Management Methodology – PRINCE2

Project management methodology is the method used to manage a project.  Project management plans, organizes, and manages resources for the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

One type of project management methodology is PRINCE2: PRojects IN Controlled Environments.  It is an effective process-based method for managing projects.

The PRINCE2 project management methodology helps determine who should be involved in a project, and the roles and responsibilities they will have.  It has a set of processes and explains what information needs to be gathered.

Most organizations interested in using this project management methodology start with accreditation training.  Unlike some methods, PRINCE2 is a complex system with many angles and processes.  The training provides the knowledge needed to manage a project and an understanding of the terminology used.

In training, the principles are logical; putting theory into practice, however, proves to be problematic for some.  Some users of PRINCE2 have trouble fully understanding how their projects can be enhanced and improved.

This can lead to a fervent adherence to unnecessary levels of formality and detail – therefore giving the impression PRINCE2 is bureaucratic and filled with rules and regulations. Equally it could lead to inappropriate short cuts being taken in projects, which can undermine the integrity of the method and the control and management of risk it provides.

The PRINCE2 project management methodology is adaptable and can, therefore, be applied to many different types of projects, large or small.  Even short-term projects can benefit from selective use of the PRINCE2 guidelines.

To ensure the PRINCE2 project management methodology an organization may need help with implementation if it is the first time PRINCE2 will be used within the organization or team; PRINCE2 has already been implemented into the organization but business benefits are not being fully realized; the business wants to ensure they are PRINCE2 compliant (using the Project, Program and Portfolio Management Maturity Model); or the business is interested in gaining a recognized accreditation for its project management processes.

The implementation of this project management methodology can be done as a project, which has helped many organizations gain a better understanding of the usability of PRINCE2.  Alternatively, a mentor or coach can ensure the adherence and understanding of what was learned during training, enabling the full transference of skills.

PRINCE2 mentors/coaches specialize in assisting organizations with the management of change that is required to implement this project management methodology successfully. They can provide guidance and support during the implementation of PRINCE2 through a combination of coaching, mentoring, training and ensuring the appropriate skills are nurtured. They can also provide one-to-one sessions with individuals to support them in their new or enhanced role, give briefings or workshops for small groups with specific roles or responsibilities, and-or remote support by telephone or email.

The role of mentor and coach do differ. Mentoring is ‘a process in which the mentor serves as a role model, trusted counselor, or teacher who provides opportunities for development, growth, and support to less experienced individuals.’ Mentors often take a ‘hands-on approach’ and have specific knowledge and expertise in one or more areas. A coach ‘is a person who supports people (clients) to achieve their goals, with goal setting, encouragement and questions… a coach rarely offers advice.’

The key to success with this project management methodology is to remember it is adaptable and can be tailored for all project types regardless of industry and marketplace. Implementing PRINCE2 is more than providing staff with training – it is about establishing project management best practice into the working culture, and achieving organizational benefits through improved project governance.

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