What Is PRINCE2®?

 

PRINCE2® stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. This refers to a de facto method that is based on processes in order to allow for effective project management. It is a methodology that is being used extensively in the UK by the Government. In addition, PRINCE2® is widely recognized as well as used in the private sector too. It is popular in the UK as well as internationally.

Hence you can access best practice guidance on project management and these do not have any proprietary issues.

Key Features

It is important to know the key Features of PRINCE2® in order to understand it better:

  • The focus of this method is on business justification, so that it is possible to continue the project to its completion.
  • It provides a defined organization structure which can be really helpful for the project management team.
  • The approach through this method is towards planning and is product-based.
  • The project is conveniently divided into stages, and such an approach is making it manageable and controllable.
  • Adequate amount of flexibility is available that can be applied at a level which will be appropriate to the project.

History of PRINCE2®

It is important to know the history of PRINCE2® in order to have a better understanding of this method. This was established by the CCTA (The Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency) in 1989.  Today this agency is renamed as the OGC, or the Office of Government Commerce.

Originally PRINCE2® was based on PROMPT. This refers to a project management method that was created in 1975 by Simpact Systems Ltd and was later adopted by CCTA as the standard that was to be made use of, for all the Government information system projects.

After its launch in 1989, PRINCE2® effectively superseded PROMPT for the various Government projects. Today it remains in the public domain. It was published in 1996, and there have been contributions by a consortium of nearly 150 European organizations.

With PRINCE2®, you are able to practice greater control over your resources. This is something that is scalable too. This would allow you to manage business as well as project risk in a much more effective manner. It is highly beneficial for individuals who wish to learn project management skills in order to enhance their employment prospects. Hence you are able to get an idea about the benefits accruing from this method.

In case of organizations, the use of PRINCE2® allows a formal recognition of various responsibilities that are within a project. These allow the organization to focus on the deliverables of a project. Hence it becomes possible to have a common and a consistent approach. This way there can be a controlled as well as an organized start and end of a project. It becomes possible to do regular reviews of a project to review its progress as per plan. No wonder it leads to better project management eventually.

Prince2

Qualifications And Training

The PRINCE2® certification training can be in four stages:

  • PRINCE2® Foundation

This is the qualification that will cover the basic methodology as well as terminology of PRINCE2®. This can be done through online learning or through a tutor-led classroom course.

  • PRINCE2® Practitioner

This is suitable for all those who are managing projects that are within a PRINCE2® environment. This can be done with online learning, a tutor-led classroom course, or Foundation & Practitioner blended package.

  • PRINCE2® Re-Registration

The Examination Board has made it mandatory that all the Registered PRINCE2® Practitioners have to be re-registered within 3-5 calendar years of their original certification. In case they fail to pass this Re-Registration examination after five calendar years of their being a Registered Practitioner, it can lead to withdrawal of this registered status. This can be achieved by taking the PRINCE2® Re-Registration package.

  • PRINCE2® Agile

Here the flexibility and responsiveness of Agile methodologies can be integrated into the PRINCE2® framework. The PRINCE2® Practitioners can do this by opting for the online or tutor-led classroom course.

In case you do not wish to get into certification, the PRINCE2® learning will help you in your corporate endeavor too. It is going to help to support your business outcome. It will be able to manage business risk in line with the needs of your business. Next is providing customer satisfaction. Besides, such kind of a qualification allows you to improve continually which is so important for your personal growth and professional development. Hence you are supporting yourself as well as your organization this way. Besides, you are enhancing your skill that will allow you to have an alternate source of income too as and when you want it!

PRINCE2® Processes

PRINCE2® Processes is an approach for project management that is able to provide an easily tailored methodology for managing all types of projects. Hence each process will be defined with its key inputs and outputs along with the specific objectives and activities to achieve them.

In order to understand PRINCE2® Processes better, you can opt for PRINCE2® qualification levels for which you can get accredited. These are PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner levels. These will help you learn and then apply these to a project.

