PRINCE2 2017 Update – right thing, right place, right time

PRINCE2 2017 Update – right thing, right place, right time

The PRINCE2® 2017 Update arrives as organizations around the world are on a maturity curve towards achieving consistency, greater efficiencies and cost savings.

This has led to a growth in organizations developing their own approaches to delivering projects based on standards such as BS 6079, best practice methods such as PRINCE2 and bodies of knowledge such as APM Body of Knowledge (BOK).

PRINCE2’s 2009 version provided a user-friendly method which was easy to read and use, and helped organizations develop their project management capability; its widespread adoption remains a testament to its success. The 2017 update to PRINCE2 retains the overall structure of principles, themes and processes, but takes the method one step further.

And the PRINCE2 2017 updated guidance is not just for project managers. Its use is relevant to a wider audience and is now easier to understand and apply if you’re working in other business functions such as finance or procurement.

The well-established PRINCE2 values of joining and learning from a community of professionals remains; hence the guidance is based on shared experiences of deploying the PRINCE2 methods successfully in a wide variety of scenarios.

The PRINCE2 update: why tailoring?

At the core of this update is renewed emphasis on tailoring: in other words, how to make the method an appropriate fit to a multitude of project sizes, types and environments.

PRINCE2 now discusses appropriate levels of governance and control for organizations with their own method (applying that method appropriately to individual projects) and for those without a method (applying PRINCE2 itself appropriately to individual projects). PRINCE2 now also has greater emphasis on distinguishing embedding (how organizations adopt PRINCE2) from tailoring.

Fitting neatly into the emphasis on tailoring is new guidance on how to apply the method to projects interacting with programmes, portfolios and commercial environments – for example where there may be not one but several business cases.

The project management approach also needs to integrate with different delivery approaches such as waterfall or agile approaches and the tailoring guidance now covers this too.

Ultimately it’s about applying the right thing, in the right place, at the right time for the project and the organization.

Linking PRINCE2 principles and themes

Along with the new tailoring emphasis throughout the PRINCE2 update, there is also a stronger link between its principles and the themes.

Following the principles means you’re managing a PRINCE2 project which will heighten your project’s chances of success and avoid the trap of “PINO” (PRINCE2 in name only).

The theme chapters have been restructured to improve the flow and readability but also to clarify the minimum requirements for running a PRINCE2 project and to accommodate advice and guidance on tailoring. There are also practical examples included: for example, although you need to have a justification for a project, you might not want to use a formal business case.

PRINCE2 2017 – a commitment to competence

The PRINCE2 2017 update provides a new level of understanding and capability to manage projects in context and strengthens the ability of practitioners to tailor and apply it to the needs of individual projects.

To reinforce the 2017 update, AXELOS has also made changes to the certification syllabus and examination design so that tailoring is explicitly tested in the Practitioner exam.

For more details about the PRINCE2 Update please visit our dedicated landing page.

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13 Feb 2017 Ian Parkin
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When will change be implemented and examined on?
17 Feb 2017 Tom Lynam
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Hi Ian, thanks for your question. We are looking to publish the new guidance in May with the exams to follow soon afterwards.

For more information please visit

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PRINCE2 2017 Core Publication

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 Edition

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 Edition

Our updated project management guidance places a new emphasis on the flexibility of the method and how to tailor it to your specific projects.

Buy the PRINCE2 guide >