PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology: A Bird’s Eye View

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PRINCE2 PM Methodology - TaskQue Blog

 

Gone are the days when project management used to have a few simple principles. In today’s project management scenario, those few principles have grown to be a lot more detailed and has grown into a vast universe of guidelines and methodologies. Various galaxies of methodologies, tools and techniques now form the structure of the project management cosmos. One of the methodologies that govern the project management landscape is PRINCE2.

If you’re not familiar with PRINCE2 then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will cover the fundamentals that will help you in building a basic understanding of what PRINCE2 entails.

Background

PRINCE2 is an acronym that has its roots in PRojects IN Controlled Environments. PRINCE2 is a structured project methodology. There is also a certification for PRINCE2, which accredits project managers after training. It was initially developed as a UK government standard for information systems that later evolved into a project management methodology. More and more private sector organizations are now using PRINCE2 methodology for effectively managing projects.

PRINCE2 Methodology

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology that can fit according to your project type and scale. Irrespective of the size and type of the project, PRINCE2 can easily adapt to different requirements. Unlike other project management methodologies, who follow a rigid and one-size-fits-all approach; PRINCE2 follows principles, themes and processes to ensure that it fits in every type of project environment.

7 Principles of PRINCE2

The seven key principles of PRINCE2 project management methodology are:

  1. Provide Continuous Business Justification
  2. Learn from Experience
  3. Define Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Manage In Stages
  5. Manage by Exception
  6. Focus on Products
  7. Customize to Suit the Project Environment

7 Themes of PRINCE2

The seven themes around which the PRINCE2 methodology revolves are:

  1. Business case
  2. Plans
  3. Organization
  4. Change
  5. Progress
  6. Quality
  7. Risk

7 Processes of PRINCE2

In PRINCE2, the management of the project is divided into seven identifiable processes. They are as follows:

  1. Starting a Project
  2. Initiating a Project
  3. Directing a Project
  4. Controlling a Stage
  5. Managing Product Delivery
  6. Staying inside the Stage Boundary
  7. Closing a Project

PRINCE2 Certifications

There are many levels of PRINCE2 certification that project managers will have to pass to become PRINCE2 certified professional. Here is a quick rundown of the different levels of PRINCE2 certifications.

  • PRINCE2 Foundation

The first certification level is Foundation Level. This certification is an indication that a certified professional is now ready to work with a project management team that is using PRINCE2 project management methodology. Students have to attempt 75 multiple choice questions in one hour. To pass the exam, you need to score 35 marks (50%).

  • PRINCE2 Practitioner

The next certification level is Practitioner Level. You must have passed the PRINCE2 Foundation exam before appearing for PRINCE2 Practitioner Level because it is the per-requisite for it. A PRINCE2 Practitioner certified professional is well versed in the art of implementing PRINCE2 methodology in different project environments. Students will have to answer eight questions on ten topics. To pass the PRINCE2 practitioner exam, you should score 55% or more. It is an open book exam so you can also use official PRINCE2 manuals and other material.

  • PRINCE2 Professional

If you have passed the PRINCE2 Practitioner Level, then you should focus on the next level i.e. PRINCE2 Professional Level. Students have to spend 60 hours in residential assessment center. The exam consists of group activities and is exercise based. Additionally, students will also have to solve a case study. After completing PRINCE2 Professional certification, you can easily manage a non-complex project and control all aspects of project life cycle easily.

PRINCE2 Foundation Exam Cost

The cost of these exams changes every year. For 2017, the cost of PRINCE2 foundation exam is 315 USD dollars (£253). The practitioner exam will cost you USD 433 (£349). For those who are re-registering for exams this year, the fee will be USD 340 (£273).

Comparison with PMP

PRINCE2 focuses on method of project management and detailed process-based approach while PMP covers broad spectrum of topics based on PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). The exam cost and nature is completely different. In PMP exam, you have to attempt 200 multiple-choice questions in four hours and passing marks are 62%. Depending on the level of PRINCE2 certification you are trying to pass, the number of questions, time for the exam and passing percentage are less than PMP. A UK based organization recognizes PRINCE2, while PMP is by PMI, which is a US based organization.

Application of PRINCE2 Methodology

The biggest advantage PRINCE2 project management has over other project management methodologies is its flexibility and adaptability. It can be applied on all types of projects whether small or big. Although, it is not easy to understand how the method and processes can help your projects, but if you can put the concepts learned into practice, then you can apply it on every project.

Conclusion

After reading this guide on PRINCE2 project management methodology, you might have acquired all the basic information you need. I’m sure this article must have helped you to build a better understanding about the basics of what PRINCE2 entails and will enable you to explore the said methodology even further. The guide covered everything from principles, themes, processes, applications to certification levels and cost of PRINCE2. In addition,we covered a brief comparison between PRINCE2 and PMP. Do not forget to share your feedback in comments section.

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