As a PRINCE2 ATO (Accredited Training Organisation), we frequently receive enquiries about PRINCE2 from people based all around the world. This article will attempt to answer some of the most common questions. Recommended reading for anyone based outside the UK who is considering taking a PRINCE2 course.
Where can I use PRINCE2?
The answer is: everywhere.
PRINCE2 is a method for managing and governing projects. You can use it to organise your daughter's birthday party, to implement a new filing system in your office or to build a primary school in Africa.
PRINCE2 is not tied to a specific industry or organisation. Neither is it incompatible with other project management best practices such as the PMBOK® Guide (see below).
Whilst it is certainly true that familiarity with PRINCE2 is required for project management roles in organisations that use PRINCE2, it is also the case that training in PRINCE2 is an advantage in organisations that do not.
The widespread requirement of a PRINCE2 qualification in project management job specifications has led us to think only about PRINCE2 as a key to employment within PRINCE2 organisations, rather than as a way of demonstrating project management ability or as a useful guide in its own right.
However, PRINCE2 is just one of several formats available for teaching and applying project management methodology. The most prominent alternative format is the PMBOK (the Project Management Body of Knowledge), developed by the American Project Management Institute (PMI®).
Can PRINCE2 be used with the PMBOK?
Max Wideman, who served in the 1980s as PMI President and Chairman of the Board, wrote a paper comparing PRINCE2 and PMBOK, and came to the conclusion that:
“the Guide [PMBOK] takes the best approach for purposes of teaching the subject content of each knowledge area, but is not so effective when it comes to providing guidance for running a particular project. Of course the corollary is also true. In a life-cycle based presentation like PRINCE2, it is difficult to do justice to each knowledge area.”
Accordingly, many project management experts advocate using both approaches: PMBOK for delivering knowledge of specific best practices, and PRINCE2 for creating a framework through which the knowledge can be applied to a project.
The ability of project managers to combine different methods and practices and to transfer skills learnt through PRINCE2 into a non-PRINCE2 project means that a project management qualification in any specific methodology demonstrates understanding of certain aspects of project management, and is recognised as such.
Even organisations that do not use or require knowledge of the PRINCE2 methodology recognise the value of the PRINCE2 qualification. This is why job specifications sometimes state: “professional qualification PRINCE2, PMI or equivalent.”
Where is PRINCE2 popular?
The UK is the largest market for PRINCE2. The UK is where PRINCE2 was developed and it is standard practice on most government projects. It is also becoming an increasingly popular method in the private sector
The Netherlands is the 2nd biggest user of PRINCE2, closely followed by Australia. In the last 3-4 years, PRINCE2 has rapidly gained influence in East and Western Europe – notably in Poland, Denmark and Germany.
The fastest growing regions for PRINCE2 however are in Asia. India is the country where PRINCE2 has seen huge growth in the last 3 years. During 2013, China doubled the number of students who sat PRINCE2 examinations.
Every week, courses run in almost every country in the world, from Australia to Africa and from China to Brazil. While PRINCE2 may have started in a UK civil service department, it has now (like cricket, football and tennis) been exported across the globe.
Which languages are PRINCE2 exams available?
You can take exams in the following languages: Arabic (Foundation only), Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Czech (Foundation only), Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese (Foundation only), Korean (Foundation only), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian (Foundation only), Russian (Foundation only), Slovak (Foundation only), Spanish and Swedish.
Which languages is the PRINCE2 manual available in?
The official PRINCE2 manual Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2) is now available in the following languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.
"PMI" is a service and trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. which is registered in the United States and other nations.
"PMBOK" is a trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. which is registered in the United States and other nations.