but the depth of topics is less in the Practitioner level. The Expert course certification covers organisational strategy, senior level assessments, business case development, competencies, hot spot evaluation, PMO clusters, topologies, PMO governance, principles, and a number of other topics required for Senior PMO Manager / Director levels who architect the PMO topology across the organisation.The Practitioner level certification emphasis is at a middle management level in terms of one organisational PMO or initiative specific PMOs. The case study is also different at each level of certification.

The IPMO-Expert level also requires different pre-requisites from the IPMO-Practitioner level certification course. This ensures the training course delegates are similarily matched in terms of skill and experience levels.

Further Information on IPMO-Foundation


Find out more about AIPMO

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