A key focus of the PRINCE2® 2017 Update is to make it easier for individuals and organizations to adopt and tailor the world’s most-practised project management method.
I’ve been helping organizations adopt and tailor PRINCE2 for over fifteen years. In truth PRINCE2 was a tough sell to some organizations prior to the 2009 update as it was perceived as complex and bureaucratic. PRINCE2 2009 brought huge improvements in clarity and usability by being less prescriptive and more tailorable and scalable.
However, a key issue that my co-authors and I continue to encounter is that individuals and organizations struggle to understand what exactly they need to do to be following PRINCE2. This has led to organizations taking widely differing views about how much of the PRINCE2 manual they need to implement.
In some cases, people believe they must follow the PRINCE2 manual to the letter and then blame PRINCE2 for being “bureaucratic”. (PRINCE2 isn’t - it’s a bit like choosing to iron socks and then complaining that you have a lot of ironing!).
Conversely, people imagine they can read the PRINCE2 manual, pass the exam and then do whatever they feel like. Some of my colleagues describe this as “PRINCE2 in name only”.
Building on the foundations of PRINCE2 2009
We were keen that the 2017 update should build on the fantastic foundations provided by PRINCE2 2009 by making it easier for individuals to adopt and tailor.
As a result, we have done three things to help users understand how to apply PRINCE2 to their specific circumstances:
- Clarified what PRINCE2 requires you to do as opposed to what it recommends. In other words, what makes a project a “PRINCE2 project”.
- Made tailoring and adapting PRINCE2 integral rather than an afterthought at the back of the PRINCE2 manual. In addition, we’ve provided guidance on how aspects of PRINCE2 can be tailored to suit projects of differing sizes/complexity and different delivery approaches, such as Agile. This guidance comes from our combined experience of implementing PRINCE2 and other project management approaches in organizations of different sizes, across different sectors and in both the public and private sectors.
- Improved alignment project management standards and with the rest of the AXELOS portfolio – in particular: MSP®, P3M3® and M_o_R®.
Providing a clearer structure for practitioners
However, it’s important that I’m clear about we haven’t done: we’ve not tried to change anything fundamental about the existing PRINCE2 approach; we’re just building on what we’ve seen practitioners use for real and add to what they have benefited from in previous versions. So, this is about highlighting the practical things people really ought to be doing to make their projects better.
For candidates planning to study and use PRINCE2, the update provides a much clearer structure and is, frankly, a much better read! You can read the themes chapters, understand the concepts and get useful, practical advice in a more coherent way.
The benefits of using PRINCE2 remain in the update, but - we believe - have been made so much more accessible. Working on PRINCE2 2017 has been more about making the guidance leaner and fitter than changing its shape or form.
See our PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 2017 sections for more information.
Read more blog posts on the PRINCE2 2017 Update
First impressions of PRINCE2® 2017
PRINCE2® 2017 Update – Training the Trainers
PRINCE2 2017 Update - right thing, right place, right time
PRINCE2 2017 – tailored for a changing project management world