PRINCE2 is arguably the world’s most popular project management framework. PRINCE2, which stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, was first established by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) now part of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 1989 as a UK Government standard for IT project management.
Although PRINCE2 was originally developed for the needs of IT projects, the method is now used for a wide range of projects. The latest version is designed to incorporate the requirements of current users and to enhance the method towards a generic, best practice approach for the management of all types of projects.
A PRINCE2 project is divided into different stages, each forming a distinct unit for management purposes. The delivery of products to the agreed quality standards marks the completion of the stage.
A project is divided into stages based upon:
• The sequence of production of Products/Deliverables;
• The grouping of Products into self-contained sets or associated Processes;
• Natural decision points for review;
PRINCE2 provides a structure of management controls to be applied throughout the project.
They are defined at Project Initiation to ensure:
• The project is set up with clear Terms of Reference
• There are agreed and measurable Objectives
• There is an adequate management structure.
The controls cover all sections of project activity and allow senior management to assess project achievement and status, at the highest level.
There are 2 levels of qualification. The Foundation Level proves a detailed knowledge and understanding of the method and terminology, Practitioner Level proves the ability to practically apply this knowledge to projects.