PRINCE2® - Project Management

PRINCE2 is an acronym that stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments and it is a structure project management method. It is a certification programme for all the practitioners who are qualified through training and want to be certified. During this program, the main emphasis is laid on dividing the project into different stages. The stages divided are manageable and controllable. The program is widely recognised and is used extensively by the UK government. The programme offers one of the best non-proprietorial practical guidance on project management. The key feature of this programme is that it focuses on business justification. The programme has product-based planning approach in which the trainees are taught how to divide the project into different stages and make all those stages manageable. Also, the programme teaches the trainees how to judge the level of flexibility that can be applied. This flexibility should always be applied at a level appropriate to the project.

PRINCE was established by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1989. It was originally based on PROMPT, a method created by Simpact Systems Ltd in 1975 for project management. This program was adopted by Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency as the standard to be used for all Government information system projects. In 1989, when PRINCE was launched, it superseded PROMPT within all the government projects. Then, in 1996, PRINCE2 was published, having been contributed to by a consortium of 150 European organisations.

Who should take up this certification programme?

Since this is a project management programme, many people believe that only project managers should take up this programme, but it is not like this. In fact, people from all the posts and categories are currently taking up this certification course. Tens of thousands of people around the world have already done this certification course and are now fully qualified as PRINCE2 practitioners. Many people are taking up the course even now. The applicability of this course is so extensive that almost 25,000 people qualify as PRINCE2 practitioners every year and more than 700 people take the PRINCE2 exam every week. There are not this many practitioners out there to take up this exam, so it becomes pretty obvious that it is not just project managers who are taking up this course. The course is not just for project managers but for everyone who wants to learn and acquire the skills to manage projects easily. It can be really helpful for the service managers as well and therefore, they should take up this course. The private organisations today expect its service managers to do the project management themselves and doing this course makes them good at it. So, people should be very clear about the fact that this certification course is not only for the project managers out there but everybody whose job includes project management even at the most basic level.

How is this beneficial?

PRINCE2 is beneficial in many ways. It gives you the skills and the confidence that is required to successfully manage projects. By taking up this course and successfully passing the exam, one significantly improves his employment prospects. PRINCE2 is recognised as a world-class international product. It has become the standard method for project management. Therefore, a PRINCE2 can be considered a very big asset for your CV. Moreover, many companies all over the world require their staff to be PRINCE2 qualified. So, if you are already PRINCE2 qualified, it improves your chances of getting employed significantly. Using PRINCE2 teaches you how to control your resources more effectively. It teaches you how to manage your business and project risks more effectively. This course benefits all the individuals who seek greater employment prospects and leading skills of project management. Regardless of the function, any employee of the private sector will find this course helpful.

How to prepare for PRINCE2 and score well

Passing an exam is never easy. It can seem to be a very daunting task at times. But if the person follows the right procedure to practice, the task can become really easy. To pass the foundation exam, you must get at least 35 out of 70 marks to pass the 50% grade in 60 minutes. In each paper, there are 75 multiple choice questions which include 5 trial ones. For these 5 questions, the score does not count. The foundation exam is basically an attempt to test whether or not you will be able to act as an informed member of the management team of the project and use PRINCE2 in an environment that supports it. To pass this exam, you will need to show that you understand the terminology of the method, the major content of roles, the eight components and the eight processes, their techniques and even the sub-processes. You must mention the input and output products of all the eight processes, the relationships between these processes and the deliverables of these processes as well.

Practitioner Exam Math: For this, there are questions per paper and every question contains 12 marks. Out of the 108 marks, the applicant must obtain 59 to pass the exam in 2 and a half hour. The paper is in objective format and the applicant can use the annotated PRINCE2 manual.

There are many things that one needs to do to pass the above-mentioned exams. Some of the things that the applicant can do are:

Set the schedule: To pass a project or an exam, one definitely needs a schedule. If the schedule is not followed, one can get into some real trouble. The exam day will arrive before you even know it. So make sure that you have a schedule and follow it. Stick to your own course, scheduled for revision and deadlines.

Study the pre-course books: Pre-reading yourself into the course will give you a huge advantage. It will give you that extra edge that is required. By doing so, you are giving the chance to mark out topics for tutor help and to make summary notes for revision.

