Implementing PRINCE2

Added value

In many organisations PRINCE2® does not lead to good results. The method has a reputation for being rigid and bureaucratic and for causing an enormous flow of paperwork. But it does not have to be like that, a proper implementation of PRINCE2® causes exactly the opposite. Implementation should should not focus on a common language or the usage of templates. It is all about added value and control over projects. And that needs far less paperwork than most people think.


Usually PRINCE2® implementations start with training. A common language is not the target, but is obviously is convenient when everyone starts from the same basis. Training for PRINCE2® is necessary because it is a complex system with many processes and angles and a strong philosophy. Simply learning the terminology from a book does not work.


However, with or without training it is necessary to learn to work with PRINCE2® in real life. In real life it seems hard to work process-centred. In a training environment the principles will sound very logical, but application is a different story. The experts, and I include myself, agree that most implementations of PRINCE2® did not lead to the PRINCE2® way of thinking but only to PINO (PRINCE In Name Only). An essential technique as Product Based Planning does usually not get applied, when I see this technique as the heart of PRINCE2®. The Business Case is in my vision the brain and quality the blood of the PRINCE2® body.

Implementing is paying attention to the possibilities that the organisation offers. Factors are the companies culture, the maturity of the project management and the surroundings of the projects: how does the project's customer handle the responsibilities? And there are several other important factors.

In one of my assignments the emphasis was on the idea to implement PRINCE2® bottom-up. In all openness training sessions delivered ideas and a list of issues include my comments and advice, that their management went to work with. This approach has a chance of success when knowledgeable management takes it serious. Enthusiasm of the people that are concerned most, is very likely with this approach. Also I can look at the level of maturity of project management or consult the project managers and the members of the Project Boards. Experience proved that the appointment of a "Champion" has great value. This is a (external) person acting as a centre of knowledge and support, moving at all levels of the organisation. No matter what option you choose, I am ready to support you. As long as it is about improving your project management. The result, not the means is important.

About the author

Specialist in effective change.

APMG accredited MSP™ and PRINCE2® trainer.

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