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Author  Jane Nichols – COO, CITI

August 9, 2019 |

 4 min read

  • Blog
  • Examinations
  • Project management

Have you just gained the PRINCE2® Foundation certification? Congratulations! But don’t get too comfortable, because it’s now time to think about your next steps – taking your PRINCE2 Practitioner.

But why – you might ask – should I go through another certification

The answer is simple. If you want to expand your horizons and become an accomplished project manager, achieving the Practitioner level will help you tackle each new challenge with greater confidence. That is, of course, assuming you’re not just ticking a certification “box” – but really applying the knowledge you gained to tailor your approach and help you grow and develop as a project manager.

Don’t forget it’s not just about your current project: the next one and the ensuing ones are all likely to be different.

Back to basics

When it comes to PRINCE2’s basic principles, are you really thinking about and applying them?

Take “Continued Business Justification”, for example. By undertaking the PRINCE2 Practitioner you will have a better knowledge and understanding of a project’s benefits. This will enable you to be better placed to manage the project in the appropriate way and maintain a good relationship with the Senior Responsible Owner.

Another example is that Practitioner-level will give you a greater understanding of the importance of the “Progress” theme and its associated reports such as the “lessons learned” log, i.e. how to use them and the benefits of doing so.

You will understand why Highlight Reports are more than just pieces of paper, how critical they are to your management and reporting especially when you need to give some hard truths about progress. But that’s part of being a professional project manager but the ability to do this comes only with learning and experience.

Ultimately, it’s about taking the time to apply the PRINCE2 principles that shows you want to be a professional practitioner; adding value for you, your project and your organization.

A change is as good as… its management

While some might say it’s relatively easy to set up a project, it takes good management to keep the project on track.

What happens when your project is hit with a change? PRINCE2 Practitioner will help to enable you to understand more clearly who should be responsible for, and how to manage, a change.

The professional project manager is not concerned only with the “day-to-day” but with the project as a whole. It involves applying your learning and knowledge and considering the consequences of change on both your project and someone else’s.

Really learning from experience

Gaining Foundation-level knowledge is core to understanding the PRINCE2 method, but it’s only part of the picture. The Practitioner level requires you to think more about the application of the knowledge and as soon as you start thinking that way, you’ve taken the first step to applying it.

One good example is always reviewing your and others’ lessons learned for useful experiences (a key element of PRINCE2). But don’t simply log and not share them as you, and your colleagues, will definitely be missing a trick; and more importantly missing a chance to learn and develop!

Therefore, adding your learning from your PRINCE2 Practitioner to your learning from experience will enable and encourage your further development, through on-going continual learning.

When practitioners walk out of the exam room that’s not the end of the story – it’s just the start. They’ve begun to develop the tools to take back to the workplace and deploy in real-life projects.

Read more Axelos Blog Posts from Jane Nichols

What makes a successful hybrid project manager?

How to engage with stakeholders

Are you giving or receiving full value from your PMO?

5 winning ways with agile and programme management in 2017

Qualifications – something for the CV or a long-term career plan?

Which PPM qualification is right for you? A guide for practitioners and employers