PRINCE2 is a popular UK Project Management methodology, that continues to gain traction in other locations around the world. Now managed by Axelos, it is part of a comprehensive and integrated best practice suite along side other methodologies such as Management of Risk (M_o_R) and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). As such, is provides as alternative to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) A Guide to a Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and it's Project Management Professional Qualification (PMP). Since the author holds both the PMP and PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification , it can sometimes be insightful to compare and contrast the two approaches to see what stands out in both.
The author always thought of the PRINCE2 "Themes" to be equivalent to the PBMOK "Knowledge Areas"; a specific sub-disciple of Project Management that was important throughout the lifecycle; for example they both have "Risk" and "Quality" in common. Then there is the PRINCE2 "Processes", equivalent to the PMBOK "Process Groups" - essentially the flow of phases throughout the Project Life cycle. They are both broadly like any good book or film, in that they have a beginning, a middle and an end - with of course a bit more complication along the way. But PRINCE2 has a third component: "Principles". I don't think PMBOK really has an equivalent, so I think PRINCE2 has an edge here; but what actually is a "Principle"? Without turning to the dictionary, I would instinctively think of then crudely like a "guiding beacon". They aren't detailed processes or procedures, they aren't step-by-step plans or rigorous methods. Instead they are are simple but critical focus points which must then permeate everything else we do in Project Management, something that we strive both toward. Why are they useful? Simple: because once you've got your PMP or PRINCE2 exam in the bag, that old textbook is transition into phase 2 of it's lifecyle: dust collector. You'll apply these methodologies competently of course, but you'll soon forget what precisely is actually in section 18.104.22.168 of the PRINCE2 handbook. But Principles are different; short and simple, if you forget all of the other detail and just focus on remembering them I don't think you'll then go far wrong
Ok Project Health Check you've got my attention, maybe these Principles could be useful in my Project. Tell me about them! Well this is just an initial insight, with our intention to focus on them in future articles - exploring our perspective and add some real life experiences along the way.
What are your thoughts on these Principles, do you agree with them and can you think how they have played a role during your own Projects? Also, do you think anything is missing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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