The PRINCE2 method

Processes, Themes and Techniques

PRINCE2® is a method that aims at controlling a project and (particularly) the role of the project manager. The method in essence shows great common sense and focuses on processes. There are seven main processes described and the method also pays attention to eight main subjects, the Themes, that are handled during the processes. Although PRINCE2® does not described techniques, like Critical Path Analysis or Gant charts, (these are free according to the preferences of the person using the method), PRINCE2® defines some techniques of which Product Based Planning is an essential one.

Start and usage

PRINCE2® has become a standard since the start in 1996 in the United Kingdom, Australia and The Netherlands. But there are also interesting developments seen in many other countries around the world. Apart from English the PRINCE2® Manual is available in several other languages.

PINO and prevention

The PRINCE2® method is widely used, but sadly often with disappointing results. Is there something wrong with the method or are there other reasons? After all, the term PINO (Prince In Name Only) is almost as well known as the name PRINCE2® itself.

On the page about bureaucracy I talk about using PRINCE2® effectively. Apart from the arguments you can read there, it is a fact that the manual is very structured, maybe even over structured. People can't see the trees for the forest anymore. In almost every training I deliver, people tell me that my story is so logical and as so simple vision on the matter. If added to that, they tell me they followed another training in which the method was explained far more procedural and theoretical, I get the feeling that the PINO problem is not only caused by the users but also by the suppliers of the PRINCE2® method, resulting in ineffectiveness and bureaucracy.

Or do I deliver training that is not consistent with the theory? My exam results show different, when they are higher than average. I work from a vision that is very strongly consistent with the principles of PRINCE2®. That means strongly focused on end result, quality and processes. Visit these pages for more information.

The word "processes" to me also causes a lot of the problems. Thinking in processes is very rare, sadly enough. Following strict inflexible procedures is, also sadly, very common. When you explain the PRINCE2® processes all makes sense and is extremely simple, but in real life everyone is focused on tasks and not on processes. Also handling problems with a short term is very popular, while a bit more thought clearly shows that this "solution" only increases the problems in the longer term. It is not so strange that the theories and books of Michael Hammer and Peter Senge are very popular and widely acclaimed, but that applying their ideas is a very different matter. These gentlemen themselves are often pessimistic about working and thinking in processes. But they also state - and I fully agree - there is no feasible alternative. PINO projects and their alternatives prove this point for me.

Planning en resources

While running a project issues occur that are connected to the planning and the availability of resources. During the project resources are taken away, usually because of efficiency or other priorities. The PRINCE2® vision on these issues, often is experienced as insufficient and people look for a way of handling these issues.

A also very process driven way to look at resources and planning, which is in line with PRINCE2®, is offered by the Theory Of Constraints en Critical Chain. More information can be found on the page dedicated to this matter.


In the world of project management there several standard or what are considered to be. The Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) are influential, but how do their visions compare to PRINCE2®? Here you can find my opinion.



More relevant information on this site.

More relevant information is available on this site on here.

About the author

Specialist in effective change.

Accredited MSP™ and PRINCE2® trainer.

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