Managing Projects like a Pro with Prince2

  • Prince2 project management
  • Published by: André Hammer on Mar 01, 2024

Are you ready to enhance your project management skills? Prince2 is here to help.

It's a structured approach that boosts your efficiency and effectiveness in managing projects. With Prince2, you'll have the confidence to handle complex projects successfully. Stay tuned to learn how Prince2 can elevate your project management skills to a professional level.

Overview of Prince2

Prince2 is a project management method and certification course. It's based on seven principles that guide project management practices. These principles focus on:

  • Business justification
  • Continuous learning
  • Defined roles and responsibilities within a project environment

By following these principles, practitioners ensure their projects are successful. They also deliver quality management products. Prince2 integrates seamlessly into project management practices. It provides a flexible framework for managing projects of varying complexity and size. Compared to PMP methodology, Prince2 places a stronger emphasis on tailoring the method to suit each project's needs. PMP, on the other hand, follows a more standardized approach. Understanding these differences is important for project managers looking to enhance their knowledge and advance their careers in project management.

History of Prince2

Prince2 is a project management method. It has evolved over time to become a widely recognized framework in the project management industry. Originally, it was developed by the UK government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). Prince2 has grown in popularity due to its structured approach in managing projects of varying sizes and complexity.

Key milestones in its history include:

  • The establishment of AXELOS Limited as the official owner of the method.
  • The introduction of the Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner courses.
  • Recognition as a standard for project management by organizations such as APMG International and IPMA.

The history of Prince2 has influenced its current application by providing project managers with a flexible and adaptable framework that supports successful project delivery. By offering training courses, online resources, and certification pathways, Prince2 has become a valuable asset for individuals looking to advance their careers in project management.

Advantages of Using Prince2

Prince2 offers several advantages in project management:

  • It helps individuals understand project environments and handle projects of different sizes.
  • A Prince2 course and certification give practical knowledge to excel in project management.
  • This framework, a UK government standard, focuses on quality review techniques.
  • It ensures clear roles and responsibilities for project team members.
  • Prince2, with the support of a tutor, helps individuals navigate change management and enhance project management skills.
  • It collaborates with Agile project management for successful career opportunities.

Understanding Prince2 Principles

Seven Principles of Prince2

Continued Business Justification is a fundamental principle in Prince2 project management. It ensures that projects stay aligned with the organization's objectives throughout their lifecycle. Learning from Experience is also crucial in Prince2. It allows future projects to learn from past successes and failures, improving efficiency and effectiveness. Tailoring to Suit the Project Environment is essential in Prince2. It enables the customization of methodologies to fit the specific needs, size, and complexity of each project, leading to successful outcomes.

Practitioners enhance their knowledge and skills by following these principles. They become successful project managers, gaining certification and support from Prince2 courses. Qualified tutors provide guidance, helping individuals gain hands-on experience in applying the Prince2 methodology. This paves the way for a rewarding career in project management.

Continued Business Justification

Prince2 project management focuses on Continued Business Justification. This means ensuring the project aligns with overall business objectives and strategy. By understanding how the project contributes to the organization's goals, it ensures long-term success is sustained. Having evidence and data that support the ongoing viability of the project is crucial. This demonstrates its ability to deliver benefits and value to the organization. Any changes, whether external or internal, that could affect business justification must be recognised and dealt with in the project plan. Consistently evaluating business alignment and supporting data helps Prince2 practitioners keep a clear focus. This focus is on delivering successful projects that bring value to the organization.

Learn from Experience

Individuals and teams in Prince2 project management can benefit greatly from the concept of "Learn from Experience." By reflecting on past projects, whether through a Prince2 course or practical project work, valuable insights can be gained. One practical strategy is to conduct a quality review technique. The team assesses the successes and failures of previous projects to identify areas for improvement. This method allows for a continuous learning process within the Prince2 method.

Having a knowledgeable advisor or tutor who can provide support and guidance based on their own project management experience is invaluable. By leveraging past experiences and incorporating agile project management principles, practitioners can navigate the complexities of various project environments more effectively.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Project management with Prince2 methodology is effective when key roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. These roles include the Project Manager, who oversees the project, the Team Manager, responsible for management products delivery, and the Project Board, providing direction and support.

