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Essential Guide to Clearing PRINCE2 Examination

PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) (2017 or 6th edition is the latest version) is widely considered to be one of the leading project management methodologies to run successful projects. It is a simple, light weight, scalable, flexible, highly tailorable, principle driven and agile enabled framework to run your projects effectively and efficiently. PRINCE2 revolves around the core concepts of principles, themes and processes which can easily fit into any project environment (meaning any enterprises or government, industry, domain etc.).  PRINCE2 Certification Levels:Anyone with or without any project management experience can opt to learn PRINCE2 and get certified.  That is the reason why it has two levels of certification. The first one is PRINCE2 Foundation and the next level is PRINCE2 Practitioner. On successful completion of the PRINCE2 Foundation examination, candidates will be awarded with “PRINCE2 Foundation Certificate in Project Management”.  Foundation certificate is a pre-requisite to sit for PRINCE2 Practitioner examination. On successful completion of the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination, candidates will be awarded with “PRINCE2 Practitioner Certificate in Project Management”. Certifications achieved from other governing bodies like Association of Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI), International Project Management Association (IPMA) on or after 1st of July 2014, will also be considered as a valid pre-requisite to sit for PRINCE2 Practitioner exam directly. Which means that such candidates need NOT sit for Foundation examination. The list of accepted certifications is as follows:PRINCE2 Foundation (or higher) - this only applies to certificates obtained after 1 January 2009 Project Management Qualification (PMQ) * Project Professional Qualification (PPQ)* Project Management Professional (PMP)® ** Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®** IPMA Level A® (Certified Projects Director)*** IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)*** IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)*** IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate).*** or more information on which certifications are now recognized as approved prior learning for the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification, please refer to the guide (PDF, 265KB).Candidates who wish to give their PRINCE2 Practitioner exam directly should furnish their proof of achievement of the above-mentioned equivalents to Peoplecert   which is the Examination Institute (EI) authorized by Axelos --the governing body for PRINCE2. This proof is subject to verification by EI.PRINCE2 Foundation Course & Examination: In the PRINCE2 Foundation course, learners will understand the following: Structure and key terminologies of PRINCE2 method Characteristics and context of a project Benefits of adopting PRINCE2  PRINCE2 principles and themes Purpose, objectives and context of PRINCE2 processes Purpose of PRINCE2 roles and management products Tailoring PRINCE2 to organizational and project needs Preparing for the PRINCE2 Foundation exam Learning Outcomes of PRINCE2 Foundation course: Purpose and responsibilities of project roles The seven principles, seven themes and seven processes The importance of tailoring in PRINCE2 Deliverable-based planning and quality review techniques embedded in PRINCE2 Inputs and outputs required for successful projects Purpose of all project management artifacts Relationship between principles, themes, processes, products and roles within a projectExamination Format: Multiple choice 60 questions 1 hour to complete the paper Achieve 33 or more out of possible 60 marks (55%) to pass the exam Closed book examFoundation examination tests the candidates’ ability at Knowledge and Comprehension level, which means that candidates will have to recall the terminologies/definitions and also interpret the given questions correctly. This exam is pretty simple if you are well prepared.PRINCE2 Practitioner Course & ExaminationIn the PRINCE2 practitioner course, learners will understand the following: Understand the relationship between: Roles Management products Principles Themes Techniques Processes Apply principles, themes and processes to a project Create and assess management products Prepare for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam Examination Format: Multiple choice 68 questions based on a project scenario 2 hours 30 minutes to complete the paper Achieve 38 or more out of possible 68 marks (55%) to pass the exam Open book exam. You can use “Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2” manual. You can order your copy of this manual from the Axelos website.The Practitioner exam tests the candidates’ ability at Comprehension, application and analysis levels.  Comprehension: Understand the principles, processes, themes and project’s environment and roles and explain how these are applied to/are involved with a project.Application: For a given project scenario, be able to: use the themes appropriately, create the management products, tailor the processes and themes appropriately.Analysis: For a given project scenario, be able to identify, analyse and distinguish between the appropriate and inappropriate use of methods through an appraisal of completed products and planned or completed project events.Exam Language: The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner examination is currently available in English, German, Danish, Dutch, Polish, French and Norwegian. Note: If you are giving the exam in English but English is NOT your native language, you will be awarded an additional 15 minutes and 35 minutes to complete Foundation and Practitioner exams respectively. To avail this benefit, select your correct native language while creating your profile in Peoplecert’s portal while registering for the exam.PRINCE2 Agile:Similarly, PRINCE2 also comes with a guidance to use Agile along with its ways of working. PRINCE2 Agile® has two levels of certification (Foundation and Practitioner).PRINCE2 Agile guidance is all about how to tailor PRINCE2 to use Agile methods into it. PRINCE2 is a neutral project management framework which can support both traditional waterfall projects as well as agile or adaptive or iterative projects.To provide guidance on how to integrate high velocity models or practices into the existing projects for both IT and non-IT industries, PRINCE2 Agile considers Scrum, Kanban, Lean approaches. The intention is not to explain the agile frameworks in detail but to show practitioners on how to amalgamate PRINCE2 with other agile practices. PRINCE2 considers agile as a family of behaviours, concepts, frameworks and techniques.Agile Foundation Exam: Multiple choice, Objective testing 50 questions 1 hour to complete the paper Achieve 28 or more out of possible 50 marks (55%) to pass the exam Closed book examAgile Practitioner Exam: Multiple choice, Objective testing 50 questions based on project scenario 2 hours 30 minutes to complete the paper Achieve 30 or more out of possible 50 marks (60%) to pass the exam Open book exam. You can use the “PRINCE2 Agile® Guidance” handbook.How to take PRINCE2 examination?A candidate can take the exam after undergoing a formal training from an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) authorized by Peoplecert or can self-learn and appear for the exam. Please visit this website to find out your nearest ATO.PRINCE2 examinations can be taken in 3 different modes. They are Paper Based Test, Computer Based Test and Peoplecert Online Proctored.Paper Based Test (PBT):PBT exams are scheduled and conducted by the ATOs. This is also called classroom exam. The ATO will book the exam on behalf of the candidate, print the question papers and OMR answer sheets and invigilate the exam. Prior to the exam, the candidates will receive an email confirmation from Peoplecert. Candidates should register for the exam. This exam can be conducted at the ATO’s facility or at the training venue. This provides a stress-free exam experience. The ATO’s invigilation team will collect the answer sheets and question papers once the exam is over and will upload the answer scripts to the Peoplecert’s exam portal. Results will be announced in two stages by Peoplecert. First you will get the Preliminary results which will just state “Pass/Fail”. The final results with score card/statement of result (SoR) and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results. Result notifications will be sent to the candidate’s registered email id.Computer Based Test (CBT):CBT exams are scheduled and conducted by the ATOs. This is also called a classroom exam. The ATO will book the exam on behalf of the candidate and invigilate the exam. Prior to the exam, the candidates will receive an email confirmation from Peoplecert. Candidates should register for the exam. This exam can be conducted at ATO’s facility or at the training venue. Candidates need to bring their own computers/laptops if not provided by the ATO for this exam. This exam is similar to PBT but it is conducted in CBT mode. The ATO’s invigilation team will provide the candidate’s exam credentials and guide them to take the exam.   