Prince2 Overview

PRINCE2, or PRojects IN Controlled Environments, is a project management methodology. It covers the management, control and organisation of a project.

PRINCE2 the de-facto standard:

PRINCE2 was launched by the UK Government in 1996 and has since become the most widely used project management method worldwide.

Overview of the method:

PRINCE2 is embodied within the official manual published by TSO. It comprises:

  1. Processes (8)
  2. Components (8)
  3. Techniques (3)
  4. Appendices containing Product Outlines, Role Descriptions and Checklists.


PRINCE2 describes eight components which need to be present for a successful project:

  • Business Case – The justification for the project
  • Organisation – defining the roles and responsibilities of the people involved
  • Plans – defining the project’s products, how the work should be carried out, when and by whom
  • Controls – how the project manager and project board exercise control over the project
  • Management of Risk – how the project should approach and manage risk
  • Quality in a Project Environment – how the project should ensure that quality products are delivered
  • Configuration Management – how the project’s products are identified and tracked
  • Change Control – how to manage changes to specification or scope of the products


PRINCE2 is a process-driven project management method and is organised into eight processes.


PRINCE2 describes three techniques which support the processes:

  1. Product Based Planning – defining the project in terms if its outputs rather than its activities
  2. Change Control – how to log, assess impact and escalate issues and changes
  3. Quality Reviews – A structured technique for assessing a product’s ‘fitness for purpose’

Training and Certification:

Most accredited training organisations (ATOs) offer a selection of courses, ranging from overviews without examinations to examination events. There are two certificates available:

Foundation Certificate:

The certificate holder is able to act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2 method within a project environment supporting PRINCE2. To this end they need to show they understand the principles and terminology of the method. The exam is closed-book and comprises a multi-choice paper of 75 questions which must be answered within one hour.

Practitioner Certificate:

The certificate holder is able to apply PRINCE2 to the running and managing of a project within an environment supporting PRINCE2. To this end they need to exhibit the competence required for the Foundation qualification, and show that they can apply and tune PRINCE2 to address the needs and problems of a specific project scenario. The exam is open-book and comprises 3 scenario based questions which must be answered within three hours.


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