PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes: Fundamentals

PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes: Fundamentals

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: PRINCE2® stands for PRoject IN Controlled Environment version 2 (and has nothing to do with the little prince above) which is owned by AXELOS. PRINCE2® provides a methodology for efficient project management practices by addressing the various aspects of project management such as: quality management, control and organization of a project so as to achieve goals and values of the performing organization.

There are 4 integrated elements for the PRINCE2® methodology, namely: Seven principles, Seven themes, Seven processes and Tailoring PRINCE2® to the project environment. And this is what the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam would be about. The PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam would be mainly about the understanding and memorization of these key principles, themes and processes while the PRINCE2® Practitioner Exam would be largely about the application of these.

Integrated Elements for the PRINCE2® Methodology

  • Seven PRINCE2® Principles
    1. Continued business justification
    2. Learn from experience
    3. Defined roles and responsibilities
    4. Manage by stages
    5. Manage by exception
    6. Focus on products
    7. Tailor to suit the project environment
  • Seven PRINCE2® Themes
    1. Business Case theme
    2. Organisation theme
    3. Quality theme
    4. Plans theme
    5. Risk theme
    6. Change theme
    7. Progress theme
  • Seven PRINCE2® Processes
    1. Starting Up a Project (SU)
    2. Directing a Project (DP)
    3. Initiating a Project (IP)
    4. Controlling a Stage CS)
    5. Managing Product Delivery (MP)
    6. Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)
    7. Closing a Project (CP)
  • Tailoring PRINCE2® to the project environment — PRINCE2® methodology understands that each project is special and customisation of PRINCE2® is needed be application.

Definitions: PRINCE2® Principles, Themes and Processes

PRINCE2® Principles: the seven guiding principles for efficient project management practice that serve the purpose of the PRINCE2® framework. For PRINCE2® projects, all these 7 principles must be applied.

PRINCE2® Themes: the seven key areas/aspects defined by PRINCE2® that need to be addressed continuously in parallel during the project till closure. All of these themes are necessary for good project management.

PRINCE2® Processes: these are the key steps for the project lifecycle (from the very beginning to project closure) for PRINCE2® projects. The PRINCE2® methodology includes a list of purposes, objectives, recommended activities and roles and responsibility for each process.

In the articles to follow, these PRINCE2® Principles, Themes and Processes will be discussed in details.


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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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12 Responses

  1. Thanks Edward! Your notes are helpfull. also i agree that the PRINCE2® provides a methodology for efficient project management practices

  2. Sandeep Singh says:

    Thanks Edward. Your notes are very helpful and to-the-point. Starting from scratch I could pass the PRINCE2 foundation in 2 weeks and your notes formed an important foundation for it. Kudos to you.

  3. izaya says:

    Hi Edward,

    Your notes is very helpful. Thank for that. Would like to ask you, is there any fallback if a Prince2 aspirant opt to just sit in the exam without joining any course ? Means: the aspirant do the self-study by him/herself, and just reqister for the online exam directly to Peoplecert. What would be your suggestion on this approach?

  4. Jen says:

    Thanks Edward. Your study guide is the most useful Prince2 foundation exam study material I can find on the Internet. It’s well structured and easy to follow. Your guide is the only thing I’d read before the exam and I passed it with >80% ! Thanks a lot for your help!

  5. Joe says:

    I just found your site while looking for additional resources. I had originally planned to sit this exam around mid April for general purpose career advancement. I have just seen a job posting I’m interested in, which requires this certification which means I need to pass this much sooner than intended (within 9 days). What time I can fully dedicate to studying is fairly limited, but I’m shifting as much around as I can to prepare as much as possible.

    I have the official 2017 book, and the GreyCampus videos which I am going through together and focusing my book reading on the sections covered in the videos and any tables/figures/definitions he specifically mentions. Is there anything else you would recommend, and any sections in particular you feel are more important than the others. I assume your notes here cover the primary topics, but if there is any other advice you can provide I would appreciate it. I knocked out the ITILv3 foundations in under a week, so I know I can do it (though I’ve worked in ITIL focused organizations for many years).

    • Hi Joe,

      The most important advice I would give is to take as many practice questions as possible. And try to find ones which are of good quality.

      Wish you success with your ambitious plan!

  6. Naseerudeen says:

    Hi Mr. Ed,

    Thanks for all your notes to prepare Prince2 Foundation exam.

    Can you please email me your notes in PDF/Doc version, If you have them.