Preliminary results with scores are announced immediately at the end of the exam. Final results with SoR and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results.Peoplecert Online Proctored (OLP):OLP exams are CBT proctored by Peoplecert’s invigilation team directly.  This can also be called an anywhere, anytime exam. This type of exam is very commonly taken by participants and accepted since the onset of COVID-19.  To appear for an OLP exam, candidates can purchase an exam voucher from an ATO or Peoplecert directly. To buy exam from Peoplecert, please visit: https://www.peoplecert.org/browse-certifications/project-programme-and-portfolio-management/PRINCE2-2 Purchased exam vouchers are normally valid for a year. But it is highly recommended to give your exam as soon as you complete your course or preparation. Preliminary results with scores are announced immediately at the end of the exam. Final results with SoR and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results. Further information and guidance on OLP exam:Copy and paste the voucher code or exam code in your Peoplecert login page and click on confirm -> Details of your exam will be displayed -> Check the details and once again confirm -> Now you will be allowed to choose the date/time of your exam from the calendar -> After selection, click on confirm -> Now you will receive a notification and email about the exam confirmation. To take the OLP exam, you need to install “Exam Shield”. After booking your exam, you will get notified to install this software. You can check if you are able to install it in your computer. If you are using an official/company laptop or desktop, there are chances that your firewall will block the installation. Please contact your Information Security team in such cases. Else you can opt to use your personal laptop or desktop. Exam Shield will verify if your microphone, webcam, system configuration, power backup and network connectivity support the exam. Please fix the issues (if any) before the exam.  On the day of the exam, you will be able to login 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the exam -> Keep 1 or 2 government/national photo ID proofs handy -> Run the exam shield -> Wait for system check to complete -> Show your ID proof in front of the camera and snap shot it -> System will connect you to the proctor -> Proctor validates the credentials -> Proctor will request the candidate to swivel and show 360-degree view of the room -> Proctor will allow the candidate to Start the exam. Ensure you are very well prepared for the exam. No one else other than you should be in the exam room. No paper/pen can be used for Foundation exam. You can use PRINCE2 Manual for Practitioner exam. You cannot minimize the exam window till the exam is over. The Exam gets completed only when you hit on the Submit button.  For Practitioner exam, a scenario booklet will be available within the exam tool.  In case of internet issues, don’t panic, you will be able to restore and continue from where you left the exam. Please contact Peoplecert in such scenarios.  Peoplecert Proctor has all the rights to revoke your exam in case of malpractices identified.How to take maintain my PRINCE2 certification?PRINCE2 Foundation certification doesn’t require renewal, which means that holders are certified for life. Whereas Practitioner certification has 3 years validity and has to be renewed at the end of 3 years. Axelos maintains a “Successful Candidates Register” (SCR). Peoplecert updates the SCR from time on time. Within 30 to 60 days after receiving Practitioner certificate, a candidate will be notified through an email to avail one year of free subscription from Axelos.  Once free subscription is activated, you will be eligible to clock 20 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units. This is very similar to PMI’s Professional Development Units (PDUs).  CPDs can be logged broadly under four categories such as Professional Experience, Training and Qualification, Community Participation and Self-Study. This can be attained by attending any trainings, delivering trainings, by taking part in volunteering activities, by learning new contents from any portals like Coursera, LinkedIn learning, Udemy etc., taking part in project activities, attending any seminars/webinars or by accessing white papers, case studies or videos on the Axelos website. Once 20 CPDs are logged, one can claim the digital badge. The digital badge is a way to display one’s professional credentials. Digital badge is valid only for one year.  To renew the digital badge, £50 + VAT needs to be paid to Axelos. This will reset the CPD counter to Zero. This enables the practitioner to log 20 CPDs and claim the digital badge. This cycle can continue.  I suggest that successful candidates should avail the free subscription and clock 20 CPDs. For example, if your practitioner certification expires by 10th March 2023, claim your digital badge on 9th March 2023. This will enable you to retain your certification through Mar 2024. After that you can pay the subscription charges and continue to maintain your credentials. If you don’t want to get into the subscription model, you can resit for another exam after 3 years. For more details about subscription, CPD & digital badge, please visit: https://www.axelos.com/my-axelos/my-prince2 Benefits of Subscription:Subscribers can get access to a wide range of project templates, white papers, tutorials, software, webinar series, pocket books, job profiles and much more. You can share/gain knowledge with other project practitioners. Network and engage with professionals and global experts.Some additional information: Certified PRINCE2 Practitioners (in 2009 version) can re-sit for an exam based on 2017 or 6th edition and get into the subscription model.  Certified PRINCE2 Foundation professionals (in 2009 version) can directly appear for PRINCE2 Practitioner exam (6th edition). You can also buy subscriptions through Peoplecert. Cost of PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner training + exam cost in India will range between INR 40,000 to 50,000. Cost of training and exam will vary according to your geography and mode of exam. OLP exams are costlier than PBT and CBT. Conclusion: Skills always matter in any job role. PRINCE2 certifications improve your position in the job market and career progression within project and program management. PRINCE2 helps organizations to support business outcomes, show value for money, continually improve, manage risks in line with business needs, optimize customer experience and enable business change.  Some key benefits PRINCE2 brings to enterprises and individual practitioners are: improved delivery confidence, uniform best practices, supporting cross functional working, delivering what business needs, customer focus, scalability, adaptability and flexible control.  
Essential Guide to Clearing PRINCE2 Examination
Manikandan
Manikandan