The Foundation level will let you learn the basics as well as terminology through either online learning or a tutor-led classroom course. Practitioner refers to the highest level qualification. It is for those with have to manage projects within a PRINCE2® environment. This qualification can be attained with the combined Foundation and Practitioner blended package online or through a tutor-led classroom course. All this enhances your project management skills.

The PRINCE2® Processes Model

The steps will include directing a project from the start to its closure. The key PRINCE2® Processes would include initiation which means starting the project off properly. Next is the commitment of more resources after checking the results. There would be ad hoc direction that would refer to the monitoring of progress, providing valuable advice, guidance and reacting to exceptional situations. Last process will be project closure that would confirm the project outcome.

Prince2 Processes

Starting up a project is the first of the PRINCE2® Processes. It is actually a pre-project process that ensures that all the pre-requisites for initiating a project are proper and in place. There would be Project Mandate defining the objective of the project and the outcome sought. This process should be very short. This process is built around three elements. These include the information required for the project team, appointing of the Project Management Team, and creating of the plan for the initiation stage. If this process is managed well, then the project will run without glitches.

The PRINCE2® Processes of Initiating a Project include sufficient justification to proceed with the project and establishing a stable management basis in order to proceed. Next will be documentation to confirm the existence of an acceptable Business Case for the project. There has to be a firm foundation to the project before commencement of any work. There has to be a commitment of resources. The Project Board has to take ownership of the project as well as provide the basis for the decision-making processes that will be required during the project. A wise investment of time and effort has to be made for the project that would take into account all the risks to the project. This ensures smooth running of the project.

Other PRINCE2® Processes would include providing the Project Board with key decision points about whether to continue with that project or not. Here the objectives are to assure the Project Board that all the planned deliverables have been completed as per the plan defined. Information is provided to the Project Board so that they can assess the viability of the project and it can approve the completion of the present stage and authorize the beginning of the next stage. Measurements are recorded to help in the later stages of this project.

Next PRINCE2® Processes would include the monitoring and control activities to ensure that the project stays on course and can react to any unexpected events. This is a process that is the core of the efforts of the Project Manager as the day-to-day management of the project is being handled. This can be referred to as an operational process.

These PRINCE2® Processes are like a cycle that consists of authorizing work to be done and gathering information about the progress of that work. Others include watching for changes and reviewing such a situation, followed by reporting and taking corrective action. These processes cover all these activities, risk management as well as change control. This shows the importance of this process.

The objective of the process of object delivery will ensure that the products are created and delivered as per plan. This can happen when working on products that are allocated to the team are effectively authorized as well as agreed upon. This way the work will be done and progress will be assessed accordingly. The PRINCE2® Processes will ensure that completed products are able to meet the quality criteria. Next processes will include obtaining of approval for all the completed products.

The purpose of PRINCE2® Processes is to execute a controlled close to a project. This process will cover the work of the Project Manager to wrap up the project. Most of the work will include preparing input and providing, in order to obtain its confirmation that the project may now be closed. All this requires following of processes.

PRINCE2® Methodology

The PRINCE2® methodology refers to a process-based method that is used for effective project management. In fact, it is a de facto standard that is being used extensively by the UK Government as well as the private sector in the UK and even internationally. This is the reason why this methodology is so important worldwide.

Before going into the specifics of PRINCE2® methodology, there are some general points about project management that help to put everything into a proper context.  These are the basic questions about any project. What are we doing, the timelines, and the resources required, the number and type of people required, costing and so on. It is these questions which form the groundwork of any project management system.

All these are the usual questions before starting any project. It is their answers which form the building blocks of project management. This is all about defining what you want and working out the best way to do it. And this is where you can take the help of this methodology in order to achieve what you want in the best possible way.

Prince2 Methodology

Structured project management would mean managing this complete project in a more logical, and a highly organized way. This would mean defining steps and then following them. PRINCE2® methodology is a highly structured project management method that provides a logical and organized approach. Hence it is recommended by all.

