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Project Management, Viewpoint!

PRINCE2: Giving Projects a bad name?

Twice in the past fortnight I’ve been working with clients on projects and they’ve told me of their experience of PRINCE2.  On both occasions, their experience had not been positive.

The first person summed up PRINCE2 for his colleagues by saying “There are about 30 templates to fill in and about as many processes that you have to follow“.  The second person said “I passed the exams, but whenever I asked the trainers about real-life project situations they couldn’t tell me HOW to run a project, so I’ve not been able to use it“.

My experience over the years tells me that these are not isolated cases and I really wonder how much PRINCE2 is giving projects and project management a bad name.  Perhaps these people and their organisations are simply not “mature” enough to apply PRINCE2 properly?

The latest version of PRINCE2 says one of its seven principles is that it is “tailored to suit the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk”.  And, if a project is not following the seven principles it is not using PRINCE2.  That’s helpful to know!

The PRINCE2 advice on tailoring is that it should involve:

  • Adapting the themes
  • Incorporating specific terms/language
  • Revising the Product Descriptions for the Management Products
  • Revising the role descriptions for the project roles
  • Adjusting the processes to match the above

It’s also important to understand that “PRINCE2 does not directly address interpersonal skills, such as leadership and motivation” which might go some way to explaining the experiences of many people.

When we help clients to develop project capabilities we focus on three sets of skills, as shown below:

The three sets of skills required for successful project management

Read more about our approach to Project Management and find out why we get client feedback like this…

First [xyz client] course which I can really apply to my role and I have developed lots of actions that will have an effect on my work.

I look forward to transferring this new knowledge to my working and personal life.”

Definitely one of the best courses I’ve attended at the [xyz client].”

Wish I’d had this 9 months ago!


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