In the world of project management, one name stands head and shoulders above other project management methodologies – PRINCE2. It is a method that has been designed to give projects the greatest possible chance at being successful and has gained a massive following over the last decade.
The success of the PRINCE2 methodology is undeniable given the fact that the number of exam takers is still rising year-on-year. It is virtually a given that organisations looking to employ Project Managers list a PRINCE2 certification as a must-have on the CVs of those that will be considered for a position.
PRINCE2 Methodology Explained
The PRINCE2 methodology is fully tailorable to suit the needs of projects of any size and complexity. It follows a set of 7 Themes, 7 Principles and 7 Processes to ensure that the project remains viable and a truly PRINCE2 project.
The 7 PRINCE2 Principles are:
- Business Justification – Ensuring the project remains viable.
- Learn from Experience – lessons learned are recorded for future projects.
- Roles and Responsibilities – defines who will be responsible for certain work to be done.
- Manage by Stages – the project is divided into more manageable stages.
- Manage by Exception – ensures that agreed-upon boundaries are not exceeded.
- Focus on Products – clear and concise product descriptions.
- Tailoring – the project is tailored according to it’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.
The 7 PRINCE2 Themes are:
- Business Case – outlining why the project is necessary and is reviewed to ensure it remains viable.
- Organisation – defines project roles and responsibilities.
- Quality – ensures that the quality of the product produced is as was agreed.
- Risk – details any issues that may, or have arisen during the project.
- Plans – detailing the plans to be implemented at different stages during the project.
- Change – outlines any potential or approved changes to the baseline objectives.
- Progress – compares actual progress to planned progress.
The 7 PRINCE2 Processes are:
- Starting Up a Project – establishes the approach and objectives of the project.
- Initiating a Project – outlines project management strategies and controls.
- Directing a Project – shows the desires direction that the project should follow.
- Controlling a Stage – the day-to-day management of the current project stage.
- Managing Product Delivery – focusses on the creation of specialist products.
- Managing Stage Boundaries – planning of the next project stage to be undertaken.
- Closing a Project – closing the project in a controlled and orderly fashion.
The advantages of the PRINCE2 methodology
PRINCE2 is predictable
The fact that the PRINCE2 methodology breaks projects down into stages means that it can be closely monitored using a step-by-step method from the very beginning of the project up to it’s closure. This severely decreases the chances of the project spiralling out of control and and revision of this document keeps it on track towards it’s intended goal.
Utilising best practice
A project is only considered successful if it delivers the quality of product that was agreed upon at it’s conception. The best way for this to be realised is in using best practice – one of the factors that has kept the PRINCE2 methodology as popular as it is today.
The PRINCE2 methodology standardises every aspect of the project to ensure that there is no chance of miscommunication or misdirection. From the common PRINCE2 language, a standardised filing process to standardised documentation, it guarantees that everyone involved in the project knows what to do and when it should be done.
Time and cost effective
Given the above-mentioned standardisation, time and money is saved on training new employees that are already familiar with the PRINCE2 methodology. Less time is spent identifying risks as they will have been outlined at the beginning of the project and, if an unexpected risk arises, it can be dealt with timeously as project stages end and the next begins.
Time and money are also saved in that PRINCE2 encourages a minimum number of meetings – only to be undertaken at crucial stages of the project and to be kept brief and to the point.
Tried and tested
When the PRINCE2 methodology is revised, input from project management professionals from around the globe is considered, ensuring that it does not stray from lessons learned by those that are in the know in the project management industry.
PRINCE2 has reached the age of 30 years and is still going strong, proof that it remains a trusted method in over 50 countries across the globe. It is used in every sector of business and has been hailed as the project management methodology to which all other methods are measured.
PRINCE2 is free to use
Many other project management methods will charge a licensing fee in order for it to be used on projects. Not so with the PRINCE2 methodology. There are no licensing fees attached and the method can be freely used, negating the need for organisations to develop their own project management methodologies.
There are numerous other benefits to implementing the PRINCE2 methodology – for organisations and individuals alike. The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certifications are held in high regard and, upon gaining your certification, you will be well on your way to managing successful projects with PRINCE2.