Portfolio, programme, and project offices (P30) Glossary of Terms

A - Aggregated Risk to E - Expert Reference Group

This is an A-Z glossary of terms, for Project Offices. P3O Project Office model provides a decision enabling and delivery support structure for leading change within an organization.View the Agile Dictionary. Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Dictionary. Full ITIL glossary of terms. See also Project Management Dictionary and Risk Management Dictionary.

A - E - Aggregated Risk to Expert Reference Group | F - O - Full-time Equivalent (FTE) to organization Portfolio Office
| P - R - P3M3 to Risk potential assessment (RPA) | S - Z - Scale of risk to Zero-based Cost Centre

Aggregated risk

The overall level of risk to the programme when all the risks are viewed as a totality rather than individually. This could include the outputs of particular scenarios or risk combinations.


All the systematic actions necessary to provide confidence that the target (system, process, organization, programme, project, outcome, benefit, capability, product output, deliverable) is appropriate. Appropriateness might be defined subjectively or objectively in different circumstances. The implication is that assurance will have a level of independence from that which is being assured.


The measurable improvement resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders.

Centre of Excellence (COE)

A coordinating function for all or part of P3RM ensuring change is delivered consistently and well, through standard processes and competent staff. It may provide standards, consistency of methods and processes, knowledge management, assurance and training. It may also provide strategic oversight, scrutiny and challenge across an organization's portfolio of programmes and projects. It may be a function within a wider scope of P3O or may be the only function of a P3O. This function provides a focal point for driving the implementation of improvements to increase the organization's capability and capacity in programme and project delivery.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Describes the role in a commercial organization with the highest level of authority for the total management of the business.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Describes the role in a commercial organization with the highest level of authority for the management of the financial risks, planning and reporting for a business. This role will generally report to the CEO.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Describes the role in a commercial organization with the highest level of authority for the management of Information Technology for the business. This role will generally report to the CEO but may also report to the CFO in smaller organizations.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Describes the role in a commercial organization with the highest level of authority for the development, design, management, and improvement of the open systems that create and deliver the organization's products and/or services. This role will generally report to the CEO.

Cost centre

An accounting term used to describe a division, business unit or part of an organization that does not directly contribute to achieving profit for a company. It indirectly contributes to the organization by providing a service or support function to profit-making parts of the organization.


Design Authority

A role or function (permanent, temporary or virtual) that provides expert specialist advice or owns some corporate function, service, standard or strategy that will be affected, or a major programme outcome or change that needs to be controlled. This could be an IT or property infrastructure design, or a major service contract; it could also be a business process model or the programme or corporate Blueprint. The Design Authority provides expertise and guidance on a specific area to ensure there is appropriate alignment and control when changes are being planned and implemented. At a programme level this role may advise or own the Business Blueprint management on behalf of the programme manager. At the enterprise level, this role may manage the Enterprise Architecture of the organization.


An outcome perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders. Dis-benefits are actual consequences of an activity, whereas a risk has some uncertainty about whether it will materialize.

End Project Report

A report given by the project manager to the Project Board that confirms the handover of all products and provides an updated Business Case and an assessment of how well the project has done against its Project Initiation Document.

Download an End Project Report - Template in Mind map, Word or PDF format

Download a PRINCE2 End Project Report - Template in Mind map, Word or PDF format

Enterprise Project (or P3RM) Management (EPM)

A term usually referred to by software vendors in relation to software (i.e. EPM tools) that assists an organization manage across multiple projects and programme delivery using a common resource pool through to strategic analysis of investment through portfolio management. This term does not reflect the actual offerings of the tools in that they generally can support at portfolio, programme and project (P3RM) level.

Expert Reference Group

A team of subject matter experts that can be used in a P3RM organization to provide input, advice and challenge to the role accountable for an output or outcome to ensure that it reflects the wider experience rather than an individual's perspective only. It is important to note that the role accountable for the output or outcome maintains the final decision and should not treat an Expert Reference Group as a committee. An Expert Reference Group may be drawn together at points in time or may be fully allocated to a project or programme.

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