~ By Duncan Haughey
Since being re-launched in 1996, PRINCE2 has gone from strength to strength, becoming the UK de-facto standard for project management. Initially branded for the management of IT projects, the second version brought PRINCE away from IT into the general project management arena.
The UK is the primary user of the methodology, which was developed originally by the UK Government for use in the public sector twenty years ago. Since then it has been adopted by the private sector and spread beyond these shores. Countries in which PRINCE2 has become established include the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and the United States.
With organisations realising the importance of project management, it's perhaps not surprising that in the UK, around 250 people a day are taking the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams. Another reason for the uptake might be the fact that it is easier to adopt an existing project management methodology than to create your own, with all the cost and time that involves. Estimates in Project Manager Today magazine (August 2002) say that the cost of developing a project management methodology is between £100,000 and £250,000.
The good news for business is that it has never been easier to learn PRINCE2 and become certified with a whole host of APM Group accredited training companies running courses. The best way to learn PRINCE2 is by attending one of the many accredited public courses running throughout the UK.
APM Group is an internationally recognised provider of qualifications in PRINCE2. The schemes supporting the methodology have gained recognition by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The first time a qualification scheme aimed at project management professionals has achieved this recognition.
UKAS is the sole accreditation body recognised by the British Government, against internationally recognised standards organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
The APM Group have approved 140 accredited training organisations that have successfully steered thousands of candidates through their PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams.
At Project Smart, we are asked about PRINCE2 more than any other methodology. Most people have only heard good things and often wonder what its shortcomings are. It's not easy to criticise PRINCE2, but sometimes it can be seen as bureaucratic. Often, this opinion is formed before people realise how easy it is to tailor it to their particular needs. As with any other methodology, you should use the bits that work for you and discard the rest. Don't become a slave to the methodology.
In recent Gartner Group research, they found,
over the next three years, project management will become one of the top five major strategic issues that most managers will have to address to be successful, so things have never looked so good for PRINCE2 and its like.
PRINCE2 is eventually going to become the spider in the web that will link up with all the other so-called project management methods and PRINCE2 will become the standard to be used by ISO quality management for quality control of project environments, says Peter Krischel, President of Krischel Group.
One thing is for sure, like it or loath it, PRINCE2 is here to stay.