PRINCE2® Fact or Reality?

Insights | 08 March 2016

The reality of today’s marketplace is that having a PRINCE2® accreditation seem to be the pre-requisite to many project management roles, regardless of industry sector.

So once you have attained your PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification how do you make it a reality? Here are some ideas to get you started.

The figures speak for themselves – PRINCE2 is used extensively in more than 150 countries and its uptake increases each year. PRINCE2® is an actual project management methodology, in contrast to the PMI®’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) which is a framework from which a methodology can be developed.

But don’t expect ‘textbook’ PRINCE2 to be the reality…

Do I really need to use everything from PRINCE2®?
We all know that PRINCE2 is a method that is meant to be tailored, scaled and adapted. For PRINCE2 practitioners and organisations embracing this for the first time, this can be somewhat daunting. Remember, you do not need to use ‘everything’ from PRINCE2, but be aware of extreme tailoring so that your methodology is ‘PRINCE2 in name only’.

Where do I start?
As a PRINCE2 Practitioner you now have (drum roll…):

  • 26 management products (think templates or artefacts or documents)
  • 7 themes
  • 7 processes
  • 7 principles

…literally at your discretion!

Recognise that if you are entering a mature PRINCE2 environment, the hard work of tailoring will already be done. You may need to be prepared for different variations of the documents and terminology.

If done appropriately, PRINCE2 will have been tailored to external factors such as corporate standards (for example, risk policies in relation to your Risk Management Strategy) and project factors (for example, the complexity of the project itself).

If PRINCE2 is new to your organisation
If you are tailoring PRINCE2 in your organisation, it can be a project in its own right. Like any project you will need to determine ‘customer quality expectations’ and understand the ‘right’ way to apply PRINCE2 in your environment.

For your first project run in an organisation ‘new’ to PRINCE2, start small, concentrate on where it can add value to ‘pain’ areas of projects and incorporate learnings (yes, think that principle ‘Learn from experience’ as you were reminded by your trainer all throughout class).

Don’t forget to educate your Project Board
Remember unlike you, your project board members typically haven’t gone through PRINCE2 training. Have you considered providing them with a briefing on their roles and how PRINCE2 can facilitate successful projects? Do they understand the importance of their role in terms of decision-making, whilst empowering you as a project manager to get on with your job?

And last but not least remember…

“Tailoring does not consist of omitting elements of PRINCE2…If the practitioner omits an element, project management for the project is weakened.”

PRINCE2 is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.
PMI and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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