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.

Accredited MSP™ and PRINCE2® trainer.

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