PRINCE2® – right now the UK needs Project Managers!

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a structured project management methodology, originally developed by the UK government in the late 80s as a standard for delivery of information systems projects.

In 2013 ownership was passed over from HM Cabinet office to Axelos Ltd in a joint venture with Capita.

PRINCE2 has evolved over the years to meet industry needs, including a major refresh in 2017, and is now the most widely used Project Management methodology in the UK (and increasingly overseas), both in the public and private sectors.

At the heart of PRINCE2 there is a set of 7 Processes which embody the project stages from starting up to closing a project.

Essential tools and approaches for PRINCE2 projects are embodied in 7 Themes; these include the Business Case which defines the justification for a project, and provides a reference point to align project execution with business objectives.

There are also 7 Principles which capture the mind-set which guides successful PRINCE2 project implementation; these include management stage by stage, and tailoring of the management approach to reflect the complexity and context of a project.

7 Processes

  1. Starting up a project
  2. Directing a project
  3. Initiating a project
  4. Controlling a stage
  5. Managing product delivery
  6. Managing stage boundaries
  7. Closing a project

7 Themes

  1. Business case: create and maintain a record of the business justification for the project.
  2. Organization: define the individual roles and responsibilities of the whole project team.
  3. Quality: what the quality requirements and measures are and how the project will deliver them.
  4. Plans: the steps required to develop the plans and the PRINCE2 techniques that should be used.
  5. Risk: effectively identify risks and opportunities that could impact the project.
  6. Change: how the project manager will assess and act on changes to the project.
  7. Progress: the ongoing viability and performance of the plans and how and whether the project should proceed.

7 Principles

  1. Continued business justification: there must be a justifiable reason to be running and managing the project. If not, the project should be closed.
  2. Learn from experience: PRINCE2 project teams should continually seek and draw on lessons learned from previous work.
  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: the PRINCE2 project team should have a clear organizational structure and involve the right people in the right tasks.
  4. Manage by stages: PRINCE2 projects should be planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis.
  5. Manage by exception: people working within the project should be given the right amount of authority to effectively work within the environment.
  6. Focus on products: PRINCE2 projects focus on the product definition, delivery and quality requirements.
  7. Tailor to suit the project environment: PRINCE2 must be tailored to suit the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.


In 2015, to account for the increasing popularity of Agile and Scrum, PRINCE2 Agile courses were introduced, helping project managers to blend and weave the principles, processes and themes of PRINCE2 with many of the common ways of working in an Agile way.

PRINCE2 remains a very popular project management methodology, widely used across the globe a regularly looked out for in CVs when recruiting project professionals.

The PRINCE2 2017 certification scheme has two main levels, Foundation and Practitioner, available separately or as a combined Foundation and Practitioner course. There is also the PRINCE2 Agile certification scheme which includes the PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner qualifications, also available in a single PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and Practitioner course.

Focus on Training provides an exceptional level of coverage for these courses across the UK at exceptional prices, click on one of the links to find out more and book a course today.

Whilst PRINCE2 remains as popular as ever, there are other ways to successfully manage projects, including for example APMP, Agile/Scrum and SAFe

What is APMP?

APMP stands for Association for Project Managers Professional and is a qualification offered by the Association for Project Managers (APM) a professional body which represents Project Managers. Unlike PRINCE2, APMP is not a Project Management Methodology. The APMP qualification demonstrates an understanding of the APM Body of Knowledge, which is a publication covering fifty-two knowledge areas required to manage any successful project.

APMP is a generic, best-practice Body of Project Management Knowledge, but is not a Project Management Methodology.

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What is Agile?

The Agile philosophy concentrates on empowering people and their interactions and early and constant delivery of value into an enterprise. Agile project management focuses on delivering maximum value against business priorities in the time and budget allowed, especially when the drive to deliver is greater than the risk.

Agile is an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle.

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What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

It can be used to manage and control complex software, development and other projects using iterative techniques.

The scrum framework is an alternative to traditional waterfall approaches to projects and aims to make teams more effective with an emphasis on communication and flexible reassessment of plans in short phases of work.

Scrum is not a methodology and relies on self-organising and cross functional teams often including three main roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team Members

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What is SAFe?

SAFe is regarded as the leading framework for scaling agile across the enterprise and is commonly viewed as Agile in big companies.

The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) empowers complex organizations to achieve the benefits of Lean-Agile software and systems development at scale.

SAFe brings together thought leadership from Agile development, systems thinking, and Lean product development into a framework that provides a set of principles, values and guidance for Lean-Agile development.

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Focus on Training provides an exceptional level of coverage for these courses across the UK at competitive prices, click on one of the links below to find out more and book a course today.

PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

PRINCE2 Agile® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved

AgilePM® is a registered trademark of Dynamic Systems Development Method Ltd. All rights reserved.