The Secret Behind the Staying Power of PRINCE2 Project Management

Sometimes there is no explanation for why certain innovations and trends catch on, while others crash and burn. For every Facebook, there is a Friendster, for every iPod, a Zune, for every Coke, a New Coke. However, given PRINCE2®’s immense popularity as a Project Management methodology, there is no mystery regarding its popularity and staying power; it’s simple and effective. Since being founded in 1989, PRINCE2 has become an industry standard for project management, and a valuable element of any project manager’s repertoire.

To fully understand the effectiveness and popularity of PRINCE2, you have to go all the way back to 1975 to a project management methodology created by Simpact Systems called PROMPT. PROMPT was adopted in 1979 by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1979 as the standard for all Government information systems projects. Based on PROMPT, PRINCE was launched in 1989 and soon became the project management methodology of choice for Government projects. While primarily focused on the IT sector in its infancy, PRINCE was eventually simplified and generic methods were implemented for other sectors. This broader methodology is what we now know as PRINCE2. The new PRINCE2 adopted a more flexible approach, allowing it to be applicable to any size project with complex and specific needs.

The Evolution of Simplicity

PRINCE2 has become increasingly popular in today’s business world due to its simplicity. In a time when everyone can be overwhelmed by the amount of complex information to consume and understand, PRINCE2 has remained loyal to its simple roots, while still evolving as a methodology to fit the needs of a modern project manager.

PRINCE2 is based on seven 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. Tailoring

While specific in nature, each of these principles can be applied to any size project in virtually any sector. Applied together as part of the PRINCE2 methodology, these principles help organizations realize effective outcomes in respect to costs, timelines, quality, scope, risks and overall project success.

The PRINCE2 methodology’s commitment to simplicity can also be seen in the certification process. There are two different certification levels for PRINCE2: Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation certification allows you to perform duties of an informed member of a project management team who uses the PRINCE2 methodology. For those who already have the Foundation certification, the Practitioner certification allows you to run and manage a project using PRINCE2.

The good news? Each certification relies on simple exams, with re-registration exams for those who have achieved PRINCE2 Practitioner level and wish to maintain it. For more information on PRINCE2 certifications, please visit, powered by ILX Group.

PRINCE2 vs. ‘The Others’

If you are looking for a project management certification, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is right for you. PMP or PRINCE2? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. PRINCE2’s versatility and flexibility allows it to complement other project management methodologies. While there are distinct differences between PRINCE2 and PMP certifications, having both can only ensure you’re more effective, without putting you at odds with yourself.

Project Management Professional, or PMP, is a globally recognized certification provided to those who meet certain requirements such as having a baccalaureate or equivalent university degree, along with a minimum of 4,500 hours of personal project management experience and a minimum of 36 non-overlapping months of personal project management experience. There is also certification available without a baccalaureate degree, but with higher thresholds for the real-world experience. PMP is designed to equip the project manager and organization with the necessary framework and skills from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to successfully manage projects. PRINCE2’s core focus is on the execution of a project by taking into account the framework, structure, and processes.

PRINCE2 complements PMP because of similarly incorporated elements. Both certifications can go well together, and after acquiring a PMP certification, a lot of project managers also obtain PRINCE2 which helps with more project execution-centric ideas like the where, when, how, and what of a project.


Boost Your Career

If you fancy yourself an early adopter of possible new trends, a PRINCE2 certification could help put more money in your pocket to buy the latest iPod or Zune, or try the latest invention from Coke. There are currently more than 300,000 PRINCE2 practitioners across 57 countries. The average salary of a PRINCE2 certified professional is $51,388 – $123,650.

If you’re ready to begin your journey towards PRINCE2 certification, MCFTech and our affiliates can help. CorePM offers one of the leading cloud-based Project Management tools available, and also offers PRINCE2 certification and implementation training for organizations large and small. Contact us today to find out more about PRINCE2, and to find out how you can start managing your projects effectively.