After all, projects that are not organized well and controlled properly are bound to go disastrously wrong. It would lead to problems like systems not working properly, along with huge overspend that is a total waste. This is why structured project management methods such as PRINCE2® methodology have been developed in order to try to prevent such disasters.

With this PRINCE2® methodology, it becomes easy to organize and plan things in a proper manner. Once the project starts, it can be kept organized and under control. Once the project has finished, it becomes easy to close up all the loose ends.

This is why PRINCE2® methodology includes what a project should do. Hence it is a series of processes covering all the activities needed to complete a project, from the start to closing it.

In case of a project manager, organizing and controlling a project would mean being responsible enough for performing this function. The Project Manager has to select people to work on the project and be responsible enough to ensure that the work gets done properly and as per the stipulated time. It requires drawing up of project plans to describe the actual project plan to the team and when they are expected to finish the job.

There may be some projects in which the customer and user are the same person. Here the person who is having the expertise to do the designing of the project and build its outcome will be the supplier or the specialist. All these people have to be organized and co-ordinated in order to ensure that the project is able to deliver the required outcome within the stipulated time, in the budget, and as per the appropriate quality. This is where PRINCE2® methodology can play a major role.

In PRINCE2® methodology, the project will have a project board made up of the customer and supplier. The Project Manager has to report to the project board regularly. This is done to keep them informed of the progress and to highlight any problems that can be foreseen.

The project board has to provide the Project Manager with the necessary decisions in order to allow the project to proceed and overcome problems, if any.

Project Management Techniques

PRINCE2® methodology allows project assurance which is an independent view of how the project is progressing. It has three views of assurance. These are termed as business, user as well as specialist. Each of these views reflects the interest of these three project board members.

Assurance refers to checking that this project remains viable with regard to its costs and benefits. This can be termed as business assurance. If it checks if the users’ requirements are being met, then it is user assurance. In case it checks that the project is delivering a suitable solution, then it is specialist or technical assurance. There are some projects in which the assurance would be done by a specific team of people who are the project assurance team. This is vital for project management.

Most projects require a lot of administrative work. This is to keep everyone informed, arrange meetings, to keep plans up-to-date, chase things up, and keep files and so on. Project Managers will do all this work themselves on smaller projects but require a Project Support Office in order to help the Project Managers in case of a big project. PRINCE2® methodology can provide a common language across all interested parties.

PRINCE2® Qualifications

Once you know about the PRINCE2® Qualifications, you can decide which one you would like to opt for in order to enhance your career.

PRINCE2® Foundation

This Foundation qualification teaches the basic PRINCE2® principles and terminology. This qualification will help you to become an informed member of a team doing project management by using the PRINCE2® methodology. This PRINCE2® Qualification can be studied on your own or through a tutor led course. It can also be done as a prerequisite for the next level, which is the PRINCE2® Practitioner course.

PRINCE2® Practitioner

With this Practitioner qualification you can apply its learning to the managing of a project that is running within an environment that supports PRINCE2®. In fact, you can even tune PRINCE2® so that it is able to address the specific needs of a project. This PRINCE2® Qualification allows you to understand the relationship between the principles, themes and processes of PRINCE2®.
But you can get the PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification only after passing

  • the Foundation exam or the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam, or
  • the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®, or
  • the IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director), or
  • IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager), or
  • IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager), or
  • IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate) exam.

Only the current certifications will be considered here.
It is important to note here that individual IPMA chapters will be having local interpretations of all these certificates. You need to understand this in detail so that you are able to sit for the exam that suits your specific needs.

PRINCE2® Re-Registration

This PRINCE2® Qualification is known as the Re-Registration qualification that is designed for all those who have passed the PRINCE2® Practitioner level and would like to maintain their status as a Registered Practitioner.  As per the Examination Board, all PRINCE2® Practitioners need to re-register within 3 to 5 calendar years of their original certification or else their registered status will be withdrawn.