Manikandan Mohanakrishnan

Author

Manikandan M is a Senior Consultant with over 18+ years of industry experience. He is specialized in Service Management, Project Management, Process Consultancy, Learning & Development, IT Infrastructure Management, Business Relationship Management, Partner Management. 

Manikandan worked as a Project Manager with IBM India Private Limited where he was responsible for the delivery of complex infrastructure projects for an Australian Bank. 

Additionally, he worked as a Service Delivery Manager with TPV Technology India Private Limited to manage Service Operations and Projects across SAARC nations. 

Over the past 5 years he focused on training and consulting with various service providers. 

He delivered more than 500+ sessions on Service Management and Project Management modules. 

Posts by Manikandan Mohanakrishnan

Essential Guide to Clearing PRINCE2 Examination

PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) (2017 or 6th edition is the latest version) is widely considered to be one of the leading project management methodologies to run successful projects. It is a simple, light weight, scalable, flexible, highly tailorable, principle driven and agile enabled framework to run your projects effectively and efficiently. PRINCE2 revolves around the core concepts of principles, themes and processes which can easily fit into any project environment (meaning any enterprises or government, industry, domain etc.).  PRINCE2 Certification Levels:Anyone with or without any project management experience can opt to learn PRINCE2 and get certified.  That is the reason why it has two levels of certification. The first one is PRINCE2 Foundation and the next level is PRINCE2 Practitioner. On successful completion of the PRINCE2 Foundation examination, candidates will be awarded with “PRINCE2 Foundation Certificate in Project Management”.  Foundation certificate is a pre-requisite to sit for PRINCE2 Practitioner examination. On successful completion of the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination, candidates will be awarded with “PRINCE2 Practitioner Certificate in Project Management”. Certifications achieved from other governing bodies like Association of Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI), International Project Management Association (IPMA) on or after 1st of July 2014, will also be considered as a valid pre-requisite to sit for PRINCE2 Practitioner exam directly. Which means that such candidates need NOT sit for Foundation examination. The list of accepted certifications is as follows:PRINCE2 Foundation (or higher) - this only applies to certificates obtained after 1 January 2009 Project Management Qualification (PMQ) * Project Professional Qualification (PPQ)* Project Management Professional (PMP)® ** Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®** IPMA Level A® (Certified Projects Director)*** IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)*** IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)*** IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate).*** or more information on which certifications are now recognized as approved prior learning for the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification, please refer to the guide (PDF, 265KB).Candidates who wish to give their PRINCE2 Practitioner exam directly should furnish their proof of achievement of the above-mentioned equivalents to Peoplecert   which is the Examination Institute (EI) authorized by Axelos --the governing body for PRINCE2. This proof is subject to verification by EI.PRINCE2 Foundation Course & Examination: In the PRINCE2 Foundation course, learners will understand the following: Structure and key terminologies of PRINCE2 method Characteristics and context of a project Benefits of adopting PRINCE2  PRINCE2 principles and themes Purpose, objectives and context of PRINCE2 processes Purpose of PRINCE2 roles and management products Tailoring PRINCE2 to organizational and project needs Preparing for the PRINCE2 Foundation exam Learning Outcomes of PRINCE2 Foundation course: Purpose and responsibilities of project roles The seven principles, seven themes and seven processes The importance of tailoring in PRINCE2 Deliverable-based planning and quality review techniques embedded in PRINCE2 Inputs and outputs required for successful projects Purpose of all project management artifacts Relationship between principles, themes, processes, products and roles within a projectExamination Format: Multiple choice 60 questions 1 hour to complete the paper Achieve 33 or more out of possible 60 marks (55%) to pass the exam Closed book examFoundation examination tests the candidates’ ability at Knowledge and Comprehension level, which means that candidates will have to recall the terminologies/definitions and also interpret the given questions correctly. This exam is pretty simple if you are well prepared.PRINCE2 Practitioner Course & ExaminationIn the PRINCE2 practitioner course, learners will understand the following: Understand the relationship between: Roles Management products Principles Themes Techniques Processes Apply principles, themes and processes to a project Create and assess management products Prepare for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam Examination Format: Multiple choice 68 questions based on a project scenario 2 hours 30 minutes to complete the paper Achieve 38 or more out of possible 68 marks (55%) to pass the exam Open book exam. You can use “Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2” manual. You can order your copy of this manual from the Axelos website.The Practitioner exam tests the candidates’ ability at Comprehension, application and analysis levels.  