AXELOS has announced a major update to the world-renowned PRINCE2 project management methodology after an AXELOS partner consultation survey in January of 2016 showed that over 75% of partners agreed that an update was necessary. This will be the first major update to the method since 2009 utilising feedback from not only organisations that have adopted PRINCE2, but also that of PRINCE2 Practitioners.
AXELOS is placing heavy emphasis on the fact that this will not be an overhaul of the method, but rather an evolutionary update that will shed new light on the methodology and build on the existing value of PRINCE2 and the investment made by organisations in adopting the PRINCE2 methodology.
The updated English PRINCE2 manual will be available for pre-order from March 2017 with the actual launch of the manual set for May. Translation of the manual to Dutch, German, Polish, French, Danish, Norwegian and Italian is set to start in the last quarter of 2017. The updated Foundation and Practitioner exams will be made available from mid-2017.
Reasons for the 2017 update
Using feedback from the PRINCE2 community worldwide, it has become apparent that the business and project management world has changed since the 2009 PRINCE2 update, with the business skills and professionalism of Project Managers becoming much broader and more widely adopted. The 2017 update has taken these factors into account in order to remain relevant across a wide scope of business sectors.
It has been noted that nearly 50% of PRINCE2 Practitioners do not hail from a project management background. The update aims to cater to these individuals as well as seasoned project management professionals.
There is an increasing need in organisations for greater flexibility and creativity within their projects as is evidenced by the fact that 89% of respondents agreed that these factors need to be addressed. This will also ensure that less credence is given to the misconception that PRINCE2 is a waterfall approach to project management.
What is new in PRINCE2 2017?
- Both the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams will be updated.
- The official PRINCE2 manual will undergo an update.
- There will be a stronger focus on the tailoring aspect of PRINCE2, becoming a running theme throughout the training.
- The link between the Themes and Principles of the methodology are more closely addressed, while still emphasising the importance of best practice, roles and responsibilities and the 7 Themes, 7 Processes and 7 Principles of PRINCE2.
- The basic core factors that ensure that a project remains truly PRINCE2 will enjoy more coverage.
- The practical application of training will be brought to the fore.
- Configuration management will no longer feature in the training.
PRINCE2 Foundation exam changes
- The PRINCE2 Foundation exam will be leaner and focus more prominently on the core of PRINCE2.
- Tailoring will be added to the exam.
- There will be a greater emphasis on various parts of the Foundation syllabus, such as the PRINCE2 Principles and their link to PRINCE2 Themes.
- The exam will now consist of 60 questions, rather than 75.
- The number of negative questions has been reduced.
PRINCE2 Practitioner exam changes
- During the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam, all parts of the methodology will be applicable.
- As with the Foundation exam, there will be a greater focus on a larger part of the syllabus such as tailoring and Principles.
- The exam will include fewer questions concerning management products.
- Stronger focus is given to the ability to practically apply the method and the practitioner’s ability to operate in a project environment.
- The need for additional information has been reduced.
- Multiple response, assertion and reason questions have been completely removed.
- The exam will now consist of 75 questions as opposed to the old format which held 80 questions.
Those that currently hold a PRINCE2 Practitioner certificate will still enjoy certification for 5 years from the date that the certification was acquired. Certifications that are gained after the launch of the update will, however, only be valid for 3 years from the date of certification.
PRINCE2 will no longer make use of a re-registration exam but will instead encourage practitioners to use their AXELOS membership to remain current. This can be done by remaining registered with AXELOS and gaining 45 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points over the 3 years of certification validity. Failing the former, holders of the Practitioner certification can also pass the full Practitioner exam to remain certified.
Period of transition
Students will still have the option of training on either the current version of PRINCE2 or the updated PRINCE2 2017 version until the end of 2017. All Foundation and Practitioner training and exams will, however, be based on the 2017 update from 1 January 2018.
PRINCE2 Agile training and exams will not be affected by the 2017 update of PRINCE2 until further notice.
It is clear to see that AXELOS maintains a strong focus on continually improving the PRINCE2 methodology and ensuring that it does not become redundant, but rather evolving with the changing nature of project management and the need for Project Managers to remain abreast with those changes. The 2017 update is sure to provide a refreshing, new perspective of a methodology that has proven its efficacy and longevity as it continues to strive towards delivering projects timeously and successfully.
AXELOS have compiled an extensive FAQ document which can be downloaded for further reading.