Is PRINCE2 Certification Worth the Cost?

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These days, experienced project management professionals are highly sought after. Using their experience (and, typically, a standardized project management methodology), they can help organizations not only save time and money but also ensure that projects are completed with a much higher level of quality.

Many project managers will also pursue corporate qualifications, as these can provide excellent validation for a candidate’s abilities and experience. This, in turn, can help candidates to take on more responsibilities, unlock higher-paying roles and advance their careers.

The growing need for structured and efficient project management has led to the growth of several standardized project management frameworks, with the most popular being PRINCE2. Most career project managers and consultants have at least some awareness of ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments’, but the value of the framework does not speak for itself. Potential students still want to know exactly what PRINCE2 is composed of, how it can help organizations, and, most importantly, whether studying PRINCE2 will be worth the required cost and effort.

Let’s take a look at the real value of getting qualified in PRINCE2

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 is the world’s most popular project management methodology. In a nutshell, it is a process-based methodology with a number of clear steps designed to add value to projects. It has been widely used by the UK government, as well as an ever-growing variety of companies around the world. With a standardized and easily repeatable process, PRINCE2 is ideal for organizations that want to run projects with greater efficiency and reliability.

One of the most important things to note about PRINCE2 is that while it offers a comprehensive approach, it is also general and non-prescriptive. The methodology can be amended depending on the needs of individual projects and environments. This also ensures that it can be used by virtually any organization regardless of its size, industry, sector, or location.

Another crucial selling point is the framework’s approach to risk management and assessing user requirements. In essence, it helps users to cover all the necessary bases during the planning stage of a project, helping them to avoid potentially expensive delays later on.

The framework also encourages managers to constantly reassess their work in relation to a project’s ‘business case’. In other words, the work must be targeted, with business benefits outweighing the required expenditure. Projects are reviewed at several points to help with this, ensuring that they can be amended or dissolved before they cause too much wastage.

Overall, PRINCE2 offers an excellent framework for planning and executing successful projects in controlled environments.

What is PRINCE2 Agile?

‘PRINCE2 Agile’ is a PRINCE2 framework designed to be adapted and applied within Agile environments. It was created in response to the sheer level of demand from PRINCE2 users as, despite the popularity of the framework, there was no denying the ever-increasing presence of Agile within the project management sphere.

The PRINCE2 Agile syllabus helps candidates tailor more traditional management controls and practices to suit Agile projects. At the same time, PRINCE2 Agile practitioners can still implement PRINCE2 governance in order to keep projects on track. In other words, PRINCE2 Agile helps practitioners enjoy the stability and control of PRINCE2 alongside the flexibility and individual empowerment typically seen in Agile teams.

The PRINCE2 Certification Path

While there are no prerequisites for beginning PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile training, candidates are still advised to have at least some experience working as part of project management teams. Veteran project managers may also want to use the exams to validate their skills. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the certification path:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation – This provides an introduction to the methodology, enabling users to contribute to project management teams in PRINCE2 environments. Passing the Foundation exam is a prerequisite for proceeding to Practitioner level. Foundation qualifications do not need to be renewed.
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner – This level is ideal for anyone in project management, leadership, or upper-level advisory roles. It can give credence to a candidate’s knowledge and experience while also confirming their ability to amend the framework for individual project environments. That being said, it will still be important to back this qualification up with solid experience if candidates expect to reach higher-paying roles. Practitioner qualifications are valid for three years.
  • PRINCE2 Agile Foundation – PRINCE2 Agile combines PRINCE2’s structured project management approach with the delivery and responsiveness of Agile. Agile takes more of an incremental approach to project management, enabling short-term gains and a greater level of adaptability. Both methodologies are popular, and each certainly has its own merits. They were originally brought together as a result of demand from the project management community, and the combined approach has been steadily growing in popularity. The Foundation-level qualification introduces both methodologies, as well as teaching candidates how to marry them effectively.
  • PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner – Achieving Practitioner certification demonstrates a candidate’s ability to apply tight PRINCE2 management alongside Agile project delivery, as well as customize each methodology to suit individual projects. This can allow candidates to make major contributions to program and project management initiatives within an organization, leading to higher quality results, improved communication, and faster delivery.

Both PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile offer valuable certification paths with a great deal of practical insight. Even if you choose not to pursue Agile training, it will still be worth making yourself at least partially aware of how Agile works in practice. The best choice will ultimately depend on your own needs or those of your organization.

What is the Value of PRINCE2 Certification?

As we have mentioned previously, one of the most valuable aspects of a PRINCE2 qualification is that it will validate a candidate’s experience with, and understanding of, popular project management concepts. Practitioners are particularly popular in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia, though there is also demand in the USA, Asia, and elsewhere. Not only is PRINCE2 globally recognized, but it is also generic enough to be applied to virtually any industry or sector, ensuring that experienced users will almost always find demand for their talents.

The opportunities and credence offered by PRINCE2 can provide a huge help for users seeking to advance their careers. According to Indeed, employees with PRINCE2 qualifications can earn between $85,300 and $135,300, or between £35,000 and £65,000 for the UK. PRINCE2 Agile practitioners, meanwhile, can earn between $100,000 and $145,200, or £35,000 and £65,000.

You should keep in mind, however, that a certification is not a guarantee of reaching a higher salary. You will also need the right amount of experience, as well as examples showing your ability to apply PRINCE2 in practice. Still, there are a wide variety of organizations using the framework, and so finding opportunities to gain experience in a project management office (PMO) should not be too difficult, depending on your location.

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