Did you know that PRINCE2 certification is the most respected qualification in project management? It demonstrates to a prospective employer that a project manager has the essential qualities to deliver their project and meet their objectives.
Here we take a look at what PRINCE2 is and how it helps project managers to deliver successful projects. We’ll also explain what certification involves and why it’s a must-have entry on a project manager’s CV.
PRINCE2 gives the project manager a set of guidelines for initiating the project, keeping it on track and delivering against objectives. These are called Principles, Themes and Processes.
Principles are the foundation of the methodology and provide a solid base for the project.
1. Continued business justification
Putting together a proper business case is crucial. The project must be assessed against three measures: it must be achievable, viable and desirable. These apply at the start of the project but also during its lifecycle; the questions need to be asked regularly.
- Achievable means that the end product will provide the expected business benefits
- Viable means that the product can be delivered
- Desirable means that the business benefits are still worth the cost and risk of running the project
2. Learning from experience
Mistakes are made on projects; it’s a by-product of innovation. PRINCE2 promotes learning from experience, from both successes and mistakes. The project manager needs to be aware of potential lessons and to ensure they are identified, documented and distributed.
3. Defined roles and responsibilities
Project teams cross departmental boundaries, requiring individuals to pull together to form a cohesive team. Having clear responsibilities assists this process as everyone knows what is expected of them. Management roles such as Project Sponsor and the Project Board are included, as well as internal and external stakeholders.
4. Manage by stages
PRINCE2 requires that the project is split into at least two stages, the first being initiation. This gives the Project Board the opportunity to gauge the viability of the project at key points.
5. Manage by exception
Project objectives, such as time, cost and scope are defined and quantified. Authority is delegated to the project manager to take day-to-day decisions within agreed limits. Senior managers only need to get involved if the project is at risk of missing an objective.
6. Focus on products
The end products must meet agreed criteria for scope and quality. By identifying each product’s quality criteria, composition and purpose, the team can focus on these, ensuring acceptance by the client.
7. Tailor to suit the environment
PRINCE2 is adaptable. It acknowledges that each project is different owing to its complexity, geography and cultural context. The project manager can tailor the methodology to suit the project while still complying with the overall approach.
PRINCE2 Themes are based on the Principles and underpin their application. These are:
- Business case
Finally, PRINCE2 identifies Processes, from Project startup through to closure.
What is PRINCE2 Certification?
PRINCE2 training has two levels of qualification; Foundation and Practitioner.
PRINCE2 Foundation is an entry-level qualification for budding project managers or key members of the project management team. Delegates learn the principles, themes and processes to a good level; certainly well enough to participate effectively on a project, for example as part of a Project Office.
Foundation training is run over three days with an exam on the final day.
PRINCE2 Practitioner is an advanced qualification, equipping project managers with the knowledge to apply PRINCE2 in a real-life project. Delegates learn how to address challenging scenarios using road-tested approaches. By understanding how to combine the principles, themes and processes, a project manager can balance the needs of clients and internal management and deliver a successful project.
Practitioner training is run over two days with an exam on the final day.
For fast-track project manager training, a combination course is also available, including both Foundation and Practitioner certification, running over 5 days including both exams.
Why PRINCE2 remains the most respected qualification in project management?
PRINCE2 is a professional qualification, recognised throughout the world and is often a must-have on the project manager’s CV. Why is this?
- PRINCE2 is the most widely used project management methodology. It is used on simple and highly complex projects, in very different industries.
- Certification demonstrates that the individual has the fundamental skills to manage a project using PRINCE2 methodology.
- Being qualified gives an individual the confidence to take on a large, complex project. It also gives them authority when interacting with clients, senior management and the project team.
- It’s a transferrable skill, it shows that an individual can apply PRINCE2 in a variety of project environments, industries and cultures.
- The PRINCE2 2017 update highlights that the methodology is still very relevant in today’s projects. Organisations know that using PRINCE2 will achieve the project’s objectives; schedule, budget, quality and compliance.