PRINCE2 Methodology: basics

The PRINCE2 methodology is a generic project management method - designed for any size or subject of project.  PRINCE2 is an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, version 2. The PRINCE2 methodology can be applied to all types of projects and industry sectors because it focuses on what all projects have in common:  the need to create quality products which achieve business benefits for a sponsoring organisation.  The PRINCE2 method is used to ensure that these products are delivered  on time, budget and within scope while managing risk, benefits and quality.  The PRINCE2 methodology has many proven benefits and it is free to use.

The PRINCE2 bottom line...

The PRINCE2 project is driven by a Business Case document.  This is used to investigate the rationale for the project, to justify it's planning, continuation and planned, or premature, end.   Using the PRINCE2 methodology, a project without a viable business case cannot continue and should be stopped.  A detailed PRINCE2 process model provides a list of processes and activities to help the project manager develop, maintain and verify the business case as the project progresses.

Where is the PRINCE2 methodology used?

PRINCE2 is used worldwide.  PRINCE2 exams have been taken on every continent (including Antarctica!) and over 2,000 are now taken every week.  In  the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many parts of Europe it is the most prevalent project management certification.  Elsewhere the PMI’s PMP qualification is dominant but PRINCE2 and PMBOK complement each other well and many Canadian PMPs are now certified in PRINCE2.  We are the largest provider of PRINCE2 training in Canada - a partial list of clients and users of PRINCE2 in Canada is available here.

History of PRINCE2

The PRINCE methodology was created in 1975 in the UK for IT projects and was originally called PROMPT.  The UK Government purchased PROMPT in 1979 and it became the government project management method for IT projects.  PROMPT was eventually developed into PRINCE and remained the UK government IT project management method until 1996. At this time the method was revised by over 150 private and public sector organisations to become PRINCE Version 2  - a generic project management methodology. Today, the PRINCE2 methodology is revised every 3 or 4 years and there is an active global user community who assist with this process and offer suggestions in the light of current good practice.   The PRINCE2 methodology is still owned Axelos - a joint venture between the UK Government and a private company, Capita.  It is free to use by users in Canada and around the world.