Over recent years, the discipline of project, programme and portfolio management (P3 management) has developed rapidly, as has the range of publications designed to provide guidance in its various aspects. Each guide addresses different areas of the discipline with its own terminology and approach.
The challenge now facing the profession is to find consistency and consensus across the many guides so that they may be used together in an integrated framework.
Praxis is designed to provide that integration. It takes the principles of existing, proven guides and adapts them so that they have a common terminology, structure and approach. It also supports these with a library of information drawn from published experts and the practical experience of the P3M community.
The resulting framework has five interconnected elements.
The knowledge section reflects the content of the guides that are often called bodies of knowledge. Its component functions are the building blocks of the P3 management discipline. These functions are integrated in processes that correspond to the phases of the life cycle.
The processes are combined with documentation standards to form the Praxis method.
Competence defines the required abilities of individuals who apply the functions and methods.
Capability maturity describes the stages of organisational development that ultimately lead to a culture of effective and efficient application of functions and methods.
These four aspects are well served with existing and popular guides or frameworks that address one or two of the four elements. This narrow focus sometimes leads to an approach that does not facilitate integration or reflect latest thinking. Praxis provides the first all-encompassing framework that not only integrates the four elements but also combines this with latest thinking in areas such as complexity and capability maturity.
But a structured framework is only the start. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in the community at large. The Praxis library is an accumulation of information from a wide variety of sources that complements the other four sections with additional detail and thought provoking debate.
Praxis is just a starting point. In order that it can be tailored for use in many, widely varied contexts, it avoids going in to too much detail. The framework is supported by a wealth of detailed information that will develop over time to create a knowledge base that will help practitioners manage projects, programmes and portfolios in their own context.