For practitioner level, master the PRINCE2 manual: if you will keep thinking that there is no need to revise like crazy because there is enough time to find the answers in the manual during the exam, you are never going to make it. You have 2.5 hours to get 108 marks, which makes it 0.72 marks in every minute. Moreover, you should always aim for 100 percent. If you aim for the 55% that is required, there is hardly any chance of you getting that edge in this competitive job market. Master the manual so that you can turn to whatever you need in the exam quickly.

Practice exam questions: This is something that is true for every exam. It is very important for the applicants to get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and practice them. So, if anybody wants to pass this exam successfully, he should practice exam questions that are available and get used to the format of the exam.

Don’t just read: Sometimes when you have got an exam coming up, all you can think about is studying the course. But with this course, it is a bit different. The best way to pass PRINCE2 is through interacting with professionals and with fellow students.

Keep your calm in the exam: One can give his everything to preparing for an exam and still make everything go waste if he does not keep his calm when it matters the most… in the exam. It is quite usual for an applicant to get nervous while taking up an exam. It is very important that you do not panic in the exam hall. Go steady, and keep your composure. Read everything first, underline the key words and then answer the questions. Also, keep a check on the time as well. By doing so, you will make sure that you have an idea of how much time is left at every point of the exam and you do not panic. Review all the answers once you have written them.

How is PRINCE2 exam conducted?

PRINCE2 exam can be taken by an applicant in three ways:

  • Online
  • At a public PRINCE2 examination centre
  • As part of a PRINCE2 accredited training course through the PRINCE2 training provider.

The exams are:

PRINCE2 foundation exam: This exam contains multiple choice questions. There are 75 questions in the paper. Out of these 75, 5 are trial questions for which the marks are not counted. To pass the exam, one needs to get at least 35 marks. The duration of this closed book exam is 60 minutes.

PRINCE2 practitioner exam: This exam is of objective testing type. There are 8 questions in this exam and each question has 10 question items of one mark each. The exam is of eighty marks and to pass the exam, one needs to score at least 55% i.e. 44 marks. The duration of the exam is 150 minutes. The applicants are allowed to read the official PRINCE2 manual. There is no additional reading time given.

Prince re-registration: This exam is of objective type. There are three questions in the exam containing 10 question items each and each of these items is of one mark. Out of the total 30 marks, one needs to score at least 17 marks to pass the exam. The duration of this exam is one hour and it is an open book exam. The students are allowed to read the official PRINCE2 manual only.

PRINCE2 Agile: This exam is also of objective type. There are 50 questions in the exam and each of them is of one mark. To pass the exam, one needs to score at least 30 marks out of the 50 available. The duration of this exam is one hundred and fifty minutes. It is an open book exam. The students are allowed to read official PRINCE2 Agile guide only. There is no extra reading time given to the applicants.

Career Benefits

By becoming PRINCE2 qualified, one becomes applicable for many career benefits. Some of them are:

  • It improves the career prospects: By getting a PRINCE2 qualification, one gives himself the best possible chance of getting an enjoyable and sustainable career. It improves the career prospects significantly.
  • It can get you a bigger salary: Getting a PRINCE2 qualification can be the key to getting a bigger salary in the near future for a private organisation employee. The companies tend to reward PRINCE2 certified project managers highly than those project managers who have not taken any certification course. For instance, the average salary for a PRINCE2 practitioner in London in 58,000 pounds while the average national salary is only 52,000 pounds.
  • It gives you the confidence to apply to different places: When you want to look for management jobs in new places, then getting a good CV is the first thing that might come into your mind. The PRINCE2 qualification is the one thing that can make your CV stand out from all the others. Once you have added this qualification, you will get the required confidence that is required to apply to new places. Moreover, the PRINCE2 qualification is not just regarded in the UK, but the entire world. So, if you want to spread your wings and try somewhere abroad, then having this qualification in your CV will be really helpful and beneficial.
  • It makes you confident: It is very important for a project manager to be confident in his ability to run any project smoothly. In fact, when someone thinks about aiming for a project management qualification, this should be one of the things that should be taken into account. By getting PRINCE2 qualified, you become perfect at what you do and there is nothing like it. It makes you feel fantastic about everything that you run. When you have taken this course, no matter how big or difficult a project comes your way, you will be ready to run it.
  • Be fantastic at what you do: The PRINCE2 programme makes you learn skills and tactics that will work in every type of project that you will undertake. Whenever you take a project and run it, you will do a fantastic job. It would be a brilliant feeling for you when you realise that you are continuously doing a perfect and brilliant job. This will help you feel relieved of all your stress at work. You will always feel that you have everything under control, and that is something that every private company employee aims to achieve at the office.