How to get value from Prince2

CertifiedWeek 2 of the second #PMFlashblog saw Europe give its perspective on the state of project management. A number of posts have discussed the merits of Prince2 as a qualification.

Prince2 as a qualification misses the point, and much more importantly, the value, of Prince2. It’s a great method which has been used and abused by the training industry. The problem in the implementation of the method. Most so called Prince2 organisations are ‘PINO’ – Prince in name only!

To be a successful project delivery organisation you do need consistency and Prince2 is a sound basis for that consistency.  But it needs to be adapted, applied and trained specific for that organisation. A generic 5 day course focussed on passing two exams can never achieve that.

What the OGC created was a money making monster that devours budget that would be better spent providing experienced based training specific to the organisation.

Back in the early 90’s Midland Bank recognised this and developed an in-house 12 day (yes 12day!!) project management course. They assessed it against a new external qualification – the ISEB Certificate in Project Management and it ticked all the boxes and more. Delegates completing the course were allowed to take the associated ISEB exam. If they passed that, they faced an interview with an independent assessor. Passing that got them the certificate. Now they really were qualified project managers.

In the two years I helped develop and deliver that course over 250 people attended the course and Midland had more ISEB qualified project managers than the rest of the country. The Midalnd course also won an award for professional training.

Midland Bank Prizewinner article

If the money spent on Prince2 training had been used like Midland spent their money, then we would have seen a step change in project management capability.

I still believe Prince2 has a lot to offer but any organisation implementing it should adopt a Midland Bank like approach. I’m not saying 12 days are needed. With modern simulation tools and online support modules much more can be achieved with less time out of the office. But a tailored approach is the way to achieve results.

If anyone wants to know more about the Midland Bank course contact me through my website

Would I hire a Prince2 practitioner?

Many organisations advertising project management jobs ask for Prince2 or state Prince2 preferred. What value does that really bring? If I interview two project managers, one a Prince2 practitioner, the other not, will it influence my decision. Only if they are otherwise equally qualified by experience and the Prince2 PM can demonstrate how they took the exam to further their personal development and have subsequently applied it. If they took it to get the badge, they’re out! Oh, and if the other PM can show how they have invested in their personal development too, I’ll go with whoever I deem invested most wisely.

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One comment on “How to get value from Prince2
  1. Michael says:

    Great and straight forward article you have here. Indeed I agree with you, having tailored PRINCE2 training is the right way to go. Having a tailored training, your employee would be familiar using PRINCE2 in project specific to your company rather than a general project which is mostly very different to your own projects.

    For me it does not matter how many days you devote to the training as long as it is tailored and supervise by a accredited trainer, it should be alright.

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