PRINCE2 : Efficient, Flexible and Results-Oriented Project Management

PRINCE2 is an effective and adaptable project management method used worldwide. This guide explains its basic principles, benefits, and how to achieve PRINCE2 certification.

In this article, you will discover the following main topics:

cours gestion de projet prince2

Key points present in this article

PRINCE2 offers a flexible and structured methodology for project management, used globally across various sectors since 1996.

The PRINCE2 certification, at Foundation and Practitioner levels, is recognized for validating project management skills and is highly sought after in the industry.

The seven core principles of PRINCE2, such as continued business justification and management by stages, ensure efficient and controlled project management.

Introduction to PRINCE2

In a world where every project counts, PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) stands out as an essential method for project managers aiming to deliver their projects efficiently and effectively. Used worldwide, this methodology provides a structured approach to organizing and controlling projects from inception to completion. With a history that began in 1996 and a presence in over 150 countries, PRINCE2 has continually adapted to meet the needs of both the public and private sectors, proving its flexibility and relevance.

With recent updates, the methodology is now less prescriptive and lighter, capable of integrating into various project contexts with detailed processes for planning, management, and project closure.

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 is more than just a project management method; it is a common language that unites professionals worldwide. This methodology is characterized by its flexibility and adaptability to any type of project, regardless of size or complexity. It encompasses principles, processes, and practices designed to guide project managers and their teams toward achieving their goals.

The PRINCE2 certification, whether at the Foundation or Practitioner level, is a mark of competence and expertise and is sought after in many industry sectors. Whether you are at the beginning of your project management career or looking to refine your skills, PRINCE2 offers the tools and recognition necessary to excel.

structure and key elements of prince2

The Seven Core Principles of PRINCE2

The principles of PRINCE2 are the pillars that support the methodology and ensure its integrity. They serve as a guide for project management and must be adhered to for a project to be considered PRINCE2 compliant. These seven principles include:

  1. Continued Business Justification
  2. Learn from Experience
  3. Defined Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Manage by Stages
  5. Manage by Exception
  6. Focus on Products
  7. Tailor to Suit the Project Environment

These principles form a framework that ensures every project is managed with a clear understanding of its justifications, lessons, and organizational structure.

7 principles of prince2

Continued Business Justification

At the heart of every decision in PRINCE2 lies the economic justification of the project. A project must demonstrate value for the business at every stage of its lifecycle. The justification of a business case must be solid, evolving, and regularly reviewed to ensure the project remains aligned with business objectives and that the expected benefits are still achievable.

This principle prevents the continuation of projects without tangible benefits and allows informed decisions on whether to proceed or terminate a project.

Learn from Experience

In PRINCE2, every lesson learned is a treasure for future projects. This principle encourages teams to maintain a record of lessons learned from previous experiences on a dedicated page, ensuring that acquired knowledge is not lost but used to improve future project management.

This systematic approach to learning ensures that mistakes are not repeated and that good practices become routine.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities

A clear definition of roles and responsibilities is essential for the success of a PRINCE2 project. Each person involved must not only know their mission but also understand how it fits into the overall picture of the project. This structure allows for efficient resource allocation and expectation management, ensuring that every participant knows what is expected of them and is ready to meet these challenges.

The Key Themes of PRINCE2

The themes of PRINCE2 add depth to the methodology by addressing the fundamental aspects of project management, such as organization, risk management, and progress control. These themes are integrated into every PRINCE2 process, ensuring that projects are conducted consistently and with particular attention to areas critical to success.


The organization of a PRINCE2 project is stratified and defined, with roles clearly allocated to stakeholders for the direction, management, and control of the project. From the Sponsor to the Project Manager and team members, everyone has specific responsibilities that must be understood and accepted to ensure effective communication and informed decision-making.

This structure aims to establish clear and functional accountability mechanisms.

Risk Management

Risk management is a central theme of PRINCE2, which recognizes that identifying and controlling risks are crucial to a project’s survival and success. The methodology provides tools to assess the potential impact of risks and proactively address them, ensuring that risks are constantly monitored and managed effectively throughout the project.

Progress Control

Progress control in PRINCE2 ensures that the project advances as planned and that any deviation from the plan is quickly identified and corrected. Regular progress reports allow for monitoring the current status of the project and taking corrective measures if necessary, ensuring the project stays on track and in line with stakeholder expectations.

cours PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 Processes

The PRINCE2 processes describe the workflow of project management, from initiation to closure. Each of the seven processes is designed to manage a specific aspect of the project, providing systematic control and effective management of the different project stages.

Starting Up a Project

The “Starting Up a Project” process is the initial phase of PRINCE2 where the foundations of a project are established. This step involves:

  • Clearly defining the project’s objectives and scope
  • Deciding if the project is viable enough to proceed to the initiation phase
  • Appointing the project board
  • Creating the project brief.

Initiating a Project

Initiating a PRINCE2 project is essential for establishing a solid foundation. The “Initiating a Project” process involves preparing fundamental documents, such as the Business Case and the Project Plan, which will guide all future activities. This process concludes with the production of the Project Initiation Documentation (PID), which acts as a reference throughout the project’s duration.

