The keys to studying online

Prince2 is a global best practice methodology which has been in use for about thirty years. It is recognised worldwide and used in all types of organisations to deliver projects.

The certification process is straightforward enough. Go online, pick a service provider which is well recognised, has online training support and is Axelos accredited (Certifier). Buy the book and get stuck into the course.

When you are close to finishing your course go to an online exam provider such as ProctorU and book your exam. I strongly advise doing the exam very soon after completing the course. Retaining information is important here.

Once you have completed both exams (foundation and practitioner), you are ready to go. If you have experience of business operations with some basic project work, you are now very employable in most organisations and most sectors. The certification will also help you move sectors if you wish.

But for those who want to excel at project management and follow that career path it is now time to use it or lose it!

Think about it. You have just put a lot of effort, time and money to get a certificate which is globally recognised. In order to move on with your career you will need to demonstrate you can now put it to good use. My experiences with many organisations is that they may say they use Prince2 but in reality they just pay it lip service. They spend lots of money on certification but don’t realise the benefit and ultimately it is money poorly spent.

I am always amazed at how many organisations are not interested in how to use Prince2 to save them lots of time and money and get serious about project viability. No we just want certifications, is the reply when asking about training.

Your certification should be put to good use and serve you and your organisation well. So where would you start when you are appointed to your first project?

Tips for getting started with Prince2

  • When introducing an element of Prince2 be sure you can explain the benefits to the team and organisation
  • Think project viability at all times. Every part of Prince2 is about adding or maintaining the viability of projects
  • Start with the fundamentals (principles) of Prince2 and take it from there. Try to apply the principles to your projects one or two at a time and move on from there
  • Use the principles as your guiding light throughout the projects (ref previous blogs here) they will assist you greatly with project viability
  • Learn from experience is always a good principle to start with because it is likely to gain support quickly and will help you and your team mature with immediate effect
  • The next principle I would introduce early is focus on products. Prince2 is a what you do methodology not how you do it. So concentrate on scoping your project robustly with the guidance in Prince2 appendix D and pay less attention to activity planning. This will serve you well in the long term. Of course, activity planning is important but useless if based on a weak scoping document.
  • Concentrate on progressive elements of Prince2 such as its light reporting structure for small projects and tailor your communications well.
  • If your business are unsure of which project to start, use the Prince2 Start-Up process to assist you to provide a good base for proving the value of your project before you move into planning giving senior management good information to make a judgment. This is fundamentally about project viability
  • With projects being highly susceptible to change I would recommend introducing elements of the change theme particularly the change control procedure which will help you and your organisation deal with scope creep and assist with the projects continued viability
  • Finally once you get going with Prince2 you could volunteer to present say once a month on the benefits of using Prince2 for your organisation and maybe have some stats up your sleeve

I hope these few tips will help you on your way to becoming an expert in the use of Prince2 and excel at delivering projects for your organisation on time and budget thus maybe even enhancing your standing and career in PM.

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