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Getting Familiar with PRINCE2®

19th Feb, 2024
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     Getting Familiar with PRINCE2®

    PRINCE2® is the abbreviation of Projects IN Controlled Environments and it is a de facto process-based process for effective project management. This is widely used by the United Kingdom government. It is hugely recognized and utilized in the private sector. The method of PRINCE2® lies in the public domain and it proposes non-proprietorial finest practice assistance on project management.

    Numerous people and organizations from different sectors prefer to use PRINCE2® because it is flexible, innovative, and practical. Irrespective of the project, whether it is developing software, constructing a flyover, or putting forward an advertising movement, the processes, themes, and principles of PRINCE2® will aid you in realizing them all. This process fits well to the public domain, and it proposes a generic but the finest guidance to manage a project.

    Vital features
    Key features

    Chief features of PRINCE2® are:

    • Project-based planning approach.
    • Focuses on business justification.
    • A well-organized organizational structure meant for the team of project management.
    • The flexibility which can be used at a level suitable to the project.
    • Stresses on dividing the project into controllable and manageable stages.

    History of PRINCE
    History of PRINCE2

    PRINCE2® was recognized by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency or CCTA in the year 1989 and since then renamed the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). In June 2010, the OGC office Best Practice Management functions moved into the Cabinet Office.

    Originally, PRINCE2® was based on PROMPT which was a project management process developed in 1975 by Simpact Systems Ltd. Later in 1979, it was adopted by CCTA in the form of a standard for being used in all the Government information system projects.

    At the time when PRINCE2® was launched in the year 1989, it superseded PROMPT effectively within government project. However, PRINCE2® continues to remain in the public domain and has bagged copyright by the Crown. In the year 1996, PRINCE2® was published and it is being donated to a group of nearly 150 European organizations.

    Remarkable benefits of PRINCE2® for people

    When you decide to use PRINCE2® then you will have stronger control of resources besides the capability to manage project and business risks. This will benefit you in the following manner:

    • People looking for leading project management skills and higher employment prospects.
    • Executives or directors of projects as well as organizations
    • Project managers.

    For people, the certification of PRINCE2® turns into a precious asset to their career as this escalates the prospects of employment and it aids people in doing their job more effectually. According to a survey done on people in project management as well as other roles, like senior management, IT and operations, it has been discovered that candidates found that PRINCE2® is highly appreciated in their career.

    How does PRINCE2® benefit an organization?

    For an organization, the formal recognition of responsibilities of PRINCE2® inside a project along with its concentration on what a project needs to deliver proposes an organization’s projects with the following:

    • An organized and controlled start, middle, and finishing.
    • Regular reviews regarding development against the plan.
    • A consistent and common approach.
    • Assurance that a project continues to possess a business justification.

    According to a 2007 survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, higher-performing projects are more likely to be operated with specialized project managers. Amongst all the certificates which empower higher-performing projects, the PRINCE2® named “Arras People’s 2011 survey” is the most well-known.

    Another report on PRINCE2® found that the adoption of PRINCE2® irrespective of the size of the organization is useful, particularly because of its characteristic of being compatible and adaptable with agile.

    The methods of PRINCE2®

    The method of PRINCE2® includes four united compounds of principles, themes, processes, and finally, the project environment.


    Principles are considered the guiding needs and excellent practices that determine whether or not the project is really being managed to utilize PRINCE2®. In fact, there are seven principles and when they all aren’t applied, then it can’t be viewed as a PRINCE2® project.

    These are the supervisory requirements and decent practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2®. There are seven principles, and it is highly required to apply all of them, else it won’t turn out as a PRINCE2® project.

    The seven principles of PRINCE2® are:

    Seven principles of PRINCE2

    1. Non-stop business justification – It is extremely important to have an acceptable reason for running and handling the project. When it doesn’t happen that way, then it is better to close the project.
    2. Learning from experience –The project teams of PRINCE2® ought to continually seek and draw on lessons that are learned from earlier work.
    3. Distinct roles and responsibilities of PRINCE2 – The project team of PRINCE2® ought to have a distinct organizational structure and it comprises the right individuals in the right jobs.
    4. Manage by stages – It is extremely important for the PRINCE2® projects to have proper planning, monitoring, and controlling on a stage-by-stage basis.
    5. Succeed by exception – Individuals who have been working in the project must be provided with the appropriate amount of authority so that they can work within the setting effectively.
    6. Concentrate on products – The projects of PRINCE2® do focus on the product definition, distribution, and quality needs.
    7. Tailor for suiting the project environment – It is highly important that PRINCE2® is tailored for suiting the environment, importance, size, risk, capability, and complexity of the project.


    Themes describe aspects of project management which ought to be addressed in parallel all through the project. There are seven themes of PRINCE2® and they explain the particular treatment which is needed for different project management disciplines. The themes also explain why they are important.

    PRINCE2® is important as it aids people in applying the themes by mentioning the minimum requirement which is needed for the themes, and it also provides particular guidance on the process of tailoring to particular settings.

