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PRINCE2® is growing in popularity in Australian workplaces particularly in State and Federal Government ICT departments. In the UK it is without doubt the most widely used project management method. It is so popular in the UK because it was developed by the UK Cabinet Office and mandated for all government & related projects. It is also popular in Europe although there is little or no use of PRINCE2® in the USA. In Australia, the Queensland State Government has adapted the methodology as the mandated methodology for ICT Projects.
PRINCE2® is also the fastest growing methodology globally and, although Australia is coming off a fairly low base, it accounts for 7% of all certificates issued in 2011 – 12.
The PRINCE2® methodology comprises 7 distinct processes from project start-up to final close down and, once in place it provides a set of sequenced activities and templates that ensures all parts of project are managed to the required standard.
It is also non-specific and quite generic so it provides a universal method of managing projects that can be used on any project from any sector regardless of the type, scale, culture or geography.
If you’re going into an organisation that uses PRINCE2® then you really do need to do the Foundation program (at a minimum). This is because, like most other methodologies, PRINCE2® has developed not only the set processes but also, what is effectively, an entirely new language for managing projects, so, if you’ve not learnt the processes and can understand all the acronyms well, you just can’t function efficiently within it.
The 7 processes themselves are quite simple to follow and make sound business sense. It’s all the acronyms and purpose specific tools that come with it that can get you in a complete muddle if you’re not familiar with it and, it’s not something you can easily wing your way through. One of the biggest benefits of PRINCE2® is its governance and that means, there is quite literally a written procedure to be followed for every aspect related to planning and managing the project. So, if you don’t know what BAU, PID, WBS, PMO, MoR or SU, IP, DP, SB,CS, MP and CP stand for, well… you can see my point!
The success of PRINCE2® as an effective Project Management methodology is in its discipline. There are 7 principles in PRINCE2® These represent guiding obligations and good practice. PRINCE2® also encompasses 7 themes. The themes describe aspects of project management that must be continually attended to throughout the life of the project. There are also (as I’ve noted) 7 processes that provide the detail around the steps to be taken throughout the life of a PRINCE2® project. Through the principles, themes and processes, the PRINCE2® methodology is quite exacting and very prescriptive for every step in the Project Management lifecycle.
So what does this mean for you as a student of PRINCE2®?
Well, it means you must learn all principles, themes and processes along with the acronyms and templates used in the PRINCE2® methodology. It is step by step, rote learning that, once complete, will give you the tools and practices to be able to pick up a PRINCE2® project at any point in its lifecycle and continue its management.