Comprehension: Understand the principles, processes, themes and project’s environment and roles and explain how these are applied to/are involved with a project.Application: For a given project scenario, be able to: use the themes appropriately, create the management products, tailor the processes and themes appropriately.Analysis: For a given project scenario, be able to identify, analyse and distinguish between the appropriate and inappropriate use of methods through an appraisal of completed products and planned or completed project events.Exam Language: The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner examination is currently available in English, German, Danish, Dutch, Polish, French and Norwegian. Note: If you are giving the exam in English but English is NOT your native language, you will be awarded an additional 15 minutes and 35 minutes to complete Foundation and Practitioner exams respectively. To avail this benefit, select your correct native language while creating your profile in Peoplecert’s portal while registering for the exam.PRINCE2 Agile:Similarly, PRINCE2 also comes with a guidance to use Agile along with its ways of working. PRINCE2 Agile® has two levels of certification (Foundation and Practitioner).PRINCE2 Agile guidance is all about how to tailor PRINCE2 to use Agile methods into it. PRINCE2 is a neutral project management framework which can support both traditional waterfall projects as well as agile or adaptive or iterative projects.To provide guidance on how to integrate high velocity models or practices into the existing projects for both IT and non-IT industries, PRINCE2 Agile considers Scrum, Kanban, Lean approaches. The intention is not to explain the agile frameworks in detail but to show practitioners on how to amalgamate PRINCE2 with other agile practices. PRINCE2 considers agile as a family of behaviours, concepts, frameworks and techniques.Agile Foundation Exam: Multiple choice, Objective testing 50 questions 1 hour to complete the paper Achieve 28 or more out of possible 50 marks (55%) to pass the exam Closed book examAgile Practitioner Exam: Multiple choice, Objective testing 50 questions based on project scenario 2 hours 30 minutes to complete the paper Achieve 30 or more out of possible 50 marks (60%) to pass the exam Open book exam. You can use the “PRINCE2 Agile® Guidance” handbook.How to take PRINCE2 examination?A candidate can take the exam after undergoing a formal training from an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) authorized by Peoplecert or can self-learn and appear for the exam. Please visit this website to find out your nearest ATO.PRINCE2 examinations can be taken in 3 different modes. They are Paper Based Test, Computer Based Test and Peoplecert Online Proctored.Paper Based Test (PBT):PBT exams are scheduled and conducted by the ATOs. This is also called classroom exam. The ATO will book the exam on behalf of the candidate, print the question papers and OMR answer sheets and invigilate the exam. Prior to the exam, the candidates will receive an email confirmation from Peoplecert. Candidates should register for the exam. This exam can be conducted at the ATO’s facility or at the training venue. This provides a stress-free exam experience. The ATO’s invigilation team will collect the answer sheets and question papers once the exam is over and will upload the answer scripts to the Peoplecert’s exam portal. Results will be announced in two stages by Peoplecert. First you will get the Preliminary results which will just state “Pass/Fail”. The final results with score card/statement of result (SoR) and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results. Result notifications will be sent to the candidate’s registered email id.Computer Based Test (CBT):CBT exams are scheduled and conducted by the ATOs. This is also called a classroom exam. The ATO will book the exam on behalf of the candidate and invigilate the exam. Prior to the exam, the candidates will receive an email confirmation from Peoplecert. Candidates should register for the exam. This exam can be conducted at ATO’s facility or at the training venue. Candidates need to bring their own computers/laptops if not provided by the ATO for this exam. This exam is similar to PBT but it is conducted in CBT mode. The ATO’s invigilation team will provide the candidate’s exam credentials and guide them to take the exam.   Preliminary results with scores are announced immediately at the end of the exam. Final results with SoR and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results.Peoplecert Online Proctored (OLP):OLP exams are CBT proctored by Peoplecert’s invigilation team directly.  This can also be called an anywhere, anytime exam. This type of exam is very commonly taken by participants and accepted since the onset of COVID-19.  To appear for an OLP exam, candidates can purchase an exam voucher from an ATO or Peoplecert directly. To buy exam from Peoplecert, please visit: https://www.peoplecert.org/browse-certifications/project-programme-and-portfolio-management/PRINCE2-2 Purchased exam vouchers are normally valid for a year. But it is highly recommended to give your exam as soon as you complete your course or preparation. Preliminary results with scores are announced immediately at the end of the exam. Final results with SoR and certificate will be announced within two business days from the date of preliminary results. Further information and guidance on OLP exam:Copy and paste the voucher code or exam code in your Peoplecert login page and click on confirm -> Details of your exam will be displayed -> Check the details and once again confirm -> Now you will be allowed to choose the date/time of your exam from the calendar -> After selection, click on confirm -> Now you will receive a notification and email about the exam confirmation. To take the OLP exam, you need to install “Exam Shield”. After booking your exam, you will get notified to install this software. You can check if you are able to install it in your computer. If you are using an official/company laptop or desktop, there are chances that your firewall will block the installation. Please contact your Information Security team in such cases. Else you can opt to use your personal laptop or desktop. Exam Shield will verify if your microphone, webcam, system configuration, power backup and network connectivity support the exam. Please fix the issues (if any) before the exam.  