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PRINCE2 – professional skills for non-project managers

Project team sat around table in meeting room where one colleague stands and presents information on board

Fifty per cent of people I see undertaking PRINCE2® training today are not working in a traditional project management role and the organizations they work for usually don’t have a Project Management Office (PMO).

There is a growing trend for smaller companies to send their people to PRINCE2 training to support work they haven’t treated previously as projects.

The reason for this? These businesses are often growing quickly and realize the need for establishing some structure and consistency across the organisation. There is a temptation to say yes to anything that comes their way and – as they start to grow – the lack of visibility of their existing work is less obvious and can lead to:

All of this hits their bottom line and can damage their reputation for delivering effectively.

Applying PRINCE2 principles

Businesses need better procedures, standardization and internal controls to avoid these scenarios. Training and certifying staff in PRINCE2 is one way to provide more control and help senior managers make better business decisions. PRINCE2 can be tailored for even the simplest project and right up to a high-cost, high-risk, daunting project.

But how does it add immediate value to professionals and their organizations?

You will start to look at the rationale for undertaking the project: using PRINCE2 helps you pose questions, e.g. does the project have a business case behind it? Do you have the capability and the capacity to deliver the project and are the timescales realistic? How much risk does it present?

Ensuring you go through an appropriate start-up process will enable you to put forward reasoned arguments and ideas to senior management to support their decision making.

You will identify responsibilities: One important question around projects is, does everyone know what they’re supposed to be doing? Where does authority of the sponsor, the project manager and any team managers begin and end?

You will have access to templates: PRINCE2 templates are a good starting point for tailoring the method to your company and individual projects. This saves a lot of time because each project doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you start a project.

Taking PRINCE2 from classroom to workplace

When candidates return to the workplace after a PRINCE2 course, they start to see the benefit of having simple, standardized procedures in place; being guided through change by tried, tested and structured approaches gives even the most inexperienced employee something to lean on with confidence.

Not everybody in a commercial or public sector organization is hard-wired to handle change. Consequently, even those resistant to recognized methods like PRINCE2 can be persuaded of their value.

One candidate from an organization that was not very supportive of structured methods received an unexpected message from a senior manager following an initiative, which said: “I know I don’t tell you often enough how much I appreciate what you have been doing and I can now see the benefits of the changes you’ve made to our procedures and it’s making my life easier.”

Regardless of whether or not your organization has a PMO and uses the job title “project manager”, adopting project management techniques create a better-run business. And PRINCE2 provides an accessible method to do that.

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts by Julia Gosse

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Current rating: 4.2 (5 ratings)


14 Sep 2019 Debbie Linsdell
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In my view this article provides a refreshing take and captures how Prince2 can be tailored and relevant even in small organisations where there is not the PMO or the traditional project manager role, and that Princee2 can still serve to not only be relevant but importantly help "Businesses to create and better-run businesses". This is a great message for the many smaller organisations out there, and one which would be good to explore further.
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