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PRINCE2: Good for Projects and Good for the Organisation

Embed PRINCE2, and it can help deliver successful projects as well as deliver success to your organisation. Here are some of the ways it can help.

1. Avoid Scope Creep. The bane of many a project manager, this can scupper anything from a multi-million-pound shopping centre construction to a grandly-designed dream home. You know the kind of thing, you start with a few tweaks and before you know it you’re engaged in gold-plated changes. At one time, University of Western Australia Library projects were poorly scoped then it discovered PRINCE2 and now both complex and simple projects were scoped and the University is reaping the benefits.

2. Watch those Risks. OK, it’s a tricky task but it’s got to be done if a project’s to have any chance of success as evidence shows. So use PRINCE2 to identify the context and risks, estimate and evaluate them, plan for them, communicate them to relevant people and then control them through actions. VocaLink knows you can’t engineer out all risk but as a specialist payments partner to banks, their corporate customers and government departments, and therefore involved in everything from ATMs to electronic payments, it’s no wonder that it plans extensively for them.

3. Improve People Performance. Everyone involved in a project needs a guiding hand now and then and PRINCE2 delivers that at every level. For example, it provides guidance for project board members and senior stakeholders and it facilitates the management of the reasonable – and not so reasonable – expectations of all stakeholders. The Australian Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) feels that PRINCE2’s strong governance principles have enabled more effective engagement of stakeholders in the process of project approval and management.

4. Embrace Consistency. Imagine that you work in an organisation where you and your fellow project managers use your own project management approach. Now, what happens if someone leaves? How easily can project managers move from one project to another? What happens if a project manager needs to manage a group of projects? What happens to communication if you’re all using different terminology? PRINCE2 fosters standardisation and predictability within project management, a benefit not to be sniffed at in unstable economic times.

5. Tailor it to Fit You. PRINCE2 allows you to tailor it to suit project environment, scale, complexity, anything you want and companies know this. Transpower spent three months tailoring PRINCE2 to suit its business. Environment Canada’s CIO and former NATO man implemented PRINCE2 knowing that it had been successfully used in both the private and public sectors.

6. Recruit the Best. Projects are only as good as the people who run them. Right now you’re spoilt for choice, what with the global pool - or rather ocean - of PRINCE2 professionals and today’s economic crisis. So to get the best, make the UK’s de-facto standard your baseline qualification, then stipulate variables like experience, location and industry, before sitting back and waiting for the applications to roll in. The Australian DPS is able to engage more easily experienced project officers and project managers with PRINCE2 qualifications from throughout the Public Service and industry.

7. Retain Good Employees. Once you’ve got great staff you want to hold on to them. So use PRINCE2 to map out a career path for them, laying out the experience and qualifications that will take them to the top. For example, after certification, employees can improve knowledge, skills and career prospects by following it up with APMP for PRINCE2 Practitioners and then progressing to qualifications such as Managing Successful Programmes.

8. Use Cost-effective Training. At a time when training firms are competing on everything from product and delivery to support, you’re calling the shots; so get the best! ILX offers a comprehensive package. First, there’s any number of ways to learn including e-learning, mobile learning, live virtual classroom, blended learning and classroom learning. Then there’s loads of assistance with free downloads, games, a forum, Twitter , Facebook, a blog as well as ILX Connect to guide companies through the training process and Support to help individuals get the most from training. Remember, though, when you’re organising training, it’s all about matching the right individual to the right role.

9. Create a Project Management Culture. How successful are organisations where everyone doesn’t understand or share values and practices and where these are not aligned with strategic objectives? What happens if project management is seen as something that project managers do and not something that involves everyone in the organisation? Exactly. PRINCE2 can help by giving staff an appreciation of how your organisation runs projects so you’re all pulling together as a team. HR and training managers can play their role by embedding best practices in the business.

10. Employ a Methodology Developed by You. Thanks to expert input from users like you, from academics and standards bodies PRINCE2 is an evolving, organic methodology that fits the economic times it operates in. At the same time the product is well supported through its owners the OGC which has a responsibility for its management and updates, through APMG which handles the accreditation and certification of organisations, processes and people and through publisher TSO.

Useful Links

  • For a complete picture of PRINCE2 and what it can do, head to the Office of Government Commerce.
  • The APMG provides a slew of useful information about PRINCE2 accredited training options.
  • TSO publishes a range of material for PRINCE2.
  • KPMG NZ Project management survey 2010 offers an overview of the New Zealand scene from the point of view of experience project management practitioners.
  • University of Western Australia Library, VocaLink, Australian Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS), Transpower and Environment Canada have all reaped the benefits of using PRINCE2.
  • The PRINCE2 e-learning experience may be the perfect option for those with an eye for cost-effective, rich and collaborative training that includes a blog, a forum and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Head over to for an overview of everything we offer.