We are living in an era where change has become the norm rather than an exception. Emerging technologies and market unpredictability have further fueled change, impacting all industries globally. But the true test of an organization's capability is its ability to endure change and adapt to it. This is the philosophy of ‘Kaizen’ or changing for the better, that helps organizations stay competitive, relevant and in focus with the customer.
If there is change, there are also ways to cope with it. Project management methodologies provide a framework that helps organizations streamlines processes and emerge stronger. One of the most popular project management methodologies is the PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments). It is a structured, process-based method for effective project management and is based on experience drawn from several projects, their stakeholders and academia.
Having originated in the 1970s, it has been revised year on year with its latest updates, the 6th edition being the current version that was brought out in 2017.
is now owned by AXELOS Limited UK. While it was originally used as a standard for projects in the UK, it is now endorsed globally across organizations and projects.
This methodology offers several benefits, such as:
Example of applying one of the benefits of PRINCE2:
When the project manager is not able to prevent a possible deviation beyond the allowed budget for a particular stage of the project, it needs to be escalated to the next upper level of management in a specific manner.
Note that PRINCE2 is a method, with a set of project management activities, roles and techniques to perform the activities. Organizations may choose to use PRINCE2 as their project management standard. In such cases, its effectiveness may be benchmarked by performing a formal health check and maturity assessments endorsed by PRINCE2.
There are also several project management standards such as:
Such standards provide rules, principles, guidelines and concepts which may be used to ensure effective project management, thereby increasing the project’s chance of success. These standards should be applied as appropriate to the business when PRINCE2 is being used by the organization.
Example of combining a standard or body of knowledge and the PRINCE2 method:
An organization may decide to apply the standard for cost estimation or controlling quality from PMI’s PMBOK Guide when using the PRINCE2 method for managing their projects.
The PMBOK® Guide is a body of knowledge while PRINCE2 is a structured method. The former reinforces the science while the other provides a structured approach. Thus, both complement each other.
The PRINCE2 product portfolio offers Foundation and Practitioner level certifications for PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile. About two days of training is recommended for each of them and self-study is also allowed. The exams are offered in several languages. The syllabus is based on the official PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile guidance from AXELOS.
Prerequisites apply only for the Practitioner exams, for which either the Foundation or an equivalent certification is required. Practitioner certificates are valid for 3 years and may be renewed by maintaining AXELOS PRINCE2 membership and claiming a minimum of 20 CPDs (continuing professional development) units annually, or by appearing for a re-registration exam.
Trainings cover in detail the PRINCE2 integrated environment, the 7 principles, the 7 themes, the 7 processes and project tailoring. Some of the projects I worked in were based on the PRINCE2 method, though some were adopted to the organization’s ways of working.
The PRINCE2 Agile course further provides a detailed understanding of how to blend PRINCE2 with various agile concepts, frameworks, behavior and techniques. Those of you who are familiar with highly used frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, SAFe and others will be able to understand and appreciate how to blend them with PRINCE2 using PRINCE2 Agile project management.
Example of blending agile concepts and techniques with PRINCE2 Agile:
PRINCE2 product descriptions may be described and agreed in the form of a collection of user stories or epics rather than in the traditional form of requirement specifications.
KnowledgeHut PRINCE2 trainings have been designed to give you complete clarity on the style and syllabus of the certification exams, along with detailed descriptions on all relevant concepts, exam questionnaire practice, case studies and scenarios for real world understanding, exam tips and extensive study materials.
The exams are administered by the exam body organization PeopleCert on behalf of AXELOS. One has to create an account on the PeopleCert website and register for the exam before appearing for it. There is also a retake option purchasable at a significantly lower exam fee.
Though some of the below listed topics are described briefly in the guidance, they are not part of the certification syllabus. These may be learned in detail through other literature and certification trainings, such as Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or Project Management Professional (PMP)® and others (International Association for Project Management or IPMA, Association for Project Management or APM, etc.):
Over the years, use of PRINCE2 has expanded to many countries and industries due to its structured way of handling projects, while at the same time allowing flexibility to apply other approaches and techniques that suit the project.
While PRINCE2 specifies advantages or benefits of applying it, let us look at how learning and becoming certified in PRINCE2 will help you meet your aspirations in particular.
As day-to-day operations get more and more automated, human resources will become more involved with the management of projects. This will result in a demand for capable project managers who are skilled in decision making, stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and other areas which can be performed better by humans than machines.
PRINCE2 is among the most widely used project management methodologies due to the numerous advantages it offers. But how does it help an individual PRINCE2 holder? Let's take a look:
Reflect for a moment, which of the above are top reasons for you to get certified in PRINCE2.
For me, it is all of them but if you put me in a spot and ask me to pick only three of them, then they will be 1, 7 and 8.
A lot of literature is available online, relating to project management careers and certifications. However, we focused on a few key things.
We first understood what PRINCE2 is and how it relates to project management standards and bodies of knowledge. Next, we looked into PRINCE2 certification levels and curriculum, along with what is not covered by PRINCE2. Though the PRINCE2 Agile certifications were also mentioned, we focused on the PRINCE2 certifications only.
PRINCE2’s relevance in the digital era and its impact on project management was briefly highlighted. Finally, the advantages of PRINCE2 and how they might rightly connect with your own aspirations were listed. Hope you found your own connects from that list or maybe even added your own.
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