Directing a Project

“Directing a Project” focuses on the strategic direction of the project. The project board plays a crucial role by providing oversight, making major decisions, and ensuring the project remains aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.

This process involves close collaboration with the project manager, who handles the daily implementation of the project and the associated program.

training prince2 foundation and practitioner

Benefits of the PRINCE2 Method

Adopting the PRINCE2 method offers numerous benefits, such as reducing the risk of project failure, improving resource utilization, and adapting to different project environments. This structured management method promotes increased control and systematic management of various project phases, thus enhancing the likelihood of success.

Flexibility and Adaptability

PRINCE2 stands out for its ability to adapt to the specific needs of each project, whether in terms of size, complexity, or environment. This flexibility allows project managers to tailor the methodology to the unique realities of their projects while maintaining consistency with PRINCE2’s proven practices.

Better Resource Management

Detailed planning and precise task allocation are essential for optimal resource management, and PRINCE2 provides the necessary tools to achieve this. This methodology maximizes the efficiency of available resources, resulting in better productivity and a higher return on investment for the project.

Risk Reduction

The methodical structure and regular controls of PRINCE2 reduce the risk of project failure by ensuring that all aspects are properly managed and potential issues are promptly addressed.

The PRINCE2 processes guide teams through the complex challenges of project management, thereby increasing the chances of success.

PRINCE2 Certification

Professional recognition and validation of project management skills are essential in today’s competitive world. PRINCE2 certification is a valuable asset for project managers as it attests to their ability to manage projects effectively using a proven methodology.

With two certification levels, PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner, professionals can demonstrate their understanding of the principles and their ability to apply them in real situations. By obtaining the PRINCE2 Foundation Practitioner certification, they validate their skills at both levels.

PRINCE2 Foundation

The PRINCE2 Foundation certification is the first step towards understanding the basic principles of the PRINCE2 method. Designed for beginners in project management as well as those wishing to consolidate their theoretical knowledge, this certification requires no prerequisites and is accessible to everyone.

The Foundation exam assesses knowledge of the principles, themes, and processes of PRINCE2, ensuring that candidates understand the framework and vocabulary of the methodology.

training prince2 foundation

PRINCE2 Practitioner

For project management professionals looking to elevate their skill level, the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification is the next step. This advanced certification focuses on the practical application of the PRINCE2 methodology in real and complex contexts. It is ideal for those actively involved in project management who need to demonstrate their ability to customize and apply PRINCE2 principles effectively.

Training prince2 practitioner

How to Prepare for PRINCE2 Certification

Preparing for PRINCE2 certification is a commitment that requires determination and discipline. Fortunately, there are many resources and methods available to guide candidates through the study process and prepare them to pass the exams successfully.

Whether choosing self-study or accredited intensive training, the key is to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the principles, themes, and processes of the PRINCE2 method.

Accredited Training

Accredited training is a sure path to passing the PRINCE2 certification exams. Delivered by recognized organizations and led by experienced trainers, these courses can connect various best practices in project management. Training can be attended in person or online, and includes case studies, practical exercises, and exam simulations that adequately prepare candidates for certification tests.

Practice Exam Questions

Practicing with sample exam questions is a crucial element of preparing for PRINCE2 certification. Mock exams help get accustomed to the question format and identify areas where additional review is needed. This practice builds confidence and the skills necessary to tackle the actual exam.

It can also be helpful to practice in a team for a more dynamic and interactive preparation.

Summary of Project Management with the PRINCE2 Method

Exploring the principles, themes, and processes of the PRINCE2 method reveals a project management methodology that is both structured and adaptable. The benefits of PRINCE2, from its flexible approach to its precise risk management, make it a valuable asset for any project manager. PRINCE2 certification is not just a recognition of skills; it is an investment in a project management career that promises success and professional growth.

training prince2 foundation and practitioner

Frequently Asked Questions

What does PRINCE2 certification bring to project managers?

PRINCE2 certification provides validation of project management skills, enhancing career prospects and professional recognition for project managers.

How does the PRINCE2 methodology ensure project flexibility?

The PRINCE2 methodology ensures project flexibility by allowing adjustments in oversight and planning, according to the size and complexity of the project, making it suitable for a wide range of project environments.

Is it necessary to take accredited training to pass the PRINCE2 exams?

Yes, it is recommended to take accredited training to increase the chances of passing the PRINCE2 exams due to the quality of the teaching materials and the expertise of the trainers.

What is the difference between PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certifications?

The PRINCE2 Foundation certification focuses on theoretical knowledge, while the Practitioner certification assesses the ability to apply this knowledge in practical contexts.

How long does it typically take to prepare for the PRINCE2 exams?

It is recommended to allow about three weeks of preparation for the PRINCE2 Foundation exam and additional preparation, including a three-day training course, for the Practitioner level.

About the author

ITTA is the leader in IT training and project management solutions and services in French-speaking Switzerland.

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