Clear role definition enhances communication and accountability, leading to successful project outcomes. Failure to define roles can cause confusion, delays, and project failure. For instance, unclear Team Manager duties can lead to task oversight and project delivery delays, scope creep, budget overruns, and reduced stakeholder satisfaction.

Manage by Stages

"Manage by Stages" in Prince2 project management is a key principle. It breaks down the project into manageable phases. This helps project managers focus on one stage at a time. It ensures better control, monitoring, and evaluation of progress. Dividing the project into stages allows stakeholders to review and reassess its viability before moving to the next phase. This reduces risks and increases the likelihood of project success. For instance, in a large construction project, stages like foundation, structure, and finishing enhance quality review and flexibility to unexpected changes. Prince2 certification courses stress the importance of "Manage by Stages" to prepare project managers to apply this approach effectively.

Manage by Exception

"Manage by Exception" in Prince2 project management helps in ensuring that the project stays on track and within the defined tolerances. It empowers project managers to escalate issues to higher authorities only when necessary, based on pre-set limits. This approach allows managers to focus on strategic decision-making and problem-solving, rather than every minor detail.

The key benefits include improved efficiency, quicker decision-making, increased accountability among team members, and clearer communication channels within the project environment.

Project managers can implement this approach by:

  • Setting clear boundaries for decision-making
  • Providing adequate training and support to team members
  • Regularly reviewing management products to meet defined tolerances.

This practice leads to successful project outcomes and a more streamlined project management methodology.

Focus on Products

The Prince2 framework focuses on "Focus on Products" in project management. It lists key management products crucial for project success. These products include the Business Case, Risk Register, Quality Register, and Project Plan. Each product is important for successful project delivery. They provide a structured approach to managing complexity, size, and change within the project environment.

For example:

  • The Business Case justifies the project.
  • The Risk Register helps identify and mitigate risks.

By taking a Prince2 course, practitioners learn to use these products effectively. This prepares them for successful project management careers.

Prince2 is a standard methodology endorsed by the UK Government. It is a recognised qualification that improves job prospects and expertise for project managers. Through courses with recognised partners like Axelos Limited or APMG International, individuals can attain qualifications such as Prince2 Practitioner or Foundation. This supports their project management careers.

Tailor to Suit the Project Environment

Adapting project management for different projects means considering factors like size, complexity, and industry. For example, a Prince2 certified practitioner might adjust their approach for agile projects to ensure success. Understanding the project's specific needs helps tailor practices to meet UK government standards. Knowledge of change management is useful for adapting management products to suit each project's unique features.

Taking a Prince2 course can provide certification and expertise to excel in project management. With guidance from a tutor or online course, individuals can gain the skills to apply Prince2 principles across various projects and progress in their project management career.

Prince2 Integration in Project Management

Prince2 is a structured framework for managing projects. Completing a Prince2 course gives individuals the knowledge and qualification to apply this method to their projects.

Prince2 provides a clear methodology for project management, including quality review techniques and change management practices. It differs from Agile by focusing on project management products in a more traditional approach.

The certification is offered by Axelos Limited and supports practitioners in handling project complexities and sizes, making it a valuable asset in the project environment.

Integrating Prince2 into projects can lead to successful outcomes and create more career opportunities for project managers.

Managing Projects with Prince2 Techniques

Quality Review Technique

The Quality Review Technique is a method that can improve project outcomes in Prince2. It involves evaluating project management products systematically at different project stages.

By conducting reviews early, teams can spot and address issues promptly. This ensures that the final project deliverables meet the necessary standards.

To implement this technique effectively, it is important to:

  • Define clear review criteria,
  • Involve relevant stakeholders in the review process, and
  • Document findings for later reference.

Using this approach not only maintains quality but also encourages continuous improvement and learning within the project team.

Roadmap Techniques for Project Management

Roadmap techniques in project management, like those from a Prince2 course, offer a structured way to plan and execute projects. One important thing to keep in mind when using these techniques is understanding the specific project needs.

Prince2 differs from other methods by focusing on management products and quality review techniques. This helps ensure successful delivery of projects, no matter how big or complex they are.

Studying with a qualified Prince2 practitioner provides individuals with the knowledge and certification to advance in their project management career. Courses like Agile Project Management offer support to adapt to changes in the project environment.

