What is OPM3?

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OPM3® FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions



The current global economic climate has ushered in an era of uncertainty that throws the importance of Organizational Project Management (OPM) maturity into sharp relief. It is critical for organizations to renew their ability to create cost efficiencies, economies of scale and agility to adapt to the changing business environment through projects. Companies need the organizational capability to choose the right projects, manage costs, and innovate. They need the organizational capability to delivery projects successfully, consistently, and predictably.


The Project Management Institute's OPM3 Standard was developed with input from thousands of project practitioners and represents best practices in Project, Program, and Portfolio Management. OPM3 incorporates the PMI's PMBOK® Guide, the most widely adopted standard for managing individual projects, and expands this into the domains of Program Management and Portfolio Management. OPM3 emphasizes choosing the right projects to advance organizational strategies and implementing the processes, structures, and behaviors necessary to deliver projects successfully, consistently, and predictably. Standardization of project work methods lays the foundation for achieving higher levels of maturity and excellence to create the organizational agility and resilience you need in today's marketplace.


Leading organizations of all types and sizes across multiple industries are adopting OPM3 to transform their ability to close the gap between strategic intent and tactical outcomes through successful project selection and delivery.

The preferred method for implementing OPM3 begins with an OPM3 Assessment by a PMI certified OPM3 Professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who owns OPM3?
A: The OPM3 Standard, which was developed originally by volunteers led by the founder of OPM Experts LLC, is owned by the Project Management Institute, the global advocate for project management.

Q: Is "OPM3 Online" an online version of the OPM3 Standard?
A: Not at all. The so-called "OPM3 Online" tool excludes 72% of the OPM3 Standard, and part of what is excluded is all of the elements that are essential to increasing the maturity level and capabilities of an organization. This is why it is critical to use a PMI certified OPM3 Professional who uses another tool called OPM3 ProductSuite.opm3_assessment.html

Q: Is OPM3 aligned with PMI's PMBOK Guide?
A: Yes, OPM3 is internally consistent with the PMI's "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" or PMBOK Guide (which PMI also owns), the most widely adopted standard for managing individual projects, and the basis of the widely known PMP certification.

Q: Beyond project management, does OPM3 address Program Management and Portfolio Management?
A: Yes, PMI sponsored the development of the "Program Management Standard" and the "Portfolio Management Standard", and both of these are incorporated into OPM3 as well.

Q: Who was involved in the development of OPM3?
A: The OPM3 Standard was originally developed by a team of 800 people from 35 countries, led by OPM Experts' principal John Schlichter over a five year period. The team deployed surveys to 30,000 people and analyzed 27 maturity models. Learn the history of OPM3 here.opm3_assessment.html

Q: When was OPM3 published?
A: OPM3 was first published in 2002, and has been updated to its 3rd edition.

Q: What is in the OPM3 Standard?
A: The OPM3 Standard is comprised of hundreds of best practices which are defined in terms of sequences of capability statements, outcome statements, and key performance indicators.

Q: Do I have to implement everything in the OPM3 Standard at once?
A: No, OPM3 is modular, scalable, and flexible. You can scope your implementation of OPM3 to only those parts most relevant to you, and the model defines the prerequisites for any scope you choose. This is accomplished by an OPM3 Professional using a tool called OPM3 ProductSuite.

Q: OPM3 is a maturity model. What does this mean?
A: OPM3 (which stands for Organizational Project Management Maturity Model) is a maturity model because it defines excellence and the steps to get there, recognizing that not every organization enjoys excellence from inception.

Q: Is OPM3 like Six Sigma?
A: Some aspects of OPM3 incorporate principles of statistical process control that have been proven over the past century, just as Six Sigma does. However, OPM3 also includes substantial content developed through primary research sponsored by the PMI addressing cultural and environmental factors that promote the successful selection and delivery of projects.

Q: What kind of support is available for my implementation of OPM3?
A: Organizations using OPM3 are supported by PMI certified OPM3 Professionals, who have access to proprietary software tools unavailable to the public which facilitate and expedite OPM3 assessments.

Q: Who is using OPM3?
A: See our client list here. opm3_assessment.html

Q: What is the best way for my organization to learn about OPM3?
A: OPM3 can be implemented in a manner that achieves your assessment purposes while simultaneously training you in OPM3, preparing you to become a PMI Certified OPM3 Professional if that interests you. Read about training here. opm3_assessment.html

Read relevant case studies here. opm3_assessment.html

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"John Schlichter (CEO, OPM Experts LLC) has contributed greatly to the Project Management Institute." - Greg Balestrero, Chief Executive Officer, the Project Management Institute (PMI).


"In John Schlichter's role as the leader of PMI's OPM3 program, he has immeasurably contributed to the growth of the (Project Management) profession." - Rebecca (Becky) Winston, J.D., Chair of the Board of Directors, the Project Management Institute (PMI).



Case Studies
Harris Corporation
Northrop Grumman
Popular Financial Holdings
National Information Center

and more...