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PMO director level

Highest level of PMO knowledge

Course Description

The International Project Management Officer (IPMO)® certification is the most important industry-recognized certification series for project management officers and professionals working in, or associated with, PMO activities and related services.

Certified IPMO Experts have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training, workshop, and competency assessment, that they have an in-depth understanding of PMO principles, theory, and practices, including the design, implementation, and operation of complex PMO topologies and their respective PMO service topologies. IPMO-E (Expert) is typically at the PMO director level/consultant, and this certification builds on the IPMO-F (Foundation) and the IPMO-P (Practitioner) certifications.

The course covers topics within strategy formulation and strategy execution, especially frameworks, organizational design, PMO topologies, and PMO services topologies. During the course, attendees can use their own organization’s PMO environment as input to the assessment of PMOs guided by AIPMO’s framework, which uses multiple techniques. This work is then further developed as part of the daylong workshop where, if you choose, you can develop your organization’s strategic design and optimize PMO topology/PMO services topology. Throughout the course, the content of AIPMO’s Body of Knowledge is covered, which will comprise a series of books covering PMO Principles, Portfolio, Program, and Project Principles, PPM/PMO Techniques and Tools, PMO Services and Capabilities, and PMO standards plus references to other books.

As a PMO expert, you will be able to assess PMOs in operation within the context of your organization, the project types they support, appropriate leadership styles, and PMO functions, including their ability to act as catalysts for knowledge-sharing units that seed and support innovation groups while understanding the risks associated with long-term PMO performance. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to find out why some PMOs might perform below expectations, what the drivers for change are, and how to improve individual and collective PMO performance in an organization to achieve maximum business value. You will be able to design and establish an enterprise-wide PMO strategy based on a PMO topology concept—modeled to your organizational environment—and from this, develop your PMO services and capabilities based on the “Group PMO services and capabilities catalog.” You will also understand the content and purpose of key PMO document deliverables both at the group level and at individual PMO levels. Key documents from the course will be provided so you can use them immediately at your workplace to allow a quick start in building and running a high-performing enterprise-wide PMO organization.




PMO Services and Capabilities


This book is for every PMO professional who would like to understand how to define and deliver a PMO service strategy. Big part from the course material is from this book and the questions in the exam as well. It is highly recommended for all of the participants to have the book before the course start.

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PMO Services and Capabilities Book


  • Introductions
  • Course outline, guidelines, and training approach
  • Questions posed by PMO stakeholders
  • Organizational vision, mission, and operational objectives and their link to project/program portfolios
  • Mapping project, program, and portfolio success factors to the PMO function
  • Functional, matrix and projectized, composite and fluid organizations
  • AIPMO PMO's seven core principles
  • Agile in the context of PMOs – a review
  • AIPMO principles mapped to Agile’s values and principles
  • PMI’s view of PMOs – PMBOK v6, program, and portfolio management
  • Complexity and the need for principle based methodologies
  • History and evolution of PMOs (tactical vs strategic)
  • Mapping success factors onto PMO types
  • PMOs impact on project, program, and portfolio success
  • Definitions
  • Why frameworks are useful
  • Misconceptions of frameworks
  • Frameworks in the practitioner and academic worlds
  • AIPMOs challenge and using frameworks as a tool to solve complex problems
  • AIPMO’s master framework and subsidiary frameworks
  • Other frameworks
  • Introduction to the strategic PMO lifecycle framework
  • PMO lifecycle framework
  • Organizational strategy and environmental factors
  • Governance
  • The concept of governance
  • Difference between governance and project management
  • Management (PMO)
  • PMO responsibilities
  • Oversight for a PMO topology and PMO services topology
  • Continuous improvement
  • Adaptive alignment
  • Capabilities underpinning the PMO lifecycle framework
  • PMO services lifecycle framework
  • Definitions
  • Phases of PMO services cycle
  • Service domains
  • Service groups
  • Services
  • Business needs
  • Direct and indirect
  • Identification of existing PMOs and potential PMO needs
  • PMO structural flaws
  • Evaluate existing and new PMO opportunities within organizational context
  • Strategize – how the PMO(s) will best support organizational needs
  • PMO topology
  • PMO services topology
  • Integrated PMO and PMO services topologies
  • Building PMO business case(s)
  • Creating a sense of urgency to take a decision
  • Pilot and implement
  • PMO dashboards
  • Design/establish the nine registers
  • Run PMO(s)
  • PMO Services and Capabilities book
  • PMO Operations handbook
  • Identifying and supporting troubled projects
  • Monitor, adjust (change), and control
  • Proactive and reactive aspects of PMOs  
  • Kano model and maximum sustainable benefits
  • Supporting troubled and underperforming PMOs
  • Competence assessment and development  
  • Why PMOs are retired or transformed
  • Detailed process to retire a PMO
  • Techniques and tools to support the PMO closing process
  • Retiring a service
  • Transforming a service
  • 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
  • PMO success criteria
  • PMO maturity
  • Defining maturity
  • Maturity models
  • Defining maturity metrics
  • Supporting an assessment process
  • Defining the "to-be" state
  • Analyzing gaps   
  • APMO’s PMO maturity model
  • Link between PMO maturity and PMO success
  • Insights into current research
  • How PMO research is used to create AIPMO’s PMO Body of Knowledge
  • Definitions of a eponymous law, theory, and phenomenon
  • PMO research
  • The future – insights from AIPMO’s two global initiatives
  • What comes next in your career development

Teaching Approach

The training approach includes




Team exercises


Group discussions


Case study


Personal coaching



Your instructor: Robert Joslin


Dr. Robert Joslin is a management consultant/instructor and the founder of AIPMO. He is a professor at Alma Mater Europaea – ECM, responsible for the MSc and DBA programs in “Strategy, Project Leadership, and PMO Management.” Robert has more than 25 years of experience in designing, initiating, and international program management delivery of large-scale organizational transformation, reengineering, infrastructure, and strategy development. Robert has designed and implemented hundreds of PMOs and during this
time evolved the PMO-specific methodology that formed the basis of AIPMO’s PMO strategic lifecycle framework. Robert has published books, book chapters, and research papers. He is a peer reviewer for three project management journals and is in the process of co-authoring AIPMO’s Body of Knowledge (BoK), which comprises several books.