On the day of the exam, you will be able to login 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the exam -> Keep 1 or 2 government/national photo ID proofs handy -> Run the exam shield -> Wait for system check to complete -> Show your ID proof in front of the camera and snap shot it -> System will connect you to the proctor -> Proctor validates the credentials -> Proctor will request the candidate to swivel and show 360-degree view of the room -> Proctor will allow the candidate to Start the exam. Ensure you are very well prepared for the exam. No one else other than you should be in the exam room. No paper/pen can be used for Foundation exam. You can use PRINCE2 Manual for Practitioner exam. You cannot minimize the exam window till the exam is over. The Exam gets completed only when you hit on the Submit button.  For Practitioner exam, a scenario booklet will be available within the exam tool.  In case of internet issues, don’t panic, you will be able to restore and continue from where you left the exam. Please contact Peoplecert in such scenarios.  Peoplecert Proctor has all the rights to revoke your exam in case of malpractices identified.How to take maintain my PRINCE2 certification?PRINCE2 Foundation certification doesn’t require renewal, which means that holders are certified for life. Whereas Practitioner certification has 3 years validity and has to be renewed at the end of 3 years. Axelos maintains a “Successful Candidates Register” (SCR). Peoplecert updates the SCR from time on time. Within 30 to 60 days after receiving Practitioner certificate, a candidate will be notified through an email to avail one year of free subscription from Axelos.  Once free subscription is activated, you will be eligible to clock 20 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units. This is very similar to PMI’s Professional Development Units (PDUs).  CPDs can be logged broadly under four categories such as Professional Experience, Training and Qualification, Community Participation and Self-Study. This can be attained by attending any trainings, delivering trainings, by taking part in volunteering activities, by learning new contents from any portals like Coursera, LinkedIn learning, Udemy etc., taking part in project activities, attending any seminars/webinars or by accessing white papers, case studies or videos on the Axelos website. Once 20 CPDs are logged, one can claim the digital badge. The digital badge is a way to display one’s professional credentials. Digital badge is valid only for one year.  To renew the digital badge, £50 + VAT needs to be paid to Axelos. This will reset the CPD counter to Zero. This enables the practitioner to log 20 CPDs and claim the digital badge. This cycle can continue.  I suggest that successful candidates should avail the free subscription and clock 20 CPDs. For example, if your practitioner certification expires by 10th March 2023, claim your digital badge on 9th March 2023. This will enable you to retain your certification through Mar 2024. After that you can pay the subscription charges and continue to maintain your credentials. If you don’t want to get into the subscription model, you can resit for another exam after 3 years. For more details about subscription, CPD & digital badge, please visit: https://www.axelos.com/my-axelos/my-prince2 Benefits of Subscription:Subscribers can get access to a wide range of project templates, white papers, tutorials, software, webinar series, pocket books, job profiles and much more. You can share/gain knowledge with other project practitioners. Network and engage with professionals and global experts.Some additional information: Certified PRINCE2 Practitioners (in 2009 version) can re-sit for an exam based on 2017 or 6th edition and get into the subscription model.  Certified PRINCE2 Foundation professionals (in 2009 version) can directly appear for PRINCE2 Practitioner exam (6th edition). You can also buy subscriptions through Peoplecert. Cost of PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner training + exam cost in India will range between INR 40,000 to 50,000. Cost of training and exam will vary according to your geography and mode of exam. OLP exams are costlier than PBT and CBT. Conclusion: Skills always matter in any job role. PRINCE2 certifications improve your position in the job market and career progression within project and program management. PRINCE2 helps organizations to support business outcomes, show value for money, continually improve, manage risks in line with business needs, optimize customer experience and enable business change.  Some key benefits PRINCE2 brings to enterprises and individual practitioners are: improved delivery confidence, uniform best practices, supporting cross functional working, delivering what business needs, customer focus, scalability, adaptability and flexible control.  
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Essential Guide to Clearing PRINCE2 Examination

PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environmen... Read More

Career Boost with CSM® Certification

The ecosystem and landscape around every business is changing drastically. Digital technologies enable entities to develop digital products / services and to conduct their business significantly differently.  Example: Physical gift cards are now digital gift cards., like Amazon’s gift cards which can be shared with the near and dear ones during festive seasons or occasions. Customers can quickly buy this digital product online and gift it in a matter of a few seconds. This creates value for the customers and benefits the company that sells this product.  Organizations are heavily investing in newer technologies and at the same time focussing on refining their existing processes and working culture.  This enables them to increase and improve the speed and quality of the deliverables and also enhance customer experiences.  This is why global entities have taken on many best practices to contribute to the success of the interactions they have with different stakeholders. In this digital era, faster turnaround time is seen as one of the important traits of organizations developing and selling digital products. To accomplish this objective, IT organizations are exposed to a gamut of agile development models.   Today, “Scrum” (an agile development practice) is widely used as a mainstream practice in software development lifecycles, to create digital products like software. Let’s take a look at the overview of Scrum practices and understand how Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification can help you and your business. Scrum - an overview:Scrum methodology is based on principles like KISS (Keep It Simple & Straightforward) and progress iteratively with feedback.  This practice is: lightweight and implementable model. based on team collaboration. deceptively simple yet difficult to master.  based on “just enough” process and documentation mindset. An Analogy: Think about running a ten thousand metre race as a marathon run and slice the same race into some equal segments or sprints. Speed and quality increases when we slice the effort and maintain a constant pace or cadence.Scrum revolves around a concept called as “sprint” or a “timebox”.  So, sprint is a timebox of 2 to 4 weeks used to deliver some parts of the complete software in an iterative fashion. A simple sprint structure is expressed in the below diagram.  An Analogy: A teacher teaching the principles of abacus to the children divides the learners into four groups. The first set of children are beginners. They are taught to learn the abacus tools from scratch. They don’t have any targets as such. The second group of children know how to use the abacus tools and formulae. They are provided with a set of sums to solve with an upper time limit (for example 10 sets of sums in 10 to 15 minutes). The third set of children are in the advanced level. They are proficient enough to solve seventy to eighty sets of sums using abacus tools in less than five to seven minutes. Fourth set of expert level kids solve hundred plus sets of sums within five minutes with very minimal errors or no errors at all even without having a time pressure.  From the above analogy, we can conclude that when we repeatedly practice a simple method many times over and over, we gain perfection, maturity, speed and quality. We can now relate it with Scrum methodology. Scrum operates around simple processes which revolves around the Deming’s cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Let’s get introduced to some of the basic elements of Scrum which revolves around roles, artifacts and ceremonies.  Basics of Scrum: Scrum Roles:   Product Owner: The Product owner understands business, customer, market and stakeholder needs. This role serves as the voice of the customer who is responsible for maximizing the value of the product or software.   Scrum Master :The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that Scrum is understood and enacted by all the stakeholders who interact with the scrum teams. Anyone who wears the cap of a Scrum Master has to take up a versatile range of roles such as facilitator, coach, mentor, trainer, enabler, change agent, servant leader etc.  Development Team:The Development Team consists of T-shaped professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable increment or a minimum viable product at the end of each sprint. Cross-functional teams who can collaborate and self-organize are capable of delivering the products to the stated quality.   Scrum Artifacts: Product Backlog: The product backlog is simply all the things that need to be done within the project. In traditional project management, a product backlog can be referred to as a Requirements Documentation. This document is owned by the Product Owner and the requirements are prioritized based on the business value. Needs are captured in the form of user stories with acceptance criteria.  Example of a user story:  As a customer of the bank I want to update my latest communication address on my own using the bank’s app So that I can receive all the parcels/documents sent by the bank without missing them.Sprint Backlog: The Sprint backlog is a list of tasks identified by the scrum team to be completed during the sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects some number of product backlog items usually in the form of user stories, and identifies the tasks necessary to complete each user story. In traditional project management, this is also called as an Activity List.  Minimum Viable Product:  A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the sum of the Product Backlog items delivered during each sprint. Delivering the MVP in each sprint is fundamental to the scrum because when work is divided into simple pieces it can be finished in a short iteration. Example: An insurance company’s software development team is developing a mobile based app to sell their insurance products. In the first 3 sprints, the development team, delivers functionality and features that enable customers to buy insurance products online. Iteratively, the team delivers minimum viable products such as network locator, branch locator, feedback, track/modify policy, e-insurance card and so on.  Scrum Ceremonies: Sprint Planning:  The purpose of the sprint planning meeting is to estimate and forecast the work that can be accomplished by the team in the given sprint. Sprint backlog is the output of this meeting. Daily Stand-up: The purpose of the daily stand-up or daily scrum is to plan the day, identify risks and ways to mitigate them. Updated sprint backlog and burn charts / scrum board / Kanban board are the outputs of this activity.Sprint Review: The purpose of the sprint review is to showcase or demonstrate the developed feature to the product owner and other stakeholders. This promotes quick feedback.  Sprint Retrospective: The purpose of the sprint retrospective is to identify improvements and mature the ways of working in the subsequent sprints.Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification from Scrum Alliance: This is an instructor-led training program designed and crafted to increase the knowledge base on fundamental elements of scrum practices in about sixteen hours. This program will be driven by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®).  This certification is apt for professionals who: aspire to become a Scrum Master are project managers who encounter Scrum work with Scrum teams are Business Analysts who interact with Scrum teams are in IT Operations team and collaborate with Scrum teams want to begin their agile journey want to take other advanced certifications offered by Scrum Alliance want to learn the foundations of Scrum Exam:  After successfully completing the course, a candidate can take an online examination. 37 right answers out of 50 will enable a participant to earn the CSM certification. The time limit for the exam is 60 minutes.  Maintaining the certification :  Keeping the certification active is a good way to continue reaping the benefits of being certified. An active certification will help practitioners stay connected with the agile community, share and gain knowledge and help the community thrive. To keep the credential active, a renewal fee of $100 for two years is applicable. One also has to clock 20 learning hours called SEUs (Scrum Education Units®) once in two years towards maintaining the credential.  Benefits of CSM certification: helps in improving career prospects helps in marketability of one’s profile helps in demonstrating and improving the credibility of one’s profile Conclusion:In a nutshell, Scrum is a software development framework which supports the value statements of the Agile Manifesto. Roles, artifacts and ceremonies of Scrum encourages “individuals and interaction” promoting a transparent, self-organizing, trustful, collaborative environment, focuses on delivering “working software” or minimum viable product with just enough documentation, promotes “customer collaboration” and infuses a mindset to “welcome changes” based on feedback and business value. Scrum facilitates a disciplined way to develop products in an iterative way using timeboxing as its core mantra.  Other agile practices such as Lean, Kanban, DevOps, Test Driven Development, Behaviour Driven Development, Feature Driven Development, eXtreme Programming, can be used alongside or to complement Scrum practices.  Scrum can also be scaled up to make it suitable to work with larger sets of teams. Existing project management practices can be tailored to infuse Scrum into their ways of working. Any organization adopting Agile, can kick start the adoption by embracing Scrum as a steppingstone. Although there are many different certifications available on agile practices, CSM is seen as a simple and easy way for professionals to begin their Scrum/Agile journey. As per the data published in www.scrumalliance.org there are more than a million professionals across the globe who are certified in various agile certifications offered by Scrum Alliance. So why wait? Grab your opportunity now! 
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Career Boost with CSM® Certification

The ecosystem and landscape around every busines... Read More

PRINCE2®Agile vs PMI-ACP®: What’s Best for You?

