Managing Successful Projects with Prince2 (Study Pack)

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Joined: Wed 08 Sep 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Westminster - London

Because this pack of books is bought specifically to obtain a professional qualification I will compare its qualification with the other qualifications too. These are obviously just my opinion and readers of this report should check out each of the organisation for themselves and make up their own minds as to the validity of what I am saying.

Having started off by studying the 2005 edition, which I found to have a pure project management 'system' perspective with a clear structure that to some extent lent itself to rote learning. The new 2009 edition has moved away from its pure base to accommodate the softer issues surrounding project management that is more inline with the books provided by the PMI, AMP and the Australian/New Zeeland associations publications. I am not totally sure if this is a good or bad thing because prior to this change, the prince2 examination focused on whether or not you could understand and use the methodology and to some extent was not so concerned with other aspects of project management education and practice which could be found in a multitude of other books.

Having studied all of the books associated with the professional bodies outlined above, I believe with a few minor reservations that the Prince2 system is far superior than the other courses and their books. However, one or two more dumbing down revisions in the same direction as the other methodologies will totally devalue this qualification to.

Prince2 by its own definition suggest that it is targeted to the projectized organisation, though its scalability may uncomfortably suggest that it could be downgraded and used in functional organisations along with weak and strong matrix organisations too.

The idea presented by the PMI in the PMBOK book (page 28) suggest that qualified project managers could be reduced to, on the one hand a project executer/administrator in a functional organisation rising marginally in authority to a project coordinator in a strong matrix company. This situation must be absolutely repugnant to any self respecting project manager who has not only put in an inordinate amount of time dedicated to study but also considerable expense in obtaining his or her professional qualification. I would also suggest that this innate weakness in the PMI qualifications methedology mantra whereby a project manager can have all the responsibility for a project with little or no authority to make sure that it delivers its products on time, within cost and within the scope determined by the customer while only using persuasion power is ludicrous. Responsibility without authority is weakness and weakness leads having the 'Pee' taken out of you and ultimate faliur. No wonder only 33% of projects come in on time, budget and cost.

Maybe, the attitude of firms is signalling their total disregard towards the validity of the PMI qualification.

I do like the whole idea of the Prince2 philosophy that without any arguments dictates to the host company that for the project to be deemed a Prince2 project the project manager must be considered a valued 'Manager' in his or her own right within the organisation and reports directly to an executive officer and not to other line managers who may or may not have their own agenda. This principle alone also suggest a strong amount of independent referral power to a level above functional managers (though a good project manager would never use it unless the situation was running into dire circumstances). However, when all said and done, its far easier to deal with people on an equal footing rather than have the conscious or even subconscious understanding that you are their subordinate, its just human nature at work.

For many people the new 2009 edition of Prince2 with its warm and fuzzy outlook on the soft issues may be slightly easier to understand and learn resulting in a higher pass rate for the exams.

My personal opinion is that Prince2 as a project management system is far better than the systems provided by the other professional bodies and I think as its popularity grows it will eventually challenge all of them for the No1 position of must have qualifications for project managers.

Don’t forget you need to study the other books in the pack as well as this one:

Managing Successful Projects with Prince2.
Directing Successful Projects with Prince2.
An Introduction to Prince" Managing and Directing Successful Projects.
Passing the Prince2 Examinations.
Prince2 Pocket Book.

and also its a good idea to study these two as well from OCG.

Management of Risk: Guidance for Practitioners
For Successful Risk Management Think M_o_R

Oh, and the quality of the Prince2 printed books (paper, print, presentation) is far better too.
Kind regards

Stephan Toth
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