Robert Joslin


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Strategy, Program and Project Management,
    Skema Business School
  • Bachelor of Engineering
    Durham University

    Contributions to leading practice

    • Project Management Methodologies
    • Governance and Success
    • PMO Principles and PMO Service Principles, 2ed
    • PMO Services and Capabilities, PMO, Portfolio, Program, and Project Competences
      (forthcoming), Association of International Project Management books

    I got a lot more out of these 5 days than I ever expected. I got loads of different perspective from PMO professionals on what we are doing, where we can go, and this is huge. The IPMO-E course gave enormous amount of fruitful thoughts and it was really an eye-opener for me.

    Frederic Casagrande
    PMO Manager, NAWAH Energy Company

    I found the IPMO-E course very interesting. I really got what I expected in terms of practical experience, the lifecycle, and the model. As a consultant, I found this course really helpful in terms of reinforcing my skills and capabilities and it also gave me a lot of confidence. 

    Saj Minhas
    Transformation Oversight (PMO) Director - North & South Regions, Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia

    The IPMO-E course is really rich in content. I liked the real-life examples. They make you understand what you can do or not do, and  how you can challenge your thinking.  Compared to other trainings I have had, this one gives me an opportunity to apply the real-life examples and so it stands out! 

    Lorraine Pablo-Ugale
    Head of Project Management Office and Governance, World Health Organization

    The training was amazing. I not only got ideas to improve my daily work but I thought of the areas I never did before. The IPMO-E course was rich in content. I especially liked the PMO lifecycle breakdown. It helped me understand why we are doing what we are doing.

    Feras Ayoub
    Portfolio Management Advisor, Fichtner Consulting Engineers Ltd

    Who should attend

    • PMO directors, PMO managers, and advanced PMO core team 
    • Senior project/program management professionals
    • Senior consultants involved in projects and/or organizational change
    • Project/program/portfolio managers with expertise in PMOs

    Key takeaways

    Understand the value of the AIPMO Strategic Lifecycle Framework® and how to apply it

    Know how to create and implement an enterprise PMO strategy

    Work through your PMO-related organizational issues, develop a high-level PMO topology and PMO services for your organization, and get expert feedback on the process and outcome

    Describe the different roles of PMOs in a single and networked context and across different levels of the organization

    Understand PMO maturity and get insights into AIPMO’s new principle-based PMO Maturity model for one or more PMOs

    Ability to use new frameworks like “strategy under uncertainty” and apply them within the context of your organization

    Understand the competencies required for the different levels of PMO responsibilities including the roles of project, program, and functional managers

    Understand how to spot and support under-performing PMOs

    PMO Principles book and online access to AIPMO’s new “PMO Services and Capabilities” book with over 200 PMO services


    • PMO directors
    • PMO managers and advanced PMO Core team
    • Senior project/program management professionals
    • Senior consultants involved in projects and/or organizational
    • Project/program/portfolio managers with expertise in PMOs


    The online exam is run by AIPMO, and moderated by a proctor from AIPMO at the end of the course.

    • Open book exam, 100 multiple choice questions 
    • Duration: 2 hours 

    Attendees are notified of their exam results by email.


    The AIPMO books are part of the course reference material (included only in the in-class  package.) If you’re attending virtually, please order them on Amazon

    Note: If a book appears as ‘out of stock’ or ‘currently unavailable’ on Amazon, it indicates that, based on your location, you might need to visit your country-specific Amazon in order to make a purchase.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    You Ask, We Answer

    Each of the certification categories serve a different purpose. The first category “PMO Core Certifications” shows that you have the competencies to design and build a service-orientated PMO with services that are needed by your project community. At the top-level (Expert) certification, you will have to show that you have the competencies to design and build one or more PMOs (called PMO topologies) within an integrated PMO Services topology. The second category of courses, called “Foundational certifications,” comprise of three certifications that are needed by everyone irrespective of whether you are a PMO or project team member or a PM/O director. The foundational courses are the techniques and tools of a trade, so they are needed by everyone including project professionals. The third category of certifications is called the “Specialist” certifications because they directly relate to the ability to offer PMO services. If a PMO service is planned, then the PMO needs to have the capability to offer them. There are over 20 specialist courses at the time of writing. These courses are also needed by project team members.

    These three certifications are part of the PMO core certifications. IPMO-F (Foundation) is for the PMO and project team members and covers topics around working in a PMO, and also working in a project team. It covers the lower part of the AIPMO Strategic Lifecycle framework.

    IPMO-P (Practitioner) is for the PMO managers, project managers, and senior PMO and project team members. It covers topics on how to identify the need for a PMO and design, and how to justify and build a PMO and its services.

    IPMO-E (Expert) is not for everyone. It is the top-level certification for PMO directors and consultants who are managing, consulting, or designing enterprise PMO topologies and PMO Service topologies.

    For now, it is best to ask one of our professionals. You can either call or chat online. They will be able to provide you expert advice to plan and advance your career.

    Short answer, yes. There are bundles shown on the website, but you can also call to ask if you can get a special discount. If you join as a group to the course, then this will also be taken into consideration.

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