Wednesday, 13 May 2009

...So, what is going on with PRINCE2?

We hear this question a lot. People on the phone want to know about the PRINCE2:2009 project and whether it is better to take a course now or wait for the new release. We receive daily emails asking about Consolidation, Exam Prep, Re-registration and Conversion Exams – “what's the difference?” they ask, and “which one is right for me?”.

To answer your questions, Maven Training has put together the helpful
All you've always wanted to know but didn't know who to ask.

1) What is this PRINCE2:2009?

The PRINCE2 manual gets updated every few years, based on current best practice, as well as any issues raised on the existing version. Since its launch in 1996 it has already been updated in 1998, 2002 and 2005. No reason to panic then: the PRINCE2 you know and love is not changing – this is simply a routine update to the product.

2) What are these updates, then?

The structure of PRINCE2 remains intact – although there are some changes to the naming conventions. For example, Components (things like Organisation Structure, Business Case, and Risk Management) are now called Themes, and they have been reduced to seven (Configuration Management and Change Control have been brought together). The Controls Component has been renamed Progress.

Processes are still Processes, but they have been reduced from eight to seven (this is because Planning has been incorporated into the other seven). On the old PRINCE2 each step within a Process was given a Sub-process number – this has been removed, although the steps broadly remain the same.

There has been the introduction of seven Principles of good project management. These are rules which need to be applied to all PRINCE2 projects for them to be run effectively, and includes guidance on learning from experience and tailoring the method to fit your own situation.

The number of Management Products has been reduced; this is because PRINCE2 is not about creating countless paperwork. For example, the Quality Plans have been rolled into other documents. Some documents have been reformatted as Strategies, explaining how the project is to be run. To emphasise the importance of realising benefits, a Benefits Review Plan has now been included in PRINCE2.

Summary of Changes

3) So should I wait for the change to take my PRINCE2 Exam?

The answer is NO, given the underlying concepts of PRINCE2 are not changing and the structure of the examinations (Foundation and Practitioner) remains the same. There is no need to postpone your chance to become PRINCE2 qualified, so book the course that meets your needs (timing and location), safe in the knowledge that your qualification is unaffected by the materials refresh.

There will be a crossover period when it will be possible to choose between taking the 2005 or 2009 version of the PRINCE2 exams. We recommend that:

* All candidates who have taken their Foundation or have sat and been unsuccessful with their Practitioner since 2005 should sit the Practitioner 2005 exams – after all, you still have the relevant manual!
* Anyone wishing to take a PRINCE2 course for the first time after the 2009 exams become available should go straight to the 2009 version, as 2005 will be phased out by the end of the year.
* Those who have already passed their Foundation and Practitioner exams on earlier versions of PRINCE2 (2005 and 2002) can keep their knowledge up to date by attending our PRINCE2 2005 to 2009 Conversion briefing.

Emma Jones, PRINCE2 Chief Examiner, advised candidates not to wait for the new scheme to be released. She said: “Although the new PRINCE2 manual will simplify the presentation of the method, the fundamental content hasn't changed. If an organisation is using PRINCE2 then it's far better to gain understanding of that as soon as staff need to. There will be no difference between the current qualifications and the 2009 qualifications.

4) What if I have just taken the PRINCE2 exam – will my certificate become invalid?

No – once you have a PRINCE2 qualification, it cannot be taken away from you. As is the case now, there is no expiry date for your Foundation qualification but all Practitioner qualifications have to be re-registered after five years be kept them current.

5) Is it true that there are two PRINCE2 manuals now?

Yes, there are: Managing a Successful Project (about 300 pages, for Project Managers) and Directing a Successful Project (about 125 pages, for Project Boards members).

Examination courses are based upon Managing a Successful Project, which is provided to you as part of your course material. Directing a Successful Project is targeted at senior managers who are Project Board members. This book forms the basis of sponsorship training and board briefings, but is not needed for the Foundation or Practitioner exams.

See what the available PRINCE2 Practitioner courses are, and which is the right one for you

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