Challenges of Adopting PRINCE2 Project Management

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PRINCE2 Project Management

Project management has become a hugely important topic in business, and when it comes to project management, there’s no name bigger than PRINCE2.

Also known as ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments’, PRINCE2 has long set a standard in both public and private sectors. With an organized and systematic approach to projects, it helps keep project team members, managers, and stakeholders on the same page while also maintaining a strong focus on strategic goals. At the same time, it is also adaptable enough to suit companies of various sizes and structures. This not only makes PRINCE2 widely applicable but also makes PRINCE2 certification highly valued at a wide variety of organizations.

However, this does not necessarily make PRINCE2 easy to use. Indeed, its popularity can sometimes cause companies to take a hands-off approach to implementing it. This can often lead to mistakes in the use of PRINCE2, limiting the benefits of both the framework itself and the organization’s investment in PRINCE2 training.

So, what are the most common pitfalls associated with PRINCE2, and what do businesses need to do in order to fully benefit from the framework?

Change Management

This is a common problem when it comes to implementing any framework, not just PRINCE2. Managers get so confident in their decision to use PRINCE2 that they fail to take enough time to consider potential resistance to its implementation. If staff members are comfortable and set in their ways – or if certain departments prefer the status quo – it may be difficult to drum up support or enthusiasm for PRINCE2.

There are two solutions to this. The first is to stress the benefits of PRINCE2 to different audiences. This should be based on the priorities of each group, such as the team members worried about their roles or the stakeholders worried about the value of PRINCE2 training. By helping different actors understand how PRINCE2 will enhance your organization, you can gain a great deal more support.

The second solution is to take a gradual approach to implementation. You may want to start with a single project or only incorporate PRINCE2 in a limited capacity. Positive results on a small scale will justify further implementation while simultaneously giving employees more time to complete their PRINCE2 training.

Train Your Team

Project management isn’t just about managers; it’s also about the teams involved. A common mistake companies make with PRINCE2 is only training managers or senior executives, expecting them to communicate PRINCE2’s processes and terminology to untrained employees.

In reality, anyone who is actively involved in PRINCE2 projects ought to at least have an awareness of the framework and how it will be affecting them. A shared knowledge of PRINCE2 can also be a major asset when it comes to collaboration, as it will help practitioners facilitate their work.

At the same time, it can be worth offering PRINCE2 awareness training to more senior managers and even stakeholders. Even if they are not taking part in PRINCE2 projects directly, it is still important for them to understand how they can measure success and contribute when necessary.

Adapt From Project to Project

Part of the strength of PRINCE2 is its adaptability. This doesn’t simply apply to what kind of company can use it – it’s also relevant from project to project. Regardless, several companies make the mistake of treating PRINCE2 as a one-size-fits-all approach, with little to no variation in how they use it.

Usually, the ways in which PRINCE2 is applied will depend on the size, documentation, and structure of a project. The team also matters, as PRINCE2 can incorporate processes and ways of working that users are already familiar with.

By using PRINCE2 in this way, companies can optimize the framework for each and every project. It can also help teams recognize capability gaps in how they utilize PRINCE2, helping them make improvements for future projects.

Invest in Experience

At Good e-Learning, we love to talk about how certification is a valuable career stepping stone. We’re not wrong, of course, but we use the term ‘stepping stone’ for a reason. PRINCE2 certification is a fantastic achievement, but it alone is not enough to make someone a PRINCE2 manager.

Successful PRINCE2 practitioners are not only highly familiar with the framework but also have significant experience with project management in general. They will also be competent enough to adapt the framework depending on the demands of the project in question.

In short, do not make the mistake of giving a newly certified PRINCE2 practitioner too much responsibility. It is still important that they accrue the necessary experience and demonstrate competence as a manager, including with skills such as communication, teamwork, and flexibility. If a practitioner still needs to prove themselves, you may want to consider giving them more of a supporting leadership role at first, letting them become more proficient in the framework before allowing them a higher degree of control.

Think About Agile

‘Agile’ is something you’ll hear about fairly quickly when you work in project management. It offers a flexible and adaptive approach, one that is a strong alternative to traditional project management frameworks like PRINCE2.

However, that doesn’t necessarily make Agile better, just different. Which option is best depends on the situation and company at hand, so consider your situation carefully. Does your company already utilize Agile in some capacity? Is your project team familiar with it? You should also consider elements like your organization’s size and structure, as well as the preferences of clients when it comes to delivering feedback and results.

On the one hand, you may find that PRINCE2 and waterfall style management is ideal for your organization. On the other, it may be that your company would respond better to an Agile framework, such as Agile Project Management (AgilePM). The best solution may even be a mixture of the two. PRINCE2 Agile, for example, is a framework that lets practitioners utilize PRINCE2 in Agile environments.

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