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PM² is a project management methodology developed by the European Commission. Its purpose is to enable project managers (PMs) to deliver solutions and benefits to their organisations by effectively managing the entire lifecycle of their projects. PM² has been created with the needs of European Union Institutions and projects in mind, but is transferrable to projects in any organisation.

PM² is a light and easy-to-implement methodology that project teams can tailor to their specific needs. PM² is fully supported by a comprehensive training programme (including workshops and coaching sessions), online documentation and an active community of practice (CoP, currently available only within the European Commission and to a number of affiliate European Institutions).

PM² incorporates elements from a wide range of globally accepted project management best practices, captured in standards and methodologies. Its development has also been influenced by operational experience on various projects, both within European Union Institutions and external bodies.

The PM² Methodology provides:

  • a project governance structure

  • process guidelines

  • artefact templates

  • guidelines for using the artefacts

  • a set of effective mindsets

PM² improves the effectiveness of project management by:

  •  improving communication and the dissemination of information

  •  clarifying expectations as early as possible in the project lifecycle

  •  defining the project lifecycle (from Initiating to Closing)

  •  providing guidelines for project planning

  •  introducing monitor and control activities

  •  proposing management activities and outputs (plans, meetings, decisions)

  •  providing a link to agile practices (PM² - Agile)

PM² Project

Many of the PM² best practices can be applied to any type of project or work activity. However, the ‘sweet spot’ of applying the whole PM² methodology is in managing projects with certain characteristics—namely, PM² projects. A PM² project:

  • is (above all) a project (i.e., not operations, not a work activity, not a programme, etc.)

  • has a duration of more than 4-5 weeks, with more than 2-3 people involved

  • runs within an organisation and can be subject to internal or external audits

  • requires a clearly defined governance structure, and clearly assigned roles and responsibilities

  • requires approval of its budget and scope

  • includes more than just construction/delivery activities

  • includes transition and business implementation activities

  • requires a certain level of documentation, transparency and reporting.

  • requires a certain level of control and traceability

  • has a broad base of internal (and external) stakeholders.

  • may require the collaboration of several organisations, or several organisational units

  • contributes to raising the organisation’s project management maturity

A project can be managed as a PM² project if most of these characteristics are present.