Changing industrial trends and the mass adaptability of agile practices have transformed the way organizations work. Over time, a number of project management methodologies have cropped up to suit different industry needs, and today’s business leaders have a wide array of frameworks to rely upon. This has led to the inevitable need for skilled project management professionals who are well-versed in different frameworks. When it comes to the widely popular Agile methodologies, the presence of multiple certifications in agile / agile project management methods can seem overwhelming to aspiring professionals. This article will give you a comprehensive overview of PRINCE2®Agile and PMI-ACP® (Agile Certified Practitioner) certifications to help you make an informed choice. Project leadingWhat is a Project? Due to the accelerated pace of change, today’s enterprises have to cope with the complexities of emergent requirements over the course of a project. Strategic business decisions are often made after taking stock of competitors’ actions, technological advancements, regulatory changes, ongoing business developments and so on. In order to compete and thrive in the future, existing ways of working must be aligned to adapt to these evolving needs. Example: Today every bank across the globe offers innovative banking products and services like mobile banking applications, ATMs etc. These changes have been adopted to cater to the evolving expectations of customers while adapting to the latest technological advancements. Projects are the means of introducing change. A collective effort from different stakeholders needs to be pumped into the project initiatives to deliver the products and to accomplish the objectives within definitive timescales. Example: The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of a country is planning to design, build, roll-out and implement a Health ID card system for its citizens within a year. This project will benefit the government and its citizens in various ways. Different organizations such as government, health ministry, hospitals, technology providers have to work collaboratively to implement the product within the identified timescale, cost and quality. Project Manager planningWhat is Project management? When different stakeholders come together to deliver a unique product within an estimated timescale and cost, there should be someone who needs to be accountable and responsible to manage the different aspects of the project.  Project management broadly revolves around key activities such as plan, execute, monitor and control. Management of projects is an art which includes skills like leadership, domain knowledge, interpersonal skills, people management, powerful communication, stakeholder engagement, conflict management, business acumen etc.,  Example: A central library run by a private firm is looking to launch a digitized version of its books. A Project Manager is identified to manage the scope, cost, time, quality, risks, resources, stakeholders, communications etc., from the beginning to the end of the project.  Project managers and their organizations can choose to apply the right methods, tools, techniques, standards, guidance, good or best practices to run their projects.  Why agile in project management?  As digital transformation is catching up with many organizations, business demands are also increasing, and the requirements for products and services is continually evolving as well. To meet the demands of businesses today, project-driven organizations should look for ways to increase the speed of product delivery while upholding quality. Agile project management is an iterative approach to delivering a project throughout its life cycle. The Agile framework helps project managers to stay on top of emergent requirements and adapt to change more readily, delivering products that are better aligned with customer expectations. With agile methods such as Scrum being widely accepted and used in today’s organizations for software development projects, more agility is seen in the delivery teams. Product development in Scrum teams occurs in shorter iterations/timeboxes (2 weeks to 4 weeks). This is because the goal is to deliver minimum viable products (MVP) or a feature/functionality within shorter sprints. Example: As a part of digital transformation, a school wants to launch a mobile app. In the beginning of the academic year, the first section of the app was ready and launched for use. During the launch, it only had a login and a digital diary feature. In the second month, they added a few more features such as timetable, attendance tracker. In the third month, new enhanced features such as progress card, online payment options were added. By the end of six months, the app had varied features to suit the needs of the school, teachers, students and parents and it added value to all categories of stakeholders iteratively.  The Contrast of Waterfall Vs. Agile ways of working:The Contrast of Waterfall Vs. Agile ways of working:The reason for agile’s popularity is because of its ability to address the new demands being placed on the project team.  Prince2 ProcessesWhat is PRINCE2®? PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) is widely considered the leading project management method. It is a unique, light weight, scalable, flexible, highly tailorable, principle-driven, agile enabled framework to run your projects.  PRINCE2 revolves around the concepts of principles (value statements), themes (focus areas to run the project) and processes (steps involved to accomplish project objectives).  Let’s get introduced to the PRINCE2 elements: Principles: Continued business justificationBusiness valueLearn from experienceLessons are sought, recorded and acted upon; continuous improvementDefined roles and responsibilitiesAll stakeholders representedManage by stagesProvides management control and realistic planning horizonsManage by exceptionAuthority delegation for directing, managing and delivering within tolerancesFocus on productsQuality-centric approach to planningTailor to suit the projectTailor to suit project environment, size, complexity, importance, risk, etc.Themes:Business CaseWhy?OrganizationWho?QualityWhat?PlansHow?, How much?, When?RiskWhat’s the impact?ProgressWhere are we now?Where are we going?Should we carry on?Processes:Starting Up A ProjectVerify whether the project is worthwhile and viable.Directing A ProjectDecision making, allocation of resources and estimating expenditure.Initiating A ProjectSetting up a firm foundation (controlled environment) for the project.Managing Stage BoundariesPreparation for management review including stage planning.Controlling A StageDay to day management of the work, issues and risk.Managing Product DeliveryProduct creation, delivery and acceptance.Closing A ProjectFinal delivery, acceptance and project evaluation.PRINCE2® Process Flow Diagram:PRINCE2® Process Flow Diagram:Processes are at the core of the PRINCE2 framework. Application of themes, principles and tailoring of the processes makes it easy to adopt and adapt which reduces the bureaucracy of project management. At the same time, it provides the proper governance to keep the projects justified.What is covered in PRINCE2 Agile™?Project EnvironmentIf PRINCE2® is already agile, what is PRINCE2 ® Agile? PRINCE2® Agile guidance is all about tailoring PRINCE2 to incorporate Agile methods. PRINCE2 is a neutral project management framework which can support both traditional waterfall projects as well as agile or adaptive or iterative projects.  