PRINCE2 is a project management method widely adopted around the world*, used by people and organizations from wide-ranging industries and sectors.

It is a flexible method that guides you through the essentials for managing successful projects, regardless of type or scale. Built upon seven principles, themes and processes, PRINCE2 can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.

PRINCE2 is comprised of:

  • The PRINCE2 manual
  • A certification scheme which includes Foundation and Practitioner levels
  • The supporting My PRINCE2 subscription service.

The Importance of Projects

In our 2019 PPM benchmark study, 88% of project managers agreed that the business environment has become more competitive. Organizations are striving to find a competitive advantage wherever they can. To do this, they must change to stay ahead of the competition, survive and thrive.

Project and programme management are crucial to that survival.

Projects and programmes are how organizations introduce change and PRINCE2, as the world’s most widely-adopted project management method, helps organizations do just that.


The PRINCE2 Method

The PRINCE2 method comprises four integrated elements of principles, themes, processes and the project environment.

The structure of PRINCE2

1 PRINCE2 Principles

These are the guiding requirements and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2. There are seven principles and unless all of them are applied, it is not a PRINCE2 project.

The seven PRINCE2 principles are:

  1. Continued business justification: there must be a justifiable reason to be running and managing the project. If not, the project should be closed.
  2. Learn from experience: PRINCE2 project teams should continually seek and draw on lessons learned from previous work.
  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: the PRINCE2 project team should have a clear organizational structure and involve the right people in the right tasks.
  4. Manage by stages: PRINCE2 projects should be planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis.
  5. Manage by exception: people working within the project should be given the right amount of authority to effectively work within the environment.
  6. Focus on products: PRINCE2 projects focus on the product definition, delivery and quality requirements.
  7. Tailor to suit the project environment: PRINCE2 must be tailored to suit the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.

2 PRINCE2 Themes

These describe aspects of project management that must be addressed in parallel throughout the project. The seven themes explain the specific treatment required by PRINCE2 for various project management disciplines and why they are necessary.

PRINCE2 helps people apply the themes by stating the minimum requirement needed for each theme, and gives specific guidance on how to tailor to certain environments.

The seven PRINCE2 themes:

  1. Business case: create and maintain a record of the business justification for the project.
  2. Organization: define the individual roles and responsibilities of the whole project team.
  3. Quality: what the quality requirements and measures are and how the project will deliver them.
  4. Plans: the steps required to develop the plans and the PRINCE2 techniques that should be used.
  5. Risk: effectively identify risks and opportunities that could impact the project.
  6. Change: how the project manager will assess and act on changes to the project.
  7. Progress: the ongoing viability and performance of the plans and how and whether the project should proceed.

3 PRINCE2 Processes

These describe the steps of the project lifecycle, from the initial idea to project closure (and measurement of the benefits). Each process provides checklists of recommended activities, related responsibilities and guidance about how to tailor to a specific environment.

The seven PRINCE2 processes:

  1. Starting up a project
  2. Directing a project
  3. Initiating a project
  4. Controlling a stage
  5. Managing product delivery 
  6. Managing stage boundaries
  7. Closing a project

Use of the PRINCE2 processes through the project lifecycle:

Use of the PRINCE2 processes through the project lifecycle - figure from Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 edition


PRINCE2® Training

  • PRINCE2® Foundation with Exam
  • PRINCE2® Practitioner with Exam

  • *PRINCE2® certifications are held and used in 220 countries/dependant territories/special areas of geographical interest using ISO3166 standard (as at 29 November 2019). [Source: AXELOS fact file data and AXELOS’ public register of candidates].

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