What is PRINCE2?

What is PRINCE2?

You might have been advised to do the PRINCE2 course, but you don’t know anything else about it apart from it’s name.


PRINCE2 stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. The PRINCE qualification replaced PROMPTII in 1989, becoming the UK standard for all government information systems projects. It was then re-launched in 1996 as a generic project management methodology for all UK government projects, this is where the 2 comes from. It is a project management method widely used around the world, it is used by people and organisations from different industries and sectors.

It is a flexible method that will guide you through the essentials for managing successful projects, regardless of the scale or type of project. It is based on seven principles, themes and processes. PRINCE2 can then be tailored to meet your specific project requirements.


Why was PRINCE Introduced?


PRINCE and PRINCE2 were introduced to address the common causes of project failure within the public sector. This was due to ongoing failures with projects due to companies’ inability to deliver projects on time, within budget and scope and to a high quality. 


How Does PRINCE2 Work?


PRINCE2 is a best practice framework, it guides managers with their delivery of projects so they can be on time and within budget. It divides projects into a start, middle and end. The main focus is on the delivery of products instead of carrying out activities. A PRINCE2 project must have a business case, and plan which should be reviewed to make sure the project is still viable.


Characteristics of a PRINCE2 Project:


  • Defined life-cycle
  • Defined and measurable business products
  • List of activities needed to achieve the business products
  • A specified amount of resources
  • Defined responsibilities shown within an organisational structure to help manage the project

Who are the Project Board?


The Project Board is made up of a customer, user representative and supplier. The project manager reports to this board with regular status reports, meaning no lengthy meetings. If there are any problems with the project, the project board will then decide how the project should proceed.


PRINCE2 can provide many benefits to your company projects, including:


  • Good communications between team members and stakeholders
  • Regular review of project progress
  • Flexibility with decisions
  • Management of risks and issues
  • In-built mechanism for continuous improvement
  • Adaptable to suit the needs of any project

By using the PRINCE2 method on your projects, it should enable you to save time and money while delivering your projects more efficiently.


How do I obtain my PRINCE2 Qualification?


To become a registered PRINCE2 practitioner, you will need to sit two exams- a Foundation exam and a Practitioner exam. Accredited training organisations, such as us here at Knowledge Tree deliver PRINCE2 training courses from qualified trainers with exams included. It is good to get familiar of the exam format and pick up some study tips before booking your PRINCE2 course:


The Foundation exam:


  • Multiple choice questions
  • 60 questions per exam
  • 33 marks out of 60 marks to pass: 55%
  • 1-hour duration
  • Closed book exam.

The Practitioner exam:


  • Objective testing
  • 68 questions per exam
  • 38 marks or more out of 68 to pass: 55%
  • Two-and-a-half-hour exam duration
  • Open book. Candidates are permitted only use the official printed hard copy of the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2017 Edition. The official manual can be annotated and tabulated but no sticky notes and loose papers containing additional notes are permitted.

Your Future Prospects


PRINCE2 is an attractive qualification on your CV and can often lead to job opportunities in project management roles. It is a great choice if you want to run successful projects and improve your future job prospects. If you are currently in a project role and want to progress to a management role the PRINCE2 qualification will certainly help with this. Maybe you can take this qualification within your current job role and you need help to get your boss on board to approve the training costs or you want a career change and project management is your goal. Either way this professional qualification will certainly help you stand out. If you are prepared to commit yourself to the training course and self-study for your exams this qualification is very achievable.