PRINCE2 is NOT for Project Managers

PRINCE2 IS NOT FOR PROJECT MANAGERS

I claim to you that PRINCE2 is not meant for Project Managers.

What do I mean by that and why would Project Managers be trained in PRINCE2 if that is the case ?

Let me explain what I mean by this bold statement.

Everything in PRINCE2 is geared to enable the Executive to make decisions on their projects. The role of the Project Manager is to run the project on a day-to-day basis and to report and inform the Executive of the progress and problems faced.

In fact, I claim that if the Executive had the time she/he would run the project themselves. However, by definition, an Executive is a busy person and they have no time to be involved every minute of every day in the project. That is why Management by Exception is put in place in a PRINCE2 project enabling the Executive to be informed and in control of the project without the need to meet regularly.

This is a major innovation of the PRINCE2 method and it is also a formal principle which needs to be respected.

To get the most value out of this principle however you need to train both your Project Managers and your Executives so that both have a common language and a common understanding of the way a project is run with PRINCE2.

The main difficulty is that, most of the time, only Project Managers are trained in the method with Executives not playing their role simply because they are unaware that it is made for them.  Executives’ failure to understand the value of the method to them prevents projects from fulfilling their full potential with the full benefits never being achieved.

Simply put, Executives must be informed of the PRINCE2 method so they can make the right decisions, at the right time based of the right information they receive from their Project Managers.

This basic tenet of PRINCE2 is today fully acknowledged by the method itself and in  how it is structured.

Most people believe that there is ONE PRINCE2 manual, but in fact since 2009 the official PRINCE2 manual is in TWO parts. The first part is the most commonly known and is “Managing a Successful Project with PRINCE2”. This manual is meant for Project Managers and is used as a base for training and examination.

However, there is a second part called “Directing a Successful Project with PRINCE2” which is less well known despite being clearly advertised as a separate book. This manual is meant for Project Board members and Executives in particular.

It is probably the more important of the two as far as the success of a project is concerned. It is often overlooked mainly because there is no training or certification attached to it.

If you are ever involved in a project as an Executive, or if you are a Project Manager in need of a good Executive, I invite you to read the “Directing” manual as it will give you all the necessary information to direct your Project and your Project Manager empowering both of you to increase the performance of your project and obtaining the benefits you both anticipate for your project.

AZYBAO runs short sessions for Project Executives so that they can get an insight into PRINCE2 enabling them to maximise their own role and ultimately ensure the success of the projects they direct.

About the Author John Higham

John helps organisations blend Best Practices in their management systems to improve the way Portfolio of Change Initiatives are run.

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