Combining Prince2 methods with Agile practices allows project managers to navigate today's information systems confidently. This flexible learning framework, recognised as a UK government standard, is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited.

Differences between Prince2 and PMP

Prince2 and PMP have different ways of managing projects. Prince2 follows a structured approach and clear documentation process, while PMP uses a wider range of tools for project success.

To get certified in Prince2, candidates must pass two exams. For PMP, project management experience and education are necessary.

Prince2 is well-known in the UK and Europe, focusing on government projects. PMP, on the other hand, is globally recognised and used in many industries.

Choosing between Prince2 and PMP depends on project needs, size, complexity, and career objectives.

Prince2 Project Management Products

Six Aspects of Prince2 Management Products

The Prince2 Management Products consist of six aspects:

  • Plans
  • Quality Register
  • Risk Register
  • Issue Register
  • Quality review technique
  • Benefits Management Approach

Each aspect is important for project success. For example, the Benefits Management Approach ensures that project outcomes meet business goals by delivering measurable benefits to stakeholders.

The Risk Register and Issue Register are key tools for managing project risks effectively. They help project managers identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks that could impact project success.

By using these management products in the Prince2 framework, project managers can handle the complexity and size of projects for successful outcomes. The Quality review technique also helps maintain high standards of deliverables, enhancing overall project quality.

Benefits Management Approach

The Benefits Management Approach in Prince2 is important for project success. By clearly defining benefits at the start, the approach ensures projects are in line with objectives and provide real value. The Business Case is a crucial part of this approach. It explains why the project is needed and what benefits are expected. It guides decisions and ensures resources are used well throughout the project. Prince2's Benefits Management Approach helps to identify, track, and achieve project benefits. This involves setting success measures, tracking progress, and assessing the impact of project results.

Business Case

A well-defined business case in Prince2 project management is crucial for ensuring project success. The business case outlines the reasons for the project and the expected benefits, costs, and risks associated with it. By clearly defining these aspects, it helps project managers and stakeholders understand the rationale behind the project, ensuring alignment with the organization's strategic objectives. This document also serves as a reference point throughout the project, helping to evaluate whether the project is still viable and delivering the anticipated benefits.

Without a robust business case, projects can easily veer off track, leading to wasted resources and failed outcomes. In agile project management, the business case provides a framework for making decisions based on the project's objectives and constraints. Through proper training and certification, such as the Prince2 practitioner qualification, project managers can enhance their understanding of the importance of the business case in project success.

By following the Prince2 standard and using quality review techniques, project managers can ensure that their projects are effectively monitored and controlled, leading to successful outcomes.

Quality Register

A Quality Register in Prince2 project management keeps track of all quality-related details for a project. It documents quality criteria, expectations, and review techniques.

This helps project teams maintain quality standards throughout the project lifecycle. It also acts as a reference point for project managers, team members, and stakeholders to monitor quality progress.

The Quality Register follows Prince2 principles and offers a structured approach to quality management. It ensures that quality is a priority from the project's start.

Having all quality information in one place allows teams to quickly spot any quality issues and fix them. This leads to successful projects that meet quality standards.

Moreover, the Quality Register complies with the UK government's project management standard, making it a valuable tool for project managers across industries.

Risk Register

When looking at the Risk Register in the Prince2 project management framework, it's important to spot potential risks that could affect a project. Risks like going over budget, delays in deliverables, or not having enough resources should all go into the Risk Register to deal with them proactively. Assessing and ranking risks in the Risk Register should be based on how likely they are to happen and the impact they could have. By doing this, project managers can focus on tackling high-risk issues first, reducing their possible impact on the project. To effectively handle and lessen the impact of risks listed in the Risk Register, it's necessary to come up with mitigation strategies. These strategies could involve making backup plans, allocating more resources, or using quality review methods to keep an eye on and control potential risks.

Issue Register

The Issue Register in Prince2 project management is a central repository. It logs, tracks, and manages problems, risks, and concerns in a project. This tool helps project managers document issues, assign ownership, and monitor progress. It ensures issues are addressed in an organized way to prevent them from becoming bigger problems. With agile project management integrated into Prince2, the Issue Register becomes more important. It handles the dynamic nature of projects effectively. A well-maintained Issue Register contributes to project success. It promotes proactive problem-solving, effective communication, and timely decision-making. These are critical for achieving project objectives and delivering quality outcomes.