PRINCE2® Agile™

This PRINCE2® Qualification is designed for those who are already certified in PRINCE2® Practitioner level. This is a course that teaches the fundamentals of combining this project management method with agile methodology and the objective of doing so. It provides scalability and allows working in accordance with the corporate management processes too. This  qualification will help in the proper evaluation of the focus area of any project so that it can be tailored in an agile context!

Benefits Of PRINCE2® Certifications

There are many benefits of PRINCE2® certifications and hence it is considered as one of the leading project management methodologies internationally. Besides being the de facto project management methodology in UK, it provides a number of benefits too.
The certification trainings provide knowledge and skills that allow you to manage projects successfully within a PRINCE2® environment.

The benefits of PRINCE2® certifications include making use of a common project management language along with the systems and procedures that are necessary in order to implement this methodology in the most effective manner possible. It is important to control the resources and to manage the risks within a project as that will help to decrease the amount of errors. In case errors do occur, they would be dealt with in an efficient way.

Hence this certification will enable to become a successful project manager and increase your confidence this way which is required in order to have a beneficial project management career.

The main benefits of PRINCE2® certifications have been detailed here.

  • This allows for better career prospects as having this certification on your CV is going to have tremendous benefits.
  • It is internationally recognized and considered as the leading project management methodology.  Over 50 countries worldwide are making use of this methodology and consider this certification as a mandatory qualification for any kind of project management positions.
  • It provides project management skills and knowledge that are required in order to prepare for a rewarding career in the field of project management.
  • This methodology has been created from a collaboration of proven best practice features of project management. There have been revisions that have addressed the needs which have been brought to light by applying this method in a practical way.
  • Since this method is widely recognized and understood, hence it is able to provide a common language that is used and understood easily by all those who are involved in a project.
  • It allows for the control of resources as well as effective management of all project risks. Hence the benefits of PRINCE2® include the significant increase of the chances for the successful completion of such projects.
  • This methodology allows clear defining of the roles and responsibilities of various project team members. The focus is on the project deliverables.
  • A common language allows for increased productivity as it helps to prevent any kind of confusion or unnecessary complications. Hence there is no wastage of resources such as materials, time, effort as well as money.
  • These benefits of PRINCE2® make it the ideal solution for project management needs for any organization. Hence it becomes the most advantageous certification too in order to achieve success in the field of project management.
  • It has a generic and easily tailored composition which makes it an ideal project management solution that can be used by any organization.
  • It is internationally recognized and hence useful for anybody staying in any part of the world.
  • It remains as the leading project management method in the UK and hence people with this certification will always be highly in demand there.
  • It is used in both private and public sectors and hence there is a huge job market for this certification.
  • Other benefits of PRINCE2® include being flexible as well as adaptable for any industry and hence having huge scope.

This project management methodology is designed in order to provide a framework that covers a wide array of activities as well as disciplines which will be required within any project. This is a methodology that recognizes as well as defines the roles and responsibilities of different people within a project. Since the emphasis on the project deliverables hence it is an effective methodology.

When implementing it within an organization, the company will be able to provide a common language for all those individuals involved in this project. It will lead to enhanced understanding of the project, reduction of errors and a much better utilization of resources. This also leads to better cooperation and coordination between the people working on the project and hence a better outcome as per the deadlines.

There will be a defined and controlled beginning, middle as well as end to the project since everything will be designed and defined accordingly.

Other benefits of PRINCE2® include laying emphasis on business justification on a continuous basis so that the project keeps on moving at a steadfast pace. There will be timed progress reviews to allow for review and reforms, as required. There would be risk assessment along with management leading to better project management. Quality control and assurance are the other benefits of PRINCE2® that cannot be ignored. These will aid in resource control and management in order to bring down costs and enhance productivity. There will be an appropriate use of logs that are used to share learned lessons.

PRINCE2® Manual

There is just one manual that is allowed during the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam. This is called Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®. It is important to review its content in order to get the most out of it and do well in the PRICNE2 Practitioner Exam.

