With over 30 years’ experience working in the field of project management training and consultancy, Julia Gosse reflects on the benefits of taking both PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner.
For anyone connected with projects, PRINCE2 Foundation has merits as a standalone qualification. It is ideal for individuals interesting in learning how to manage projects successfully and develop their understanding of project delivery.
Particularly when aimed at those in project support, working in development teams, team managers or members of the project board, certification provides an in-depth knowledge of the part they play in a successful outcome.
Each group can benefit:
- The project board (made up of representatives from the business, users and suppliers) gain an understanding of their accountability, roles and responsibilities, particularly what sort of decision they are expected to make to support change.
- Project support build knowledge in terms of the support they can offer the project manager, as well as how to help with planning, document management, version control and data security.
- Team managers gain a better understanding of their contribution to various functions including providing estimates for work packages, planning input, reporting requirements, quality control, as well as how to facilitate communication flow with the team manager - especially when things are not going so well.
Most importantly, PRINCE2 Foundation covers the essential areas of project management and provides individuals with a structured approach and the tools to successfully plan, manage and deliver projects of any size or complexity.
While it does not cover how to deliver the products, as this is specific to each project, it does give guidance on how it can be tailored to suit either a more waterfall or Agile style of delivery —-or a combination of both, which is often the case for more complex projects.
PRINCE2 Practitioner is very much a natural extension of Foundation; building on knowledge to enable the practical application of the method to a live working environment. Interestingly, many delegates who only book to take Foundation level, subsequently wish they had continued straight on to Practitioner.
The advantage of this qualification is that it helps to embed the learnings from Foundation and tests understanding of how to use PRINCE2 in practice - in other words, it does what it says on the tin!
This progression is particularly important for project managers or those aspiring to move into project management. This is because it’s all very well having a theoretical understanding of PRINCE2, but being able to understand the nuances of how to tailor it effectively and apply the theory to different types of project need a deeper understanding of the method.
It is, however, just the start of the PRINCE2 journey. Two of its fundamental principles are that it should be tailored to suit the environment and that we continually learn lessons. But tailoring is only really effective when you have experience of using the method and can apply those lessons. You will continue to fine tune your use of the method on each project you run. I have been using PRINCE2 since long before it ever became an examined product and I am still learning!
Read more AXELOS Blog Posts by Julia Gosse
PRINCE2 – professional skills for non-project managers
PRINCE2 Agile for large projects
PRINCE2 Agile for uncertified project managers
PRINCE2 Agile for agile delivery practitioners
PRINCE2 Agile for PRINCE2 practitioners