Change Register

The Change Register in Prince2 project management keeps track of all requested changes. It notes how they affect the project's scope, schedule, and budget. This document acts as a central place for change requests. It gives a clear view of proposed changes and their status in the project. By recording change requests in the Change Register, project managers can monitor how changes impact the project's goals and outcomes. This tool helps all stakeholders stay informed about potential changes. It enables informed decision-making on which changes to approve. Using the Change Register, project teams can manage the project's scope and decide on changes wisely. Moreover, the Change Register supports quality review by managing changes systematically. This ensures changes match the project's goals and needs.

Prince2 Project Management Editions

The 2017 edition of Prince2 Project Management introduced updates and changes. It now includes agile project management concepts to adapt to evolving project environments.

One advantage of using Prince2 Project Management Editions is its flexible framework. It can be tailored for projects of any size or complexity. Compared to other methodologies, Prince2 is a trusted UK government standard widely recognized for its quality review techniques that ensure successful project delivery.

Undertaking a Prince2 course and gaining certification can enhance career prospects for project managers. The certification, issued by Axelos Limited in partnership with APMG International, provides practitioners with the necessary knowledge and support to excel in their roles.

Prince2 Project Management Editions also focus on change management practices, making it a valuable asset in the project management field.

2017 Version Updates

The 2017 version updates of Prince2 made significant changes to the project management standard. These changes involved a greater focus on tailoring the methodology to suit specific project needs and complexity. Agile principles were also integrated for a more flexible approach. Qualifications were adjusted, adding practitioner-level certifications for in-depth study and understanding. These updates improved the adaptability of Prince2 in different project environments and sizes. The 2017 version updates offered project managers a more comprehensive framework for effective change management and quality review techniques. These changes have led to a more successful and practical application of Prince2 in project management.

Criticism of Prince2

Critics often say that Prince2 has a rigid structure. They feel it hinders flexibility in project management. Some argue that the set framework and defined processes don't align well with agile approaches. These critics think Prince2, certified by Axelos Limited, doesn't allow for tailoring project methods to meet unique project needs.

Prince2's focus on management products and stage boundaries can be restrictive. This is especially true in dynamic project environments that require quick adjustments. While a Prince2 qualification is valued in the job market, some critics believe it may not always be the best fit. They point out that its detailed guidelines and quality review technique can be limiting.

The Prince2 course is a UK government standard and can benefit project managers seeking a structured approach. However, its inflexibility may not suit all project scenarios.

Over to you

Learn how to manage projects with Prince2 methodology. Prince2 breaks projects into stages with clear deliverables. This ensures successful project outcomes. The structured approach and focus on improvement help professionals handle projects effectively.


Readynez offers a 4-day Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification.

Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like a chat about your opportunity with the Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner certification and how you best achieve it. 


What is Prince2 and how does it help with project management?

Prince2 is a structured project management methodology that helps define roles, responsibilities, and stages of a project. It ensures clear communication, risk management, and deliverables tracking. For example, Prince2 breaks projects into manageable stages such as initiation, planning, execution, and closure for better control and success.

What are the key principles of Prince2 methodology?

The key principles of Prince2 methodology include continued business justification, learn from experience, defined roles and responsibilities, manage by stages, manage by exception, focus on products, tailor to suit the project environment. For example, each project must have a valid business reason to justify it.

How can Prince2 help in managing risks and changes in a project?

Prince2 helps in managing risks and changes in a project by providing a structured approach with defined processes for risk identification, assessment, and response planning. This ensures potential risks are proactively managed, and changes are appropriately controlled to minimise disruption to the project.

What are the key roles and responsibilities in a Prince2 project team?

Key roles in a Prince2 project team include Project Manager overseeing project delivery, Team Manager managing team tasks, Business Analyst gathering requirements, and Quality Manager ensuring project standards. Responsibilities include maintaining project documentation, tracking progress, and managing risks effectively.

How can one become certified in Prince2 project management?

One can become certified in Prince2 project management by taking the official Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner exams, which can be done through training providers such as AXELOS.

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