How to get your boss on board for PRINCE2 Certification [Free Business Case Template]
PRINCE2 qualifications are expensive, no doubt about, but it provides massive value when used correctly and can save millions on large projects. The big question is…how do you get your boss or company to pay for it?
You may have done your research on the benefits of doing a PRINCE2 qualification to help in your current job and improve your future job prospects, but the final step is to get your boss onboard to approve the funding for the training. Getting money for training can be difficult, especially in a downturn in the economy, but this is the most important time to get up-skilled as you may be asked to do more in your current role and if you're applying for a promotion then there could be increased competition from outside your company due to redundancies elsewhere.
Get around tight training budgets
Training budgets can be slim for a lot of companies, so suggesting a training course you want to attend to your boss may result in an unenthusiastic response. So, it’s important to find out all the benefits of a training course to you and your company and present these findings to your boss so they can make an informed decision and you can get them onboard. The benefits need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound), for example if you say "I think this course will be really good for the business and it doesn't cost much", you're probably not going to get much of a response from your boss, but if you phrase it like: "I think PRINCE2 would be a great qualification for my role and for the business, because it will help us structure this new client project more efficiently and it will only take a week for me to complete. I can share the method with the rest of the team when I return and it will enable us to plan better so we don't overspend like last time for the client, by managing risks and issues as they arise, this will result in an approximate cost saving of 10% of the budget." This is a very clear statement outlining that the request is specific and achievable, measurable through cost savings in the budget and also timebound as you have said it only lasts a week.
PRINCE2 qualification benefits must be tangible and realistic for your boss
Management are usually busy, so they will want clear and concise facts on your PRINCE2 training, you need to give them every reason to help them say yes, backed up by a solid business case.
Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is the most important thing to your boss when faced with making a spending decision. What’s in it for the business? How will this help the business reach it’s goals and increase profitability? How will this help you as an individual in your job? Does this qualification align with your agreed work goals for the year?
You may be able to easily measure ROI. For example, with a strong, highly qualified team that follows a best practice method such as PRINCE2, you could charge more or win more business if you’re seen to be expert PMs in your industry, easily measurable by a 10% increase in sales volume due to upskilling. Equally, if your team or department is known to always run over budget on projects due to poor organisation and communication then getting everyone ‘speaking the same language’ with a qualification like PRINCE2 could be invaluable, leading to a 25% decrease in costs due to better organisation and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
ROI may not always be clear cut, as the strategic objectives of the business may not be entirely profit driven or easily measured, especially if you are government funded or work in the charity sector. It may be that your company has an objective to have a neutral carbon footprint within five years. If you complete a PRINCE2 course and are then able to lead an internal project to help with this objective this could be a big selling point for your boss. You aren’t suggesting that you will increase revenue by 10% by doing this course, or that you will be more efficient and save your company £5,000 on the next project, but you are helping the business achieve its strategic objectives, which results in ROI for the company.
Take action: Populate the above word document detailing the course you want to attend, the dates, the price and the ROI for the business. This will be a simple business case outlining all the key facts for your boss and how it aligns with your company’s strategic objectives or your personal objectives. Keep it short and sweet so they don’t get lost in the detail.
Here are some of the benefits of PRINCE2 to add to your simple business case, see if you can spot a problem they may solve in your company and tailor them accordingly:
- Accountability is key in PRINCE2. Are there defined roles and responsibilities on your project teams? Does everyone know what they’re supposed to be doing, or is it very disorganised?
PRINCE2 puts structure around a project by defining clear roles and responsibilities. The project board has overall responsibility for the continuation and viability of the project, the project manager looks after the day to day running of the project, the team managers are responsible for delivering a discrete piece of work e.g. building a software application.
- PRINCE2 is adaptable to suit the needs of every project. Do you have big and small projects running within your company? Projects that are simple or complex?
PRINCE2 is flexible and adaptable in numerous ways. As a result, it is increasingly being used for projects that are of any scale. This means no matter how big or small, how simple or complex a project is within your company, the PRINCE2 method can be adapted to suit each one of them. This one size fits all benefit can be a great solution to all your future project needs.
- PRINCE2 has an in-built mechanism for continued improvement. Does your company learn from their mistakes when it comes to working on projects? Do they identify where they went wrong so they can avoid these mistakes next time?
We all know it’s good to learn from our mistakes. Learning from our mistakes allows us to improve and make things better. With the PRINCE2 method it encourages continued improvement, by reporting lessons learned and basing all your planning upon the proper evaluation and analysis of previous lessons it allows your company to continuously improve.
- PRINCE2 can work with other methods such as Agile. Does your company currently use Agile?
PRINCE2 works well with the Agile method you may be using on your company software projects. PRINCE2 provides a framework for project managers to track the construction and delivery of products against a plan. The Agile method is about constructing software in a more responsive, customer-focused way, with an emphasis on built-in quality. The beauty is you can use PRINCE2 to manage the project and your Agile methods to write the software.
- Key dates are outlined so management know when they need to get involved. Is your company clear on when important steps are happening within their projects? Do management know when they must step in and get involved?
Key dates are so important to the progress of a successful project. Outlining these from the start of a project gives everyone a focus and milestones to work towards. This planning is an important step in the success of your company projects.
- PRINCE2 can be applied to any industry. Is your company looking for a project management strategy they can use no matter what industry they are in?
PRINCE2 can be used within any type of industry, big or small. This versatile approach has been used successfully by many different industries that have easily adapted the methodology to suit their needs and business processes.
- No lengthy meetings as project progress is shared through reports. Is your time taken up by endless meetings that sometimes get you nowhere? Are you getting too many meeting requests?
The PRINCE2 method advises on no lengthy meetings which are a great way to use your time more efficiently. Instead it advises on progress reports which are a great tool to document ongoing progress and issues and allows all employees to refer to when needed.