Prince2 is a globally recognised project management methodology built on proven principles and processes drawn from the real world of project management. It is an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and this system of control is what practitioners say can improve capability over a number of areas important to business success.
Prince2 was developed by Axelos and also offers a few certification options – Foundation, Practitioner and Professional. These qualifications are often listed as requirement in many project manager job specifications. Axelos also offer a PRINCE2 Agile™ qualification which combines the process methodology with an Agile project management approach.
The Prince2 approach
Prince2 approaches project management through principles, themes, the project environment and processes.
- Principles are general guidelines and best practices that should be applied and include things like continued business justification, learn from experience or manage by exception. The seven principles help define the methods that are used in the Prince2 approach.
- There are also seven Themes that describe the disciplines required to bring a successful project to completion. These would be recognised by most project managers – business case, organisation, quality, plans, risk, change and progress.
- The Project Environment will determine how Prince2 will need to adapt to fit in with a specific project’s requirements and context.
- The Processes describe the steps of the project life cycle from initiation through to closure
The Prince2 processes provide a practical road map of recommended activities that should be followed and checked as the project progresses. These are briefly described below:
- Starting up a project – includes appointing the project manager, the team and preparing a business case
- Initiating a project – preparing documentation and the plan
- Directing a project – how the project board should authorise and give directions
- Controlling a stage – authorising work packages and monitoring progress
- Managing product delivery – delivering the actual work packages or products
- Managing stage boundaries – what should be completed at the transition between stages
- Closing a project – the project review and what comes next
There is plenty to learn about Prince2 and if you’ve been involved in business or project management for a year or two, the principles and processes are not difficult to learn and certainly follow practical logic.
The Prince2 qualification has been taken by tens of thousands of professionals around the world and you don’t have to be a project manager to do. It can benefit staff in many roles including service managers, programmers, analysts, creatives, support personnel and business stakeholders because it explains the processes and provides a framework for people to understand and take part in any project related activity.
Learn more about courses and certification here.