    The seven themes of PRINCE2® are:

    1. Business case – It creates and maintains a record of business justification for the project.
    2. Quality – It defines the quality requirements and also the measures and additionally, it explains how the project is likely to deliver them.
    3. Organization – It defines the individual roles and duties of the entire project team.
    4. Plans – These are the steps that are needed for developing the plans and the techniques of PRINCE2® which ought to be used.
    5. Change – It is how the project manager would evaluate and perform on alterations to the project.
    6. Risk – It identifies risks and opportunities effectively which could influence the project.
    7. Progress – It is considered the ongoing practicability and the plans’ performance and how and whether or not the project ought to proceed.


    Seven Processes of PRINCE2

    Processes describe the project lifecycle’s steps, from the early idea to the project closure. Every process proposes checklists of suggested activities, linked responsibilities and of course, guidance regarding how to tailor to a particular setting.

    The seven processes of PRINCE2® are the following:

    1. Beginning a project
    2. Directing a project
    3. Commencing a project
    4. Controlling a stage
    5. Handing product delivery
    6. Handling state boundaries
    7. The finishing of a project

    The management products of PRINCE2®

    The manual of PRINCE2® comprises twenty-six recommended templates meant for documentation which are linked with the project and are termed “management products.” They are divided into records, baselines, and reports. Some instances of management products are the following:

    • Business Management Approach – Earlier, in the year 2009, it was known as the Benefits Review Plan. It defines the process and time of the measurement of the project’s benefits that can be made.
    • Business case – It is used for capturing financial justification meant for the project. This is viewed as a principle of PRINCE2® that a project ought to have for non-stop business justification. When the Business Case doesn’t make sense, it is suggested to alter or halt the project.
    • Checkpoint Report – It is recognized as a progress report which is developed by the Team Manager before being sent to the Project Manager regularly for reporting the Work Package status.
    • Communications Management Approach – In the 2009 Edition, it was viewed as Communications Management Strategy – It is an account of the processes and occurrence of communication to the stakeholders which covers the flow of information to both directions: to the stakeholders and from the stakeholders. However, information is needed to be supplied from the project and the information is needed to be supplied to the project.
    • Change Control Approach – In the Edition of 2009, it was named Configuration Management Strategy – It is used for recognizing how the products of the projects will get acknowledged, controlled, and shielded. This document is developed by the Project Manager during the initiation of a Project process.
    • Configuration Item Record – It proposes a record that consists of the Product History, Version, Status, Details, and Variant of relationships between products/items, and Product copyholders or Product Owner.
    • End Project Report – It reviews the performance of the project against the actual PID (Project Initiation Documentation).
    • Daily Log – It is used for recording informal issues.
    • Lessons Log – It is a set of notes of lessons that are learned, and they turn vital to future projects.
    • Issues Register – It is an issue log containing notes regarding change requests, complaints, and problems that are sent by all the project members.
    • Quality Register – It comprises details of every planned quality control activity, date, and personnel involved.
    • Project Brief – It is utilized by the Project Board for authorizing the Initiation stage. During the initiating of a project process, the compounds of the Project Brief get extended and refined. The Project Brief grows for forming the PID (Project Initiation Documentation).
    • Risk Register – It is a record of recognized risks, such as opportunities and threats related to the project.

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    How PRINCE2® is different from PMP®

    PMP® or Project Management Professional might be observed as PRINCE2® 's competitor. Generally, Europe, Australia, and the UK opt for PRINCE2®, whereas the American countries and the US prefer PMP®. Again, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia do not possess any strong fondness for either PRINCE2® or PMP®. However, the vital thing is PMP® can be utilized along with PRINCE2®. Actually, PMP® and PRINCE2® both acknowledge the existence of each other in the advertising material and they try to place themselves in the form of complementary compounds; PRINCE2® in the form of a methodology and PMP® in the form of a standard that can be utilized alongside each other. Practically, practitioners and companies select one system, or both based on the environment of the project, costs, and geographical location.

    The certifications

    The certifications of PRINCE2® which is being awarded by AXELOS need the users to undergo a training course with an ATO (Accredited Training Organization). This is followed by an examination. However, the training and the exam can be conducted in person or online. AXELOS needs that an organization that is proposing certified PRINCE2® training ought to go through an accreditation method for validating the course’s quality content and delivery. When sanctioned, the organization can make use of the title “ATO”. A trainer ought to be re-accredited every three years and experience a surveillance check every year.

    Four levels of certification for PRINCE2

    The four levels of certifications needed for PRINCE2® are:

    • PRINCE2® 2017 Foundation – It confirms that the holder has got enough understanding and knowledge regarding the methods of PRINCE2® and is capable of working in a project management team that is working with this process.
    • PRINCE2® 2017 Practitioner – It confirms that the holder has got ample understanding of the process of applying PRINCE2® in a situation and will be able to begin applying the methods to the real projects.
    • PRINCE2® Agile Foundation – It confirms that the holder has got adequate understanding and knowledge about PRINCE2® methods and responsive way of working. It also explains how agile can get combined with PRINCE2®.
    • PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner – It approves that the holder can apply the project management values of PRINCE2® while combining the concepts of Agile, like Kanban and Scrum.

    After the completion of the above-mentioned certifications, AXELOS publishes a successful candidate register that can be checked on the web.


    Kevin D.Davis

    Blog Author

    Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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