To provide guidance on how to integrate high velocity models or practices into the existing projects for both IT and non-IT industries, PRINCE2 Agile considers Scrum, Kanban, Lean approaches. The intention is not to explain all the agile frameworks in detail; but rather is to show practitioners how to amalgamate PRINCE2 with other agile practices. PRINCE2 considers agile as a collection of behaviours, concepts, frameworks and techniques.   In a nutshell, PRINCE2® Agile is basically a marriage between PRINCE2 and Scrum practices.  PRINCE2’s core concepts of principles, themes and processes are tossed up with agile concepts, techniques, behaviours, practices which fuels more velocity into the existing framework.Certification: PRINCE2® Agile has two levels of certification (Foundation and Practitioner) Foundation Exam: Multiple choice 50 questions 1 hour to complete the paper Achieve 28 or more out of possible 50 marks (55%) to pass the exam Closed book exam Practitioner Exam: Multiple choice 50 questions based on project scenario 2 hours 30 minutes to complete the paper Achieve 30 or more out of possible 50 marks (60%) to pass the exam Open book exam. You can use the “AXELOS® PRINCE2 Agile™ guidance book”.  Certification Scheme: Prior project management experience is not required to take up the certification.  What is covered in PMI-ACP®? The Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner is a credible certification which provides thorough knowledge to project managers using agile methodologies.  There are many agile practices other than Scrum that are widely used in the industry such as eXtreme Programming, DevOps, Test Driven Development (TDD), Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), Feature Driven Development (FDD), Crystal, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Kanban, Lean Product Development etc., Most of these practices revolve around the core concept of iterations with other variations. Most of these practices are ‘IT-only’ frameworks.  Agile mindset and principles play a vital role in executing the projects in a different way as compared to the traditional ways. Right from covering the concepts of agile values, mindset, practices, terminologies, most of the above-mentioned agile models are covered in a greater detail in this program.  Concepts and techniques like agile contracting, agile risk management, earned value management (EVM), cumulative flow diagrams (CFD), estimation techniques, relative prioritization, work in progress (WIP) limits, Kano analysis, product backlog grooming, personas, user stories, story maps, wireframes, product road map, minimum marketable feature (MMF), definition of done, continuous integration, burn charts, stakeholder engagement, leadership, building agile teams, coaching, osmotic communication, timeboxing, planning poker, release planning, problem solving, lead time, cycle time, defect rate, control limits, throughput, velocity, variance and trend analysis, value stream mapping, continuous improvement, retrospectives, learning cycles etc., are imparted as a part of this certification course.Certification: 120 Multiple choice questions 3 hours to complete the exam Closed book exam Prerequisite: Secondary degree 21 contact hours of training in agile practices 12 months of general project management experience within 5 years.  8 months of agile project management experience within the last 3 years. Differences in these certifications:ParametersPRINCE2 AgilePMI-ACPTopics coveredIt is a blend of  PRINCE2® and Scrum.Spans across many approaches of agile.Governing bodyAxelosProject Management InstituteExam bodyPeoplecertPearson VUEExam modePaper-based test, computer-based test and Online proctored examOnline proctored examPrerequisiteNo prior project management experience is required. PRINCE2 Foundation or PRINCE2 Agile foundation certification is a prerequisite for taking up the practitioner exam.Secondary degree21 contact hours of training in agile practices12 months of general project management experience within 5 years.  8 months of agile project management experience within the last 3 years.Training4 days of training from an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) by Axelos3 days of training from a Registered Training Partner (REP) by PMICost of training & certificationApproximately Rs. 40,000 to 50,000Approximately Rs. 40,000 to 50,000Maintaining the certificationFoundation certification has a life time validity. Practitioners need to earn 20 continuing professional development (CPD) points every year.Earn 30 professional development units (PDU) every three years.Merits and demerits of both these certifications: Merits of PRINCE2® Agile:  PRINCE2 Agile provides a good governance model to run the project with guidance on how to incorporate any agile model.  It does not favour one agile approach over any other although Scrum is taken as a reference to explain the concept of tailoring.  It can be applied to any type of project and can easily be implemented alongside specialist, industry-specific models.  Demerits of PRINCE2® Agile:  It does not touch upon the various project management tools or techniques which are essential for project management. Merits of PMI-ACP®: It prepares the project managers to become versatile with different types of agile project management practices. Coverage of different types of tools and techniques polishes one’s ability to manage scope, cost, time, quality, risks, resources, stakeholders, communication etc. Demerits of PMI-ACP®: It does not have an exclusive body of knowledge (BOK) like PMBOK® guide. Reference to different literature and books may be essential. This means a structured way to agile project management is missing in its approach.  The best-suited certification: How to pick the right one? PRINCE2® Agile can benefit the existing PRINCE2® community, PRINCE2® Practitioners, anyone who is using agile in Project Management. Even organizations and individuals outside the PRINCE2® community, having experience with agile can benefit from this certification. It is also ideal for total novices. If you fall under any of the categories mentioned above, you can pick this certification as your first step in the project management world. This is also the right choice for professionals and enterprises that serve clients based in UK, Europe and Australia. PMI-ACP is a one-stop solution for project managers and agile teams keen on expanding their skill-set to manage various agile projects. If you are ready to dedicate at least 2 hours every day for 1 to 2 months for exam preparation and earn a globally recognized certification, go for it.  Conclusion:Every practice has its own strength and weakness. Ultimately, it is up to the organizations and practitioners to choose the right project management methodologies to suit their needs and business/career goals.  
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PRINCE2®Agile vs PMI-ACP®: What’s Be...

Changing industrial trends and the mass adapta... Read More