PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 2: 7 Principles
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: All the themes and processes of the PRINCE2® methodology are based on the 7 PRINCE2® Principles, namely, Continued business justification, Learn from experience, Defined roles and responsibilities, Manage by stages, Manage by exception, Focus on products and Tailor to suit the project environment. These principles will be discussed in details below.
7 Principles of PRINCE2® Methodology
PRINCE2® Principles are the guiding principles for efficient project management practice defined by the PRINCE2® methodology. All these 7 principles must be applied to the project in order for the project to be recognized as PRINCE2® project.
- Continued business justification — for every project, there should be valid reasons to justify for the existence, these justifications must be documented and continually reviewed and updated in the Business Case which needs to be approved by the Senior Management
- Learn from experience — lessons learned from the running of the projects must be reviewed, recorded and referred to during the life of the project as well as in subsequent projects, these lessons learned must be produced as the project progress so that immediate benefits can be achieved (~ unlike PMP where lessons learned are created at the closing of project/phase)
- Defined roles and responsibilities — every PRINCE2® projects have well defined roles and responsibilities that ensure appropriate engagements and representation of stakeholder interests of:
- the business (sponsors)
- supplier (internal & external)
- Manage by stages — the project must be divided into at least 2 logical/management stages depending on the nature and complexity of the project:
- initiation stage; and
- one or more further management stages
Within each stage, the “plan-delegate-monitor-control” cycle should be included while the duration of stages can be tailored to the specific needs. At the end of each stage, the status of the project needs to be assessed and the Business Case and plans be reviewed for the viability of the project.
- Manage by exception — tolerances for the project objective have to be established within the PRINCE2® project. These tolerances are meant to provide “limits of delegated authority of the management levels” — once the limits are crossed, the next management level will need to be involved to decide the next step. The 4 levels of management are:
- corporate or programme management: the senior management of the organization
- project board: executive representative from the management + user and supplier representatives
- project manager: planning and day-to-day management of the project
- team manager: perform the activities required to deliver the actual specialist product
- Focus on products — the project team should focus on the definition and delivery of products. The product definition includes: products’ purpose, composition, derivation, format, quality criteria and quality method. Focusing on products helps to avoid dissatisfaction among users and scope creep of the project.
- According to PRINCE2®, a successful project is output-oriented but not activity-oriented
- Tailor to suit the project environment — while PRINCE2® can be applied to any industry, it is a generalised methodology that needs to be tailored in order to be applied to different project environment, size, complexity, criticality, capability and risk, etc.
- The details of tailoring of the PRINCE2® for the project is to be documented in Project Initiation Documentation (PID) during the initiation stage of the project.
Conclusion: PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Study Notes
This PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Study Notes provides a concise description of what the 7 PRINCE2® principles are. Projects must follow all these 7 PRINCE2® principles in order to be recognized as a PRINCE2® project. The PRINCE2® themes and processes are developed based on these 7 principles and you will notice references to these principles in the discussion of PRINCE2® themes and processes.
Wish you PRINCE2® Foundation Exam success!