There are numerous project management qualifications to choose from and when you are just starting out it can be overwhelming trying to choose which one to do. One of the courses that a lot of people come across is Prince2 and I get a lot of questions asking if Prince2 is right for them. In this article I outline what Prince2 is and why it is a great course for people to take who are new to project management. Before I go into why first I will explain what Prince2 is and this will be followed by how the exams are structured. I will complete the article by providing information on where you can find out more information and take practice exams. By the end of this article I hope I that you will be able to answer the question: Is Prince2 right for me?
What is Prince2?
So what actually is Prince2? Well firstly Prince actually stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. The number 2 refers to the fact that this is the current version. Prince 2 is a generic project management method that can be applied to most projects. Prince originated from the UK government and is widely used throughout many government departments. The current version (2) was released in 1996 and is now used by many private organisations.
Essentially Prince2 is made up of 7 Principles, 7 Themes and 7 Processes that can be tailored and applied to different projects and organisations. It is therefore possible for individuals to study the principles and become Prince2 certified. There are two levels of certification Foundation and Practitioner. To become certified at either level you need to take an exam. As to be expected with the different levels the exam at Practitioner level is more in depth than the Foundation.
The foundation exam is a 1 hour long with 70 multiple choice questions and you will need to get at least 35 right in order to pass. During the exam you are not allowed to use the Prince2 book or any other training material.Before you can take the practitioner exam you must have passed the foundation exam.
The practitioner exam is 8 questions with each question containing 10 items to be answered. This time rather than being multiple choice it is scenario based where you are given a fictitious project to manage. The objective of the exam it to test if you can apply the principles. You will need 55% correct to pass but you are able to use the Prince2 manual during the exam.
While the foundation exam never expires to remain a Prince2 Practitioner you will need to retake and pass the exam every 5 years.
Is Prince2 Right For Me?
I often get asked is Prince2 right for me and often I will say yes. The reason is most of the people that ask me are new to project management or they want to get their first project management role. Prince 2 is a great way to start thinking like a project manager and gain an understanding on why a good structure will help a project succeed. Also for those trying to secure their first role have a Prince 2 certification will not only give you something for the CV but will also help you come across more knowledgeable in interviews. This is the one advantage that Prince 2 offers above just doing an introduction to project management course as Prince2 is all about applying the principles to any project or organisation. Therefore if you are sat in an interview and are given a scenario to answer you will be able to call upon your Prince2 knowledge to give a well structured answer. My advice is if you are new to project management or want to get into project management is to do Prince2 as it will help you with scenarios you could be given in an interview.
It will also help with your first projects particularly if your organisation does not have a structured project management approach. If you are in or find yourself in a organisation that just give you a project and tell you to get on with it then Prince2 will help you. Simply take some of the processes and principles from Prince2 and manage your project in a structured and logical way. This is also a great way to standout and shine in your organisation. When people see you taking a professional approach to your project and being successful they are likely to give you bigger and better projects to manage.
If your organisation has a project approach that is not Prince2 then it can come in handy being Prince2 certified. Regardless of whichever approach organisations take to managing projects there will often be many similarities. You will be able to quickly understand your organisations approach to projects as often just changing the name will give you a similar process in Prince2. As organisations are constantly adapting and changing the way they do projects you will be able to become an active voice in those conversations and been seen as someone who is knowledgeable about delivering projects.Prince2 will help you even if your organisation does not follow it Click To Tweet
In summary regardless of whether you are trying to find your first project management role or already delivering your first project Prince2 will help you. Also even if your organisation does not do Prince2 in name you should find many similarities and therefore have a better understanding on the way projects are delivered in your organisation.
Would you like to have a free go at the exams to see what they are like? On the APMG website you can have a go at the exams for free so you can get an idea on what they are like.
To take the Prince2 Foundation practice exam follow this link.
To have a go at the Prince2 Practitioner exam follow this link.
I hope you are now able to decide if Prince2 is right for you and you have a go at the practice exams. If after taking the exams you feel you would like more help getting your Prince2 certification then come back here and you will find study guides and tips to make taking your Prince2 exam easier.
Axelos the owner of Prince2 has created a video about the 2017 update.