PRINCE2 Frequently Asked Questions
Project management is one of the most important disciplines found in the modern enterprise. Distinct from general day to day management, project management is all about achieving specific goals with comprehensive planning, risk assessment, team management and more, all while controlling effort and expenditure to ensure that the business value of the project is always justified.
With so many different factors to consider, many project management professionals will opt for using a standardized project management framework. With solid structures, valuable insight and defined processes, these frameworks can help managers to save a significant amount of time and resources. There are several competing methodologies currently on the market, with the most popular example being PRINCE2 from AXELOS.
Also known as ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments’, PRINCE2 is a methodology that offers a structured yet generic and adaptable approach to project management. It has been used extensively by the UK government, though it is not specifically designed for governance or public sector work. While the framework is comprehensive, it is also general and non-prescriptive, allowing even private sector organizations to utilize it regardless of a project’s industry, scale or location.
As valuable as PRINCE2 projects can be for companies, the framework can also offer a variety of opportunities for practitioners. Gaining a PRINCE2 2017 Practitioner certification can validate a project manager’s skills and experience, potentially helping them to unlock higher-paying roles. Even a PRINCE2 2017 Foundation certification can open up opportunities at companies that utilize the framework, allowing certified users to make valuable contributions and gain the experience required to advance their careers.
Of course, any kind of corporate training requires a large commitment, especially for those in full-time work! Some potential students may even find themselves having to sell PRINCE2 to their organization before they can get their training approved. With that in mind, let’s address some of the most common questions regarding PRINCE2 project management.
Is PRINCE2 just a project management theory?
More experienced managers may dismiss PRINCE2, as well as corporate training in general, as unnecessary. However, the methodology is by no means mere theory. It was originally created from contributions made by 150 different European organizations. As such, it offers a great deal of practical experience and expertise from a variety of industries. Updates since then have also kept the framework relevant even in the constantly changing worlds of business and technology.
The benefits of PRINCE2 are also difficult to deny. Organizing projects around the business justification and stakeholder engagement will help to keep them on target and avoid wastage. Clear communication and the establishment of distinct roles and responsibilities will also prevent confusion. With greater efficiency and quality, users can also enjoy improved ROIs, especially as they learn to adapt the framework to suit their own requirements. As valuable as genuine experience may be, there is no arguing against the appeal of an efficient and proven standardized approach!
So no, you should not worry about PRINCE2 project management being mere theory. There is no shortage of reasons why it has become the world’s most popular project management methodology!
What is PRINCE2 Agile?
As widely used as PRINCE2 is, it is not the only framework for project management on the market. ‘Agile’ takes a more incremental approach, utilizing short-term gains, self-organization, customer and stakeholder engagement, and increased flexibility in order to keep projects on track and prevent any significant delays.
Over the years Agile has proved to be particularly popular for software development, though it has also gained a significant following outside of this. The differences between it and more structured approaches like PRINCE2 have done nothing to limit Agile’s usage; so much so that the practitioner community eventually began to demand a methodology that combined the two.
‘PRINCE2 Agile’ offers the solid direction and project governance of PRINCE2 alongside the flexibility and delivery focus of Agile. The frameworks enhance each other, though of course they can still be adapted to suit individual environments. It is a fairly new certification but one that is becoming increasingly popular. Some students even choose to move on to PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner certifications after starting with PRINCE2 Foundation.
For those interested in furthering their project management careers, it is important to at least be aware of both frameworks. While they may be disparate in their approaches, they both offer valuable insight and advice.
What is the certification scheme for PRINCE2?
Unlike other frameworks such as ITIL, the certification scheme for PRINCE2 is fairly straightforward. Users start with Foundation, which provides an introduction to the framework and prepares users to make contributions to project management teams in PRINCE2 environments. After this comes PRINCE2 Practitioner, which helps candidates understand how to apply the framework in practice. The latter certification is ideal for those in project management positions, particularly in environments where other team members are also used to the language of PRINCE2.
An alternative is to start with PRINCE2 Agile Foundation before moving on to PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner. The first introduces students to both frameworks, as well as the reasons for marrying them, while the second ensures that students have the ability to effectively apply them in practice. Remember, either Foundation certification can be an acceptable prerequisite for either Practitioner certification. It will be worth researching your options before committing, as the best courses will usually depend on your individual situation.
It is also worth pointing out that there is no need to take Foundation and Practitioner courses in immediate succession. Gaining a PRINCE2 Practitioner certification will not automatically entitle you to higher-paying positions, so it may be worth gaining additional experience before furthering your studies.
Who can use PRINCE2?
One of the perks of PRINCE2 is that it can be used by virtually any organization regardless of its size, industry or sector.
Indeed, it is used by both multinational corporations and startups, and there is also demand for it all over the world.
How long are PRINCE2 certifications valid for?
This is an important consideration to make before pursuing training in PRINCE2. If you are planning to keep using the framework, then keeping your certification valid should not be too much trouble. However, if you are not yet in a managerial or leadership role, then you may want to delay your training before reaching Practitioner level.
PRINCE2 Foundation certifications remain valid indefinitely. However, this is not the case at Practitioner level. Once you pass, you will become a ‘PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner’, a designation that will remain valid for three years. After this point, you will need to retake the exam in order to remain registered.
How valuable is a PRINCE2 certification?
According to Indeed, project managers who hold PRINCE2 certifications can earn between £35,000 and £65,000, or $85,300 and $135,300. This is partly due to how widely used the framework is, and partly because of how strongly it can validate a candidate’s abilities and experience.
However, you should not pursue a certification thinking that you will automatically be entitled to upper-tier salaries. Gaining a Practitioner certification is not an automatic fast-track, especially if you do not have enough experience to back it up.
That said, becoming certified can definitely open up opportunities at companies that already utilize the framework. This can be ideal for collecting enough practical experience to take on upper-management roles.
How much does a PRINCE2 exam cost?
While this is a common question, it is important not to focus on price alone. Typically, any training providers which undercut the competition or offer super-quick courses will supply poor-quality training. In some cases, they may not even be accredited by AXELOS, in which case any resulting certifications will be invalid.
Good e-Learning is an award-winning e-course provider with a full portfolio of project management courses. Not only are they fully accredited, but students can also enjoy 24/7 tutor support and even FREE exam vouchers! We also make sure that our courses are fully mobile-accessible, making it easy for students to resume training anytime, anywhere.