PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a very popular method for effective Project Management.
PROJECT MANAGEMENTWhile PRINCE2 is one way of managing Projects, it is worthwhile defining what exactly a project is and why it needs management in the first place!
A project is specific task/role that needs to be completed to meet certain objectives. In a managed project, you would have a defined beginning and end and certain "check points" throughout the process itself to ensure that you were on target to meet your overall objectives.
These checkpoints are referred to as "gates" and at each gate, you would have certain deliverable and targets to check your progress against. By managing a project in this fashion, you are able to ensure that you stay on track and that any issues or concerns are identified and dealt with at an early stage of the process versus waiting till the end.
The defined "end" to a project is necessary as it creates a clear distinction between business as usual and the new objective that you are trying to accomplish.
WHERE DID PRINCE2 COME FROM?
PRINCE2 is the standard that is used extensively throughout the UK government and by millions of organizations world wide. PRINCE was established in 1989 and was superseded by PRINCE2 in 1996. Similar to ITIL, PRINCE2 provides Project Managers - regardless of the industry or sector - with a common language and terminology. It also provides a "best practices" framework for project management and ensures that - if done correctly - all relevant parties are kept informed and appraised of the progress of a project from start to finish. A few of the key features of PRINCE2 are:
- A defined structure for the Project Management Team
- Product based planning with a clear focus on Business and Customer needs
- A staged process allowing the project to be divided into manageable chunks
QUALIFYING AS A PRINCE2 PROJECT MANAGER
There are two primary levels to the qualifications available for PRINCE2.
- PRINCE2 Foundation - The first level of qualification, the Foundation, provides the basics and terminology used in PRINCE2. Foundation training is appropriate for those looking to make a start in Project Management or working towards a supporting role in Project Management.
- PRINCE2 Practitioner - Unlike some other technical certifications, PRINCE2 only has the 2 levels instead of a whole tree. The Practitioner level is the highest qualification and is appropriate to those looking to manage Projects in a PRINCE2 environment.