PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 1: Introduction

PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 1: Introduction

Important: The new PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams (PRINCE2® 2017) are available from 10 July 2017 (details of the changes here). Don’t worry, the changes are quite minor indeed as all the 7 principles, themes and processes remain the same. From now on until the end of 2017, candidates can take either the existing or updated English versions of the PRINCE2® exam. All PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams will be based on PRINCE2® 2017 from 1 January 2018. You can still seize the time to get certified based on the current version! Once you get PRINCE2® certified, your certification is still valid under PRINCE2® 2017 and onwards!

Introduction: Managing business operations and business changes for organization is always a challenging task as operations need to be transformed continually in order to respond to the changing business environments. Projects need to be implemented for business changes but at the same time ensuring Business As Usual (BAU) for business operations.

Definition of a Project

According to PRINCE2®, the definition of a project is:

Project is a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.

Projects are carried out owing to “problems” in the organization (the problem can be the changing environment, business climate, legislations, etc.) and the projects are expected to bring forth the expected changes to solve the problems.

Characteristics of projects include:

  • introducing changes to the organization
  • has a definite start and end date (i.e. temporary in nature)
  • unique — not carried out before
  • cross-functional — resources (including human resources) are drawn from varoius functional units across the organization
  • involve risks and uncertainties

Definition of Project Management

According to PRINCE2®, the definition of a project management is:

Project management is the planning, delegating, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project, and the motivation of those involved, to achieve the project objectives within the expected performance targets for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risks.

Project managers are responsible for controlling the 6 aspects/variables of a project mentioned in the definition above:

  • cost — ensures the project spending is within the budget allowed by reducing the likelihood of overspending
  • time — plan the project activities so that the project can be finished within the agreed timeframe
  • quality — the products of the project must “fit for purpose” in order to bring about benefits to the organization
  • scope — the activities to be included and excluded from the project
  • risk — prepare for uncertainties and act swiftly once risks materialized in order to protect the project
  • benefits — have a clear understanding of the purpose/intention of the project to ensure the project can achieve the intended returns

Definition of a PRINCE2® Project

A project is called a PRINCE2® project ONLY IF it follows all the 7 PRINCE2® principles.

Integrated Elements for the PRINCE2® Methodology

PRINCE2® is a project management methodology that includes four integrated elements of principles, themes, processes and project environment, namely:

  • 7 PRINCE2® Principles
  • 7 PRINCE2® Themes
  • 7 PRINCE2® Processes
  • Tailoring PRINCE2® to the project environment

Benefits of Using PRINCE2®

  • PRINCE2® is well established best practices for managing projects as it is widely practised/recognised across industries
  • can be applied to any type of project / integrated with many product development method (e.g. Agile Project Management) and is independent of the industry, domain and technology
  • ensures the project is viable, desirable and achievable
  • provides the project with structure of accountability, delegation, authority and communication (has well-defined roles and responsibilities)
  • project controls are built-in for efficient use of senior management time (principle of ‘Management by exception’)

Conclusion: PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Study Notes

This PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Study Notes is mainly about the introductory concepts covered in the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam and is aimed at preparing PRINCE2® Foundation Aspirants for the 18 lessons on the PRINCE2® principles, themes and processes that follow.

Wish you PRINCE2® Foundation Exam success!


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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