PRINCE2® manual

The PRINCE2® manual is an excellent reference manual.  It is designed keeping in mind those project managers who have some amount of experience and would want to learn PRINCE2®. This is also for those Project Managers who would like to have a reference manual for the project management system, PRINCE2®. It is a must for those who are taking the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam, as no other material can be taken to the exam. Do note that this is an open book exam.
The PRINCE2® manual contains 18 Chapters. It has 230 pages which do not include Appendixes. You must learn to manage the appendixes also in order to successfully overcome the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam.
This is a highly logical manual. All the principles are explained in one chapter. The manual is divided as per the themes. After an introductory chapter, there is one chapter per theme. Each theme has been explained with regard to its purpose, definition, approach and the responsibilities associated with it.

Prince2 Manual
Next is a general introductory chapter on processes followed by one chapter per process. Each process is explained with regard to its purpose, objective, context and any activities associated with it.
One full chapter explains the concept of tailoring. Appendixes have a product description outline of each management product. Next is a detailed note on Roles and Responsibilities. There is a product based-planning example. This is followed by a Health Check and usage tips.
All that you need to know for the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam is covered in the PRINCE2® manual. There are blank pages at the back of the book for you to write upon.
The tabs in the PRINCE2® manual make your life much easier during the PRINCE2® Practitioner exam.  You need to understand the concepts well and then use this book as the reference book in order to support specific areas.
You can buy this book on paper or as a PDF. Many courses are also supplying this book as a part of their course. Hence you need to check this out before buying the PRINCE2® manual either online or offline!

PMBoK® – Guide, PRINCE2® & Agile Project Management : Pros And Cons

A number of different methodologies are applied to project management. Since the three most common ones are PMBoK® – Guide, PRINCE2® and Agile Project Management, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each in comparison to each other. This way you would be able to consider each in context with the project which you undertake. This can be done only when you compare one to the other. In order to assess PMBoK® – Guide vs. PRINCE2® vs. Agile Project Management, each of these systems has to be assessed for general project management.

PMBoK® – Guide

The full form is PMBoK® – Guide is Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is known for its substantial framework. These are good for time management, scope management, cost management and such other aspects. But these are not as robust as PRINCE2®. A negative feature here is that the system allows decision making to the project managers only. This is because the management aspects cannot be handed over to other senior managers. Thus PMBoK® – Guide makes the project manager as the primary decision maker, planner, as well as problem solver, and even the human resource manager and everything else.

PMBOK

 

 

PRINCE2®

The full form is Projects in a Controlled Environment. The benefit here is that this project management program shares functional as well as financial authority with senior management, and the project manager too. In other words, the project manager is able to oversee projects on behalf of the senior management of an organization. This is a highly standardized approach to project management and hence many government as well as private organizations are using this option globally. It is easy to use and easy to learn. This is why even those with limited experience can learn this methodology and make use of it. But there are some users who feel that it misses out on the importance of “soft skills” and that should not be the case.

Prince2 Manual

 

 

Agile Project Management

This is very distinct from PMBoK® – Guide and PRINCE2®. This Agile Project Management  methodology is highly flexible. This means that producing deliverables is easier as substantial changes or reworking is not required. Tasks are broken down into smaller stages hence leading to substantial risk reduction. But this methodology is to be fully grasped to lead to realistic expectations.
As you can see after comparing PMBoK® – Guide vs PRINCE2® vs Agile Project Management; each of these has its distinct differences. Hence the project manager will be the sole decision maker. He needs to decide which is best for the project.

PRINCE2 AGILE

Useful Links

AXELOS :

AXELOS is a joint venture company, created in 2013 by the Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) in the United Kingdom and Capita plc, to manage, develop and grow the Global Best Practice portfolio. AXELOS boasts an already enviable track record and an unmatched portfolio of globally recognized best practice qualifications.

Project Management Institute :

Project Management Institute is the leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project management profession. PMI offers professional resources and research that deliver value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve organizational success and further mature the profession.

Management Square :

Management Square is a service provider company specializing in portfolio, program and project management training & consulting. Management Square is an AXELOS Partner and a Project Management Institute R.E.P. (Registered Education Provider).

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