About PRINCE2®

The PRINCE2® standard is leading in the field of project management. It stands for “PRojects IN Controlled Environments” and is a structured method for effective project management. Every year more and more professionals get certified in the PRINCE2 methodology, as the PRINCE2® certification is a proof of competence in the field of project management. OnlinePRINCE2 has just the right courses four you preparing you to obtain the desired PRINCE2® certification.

PRINCE2® is originated in the UK. It is a method developed by bundling practical experiences (so-called best practices). AXELOS Ltd owns the method and is monitored by the APM Group. AXELOS describes PRINCE2® as follows:

PRINCE2® is a de facto project management standard developed by the UK government and is used extensively across all sectors, both in the UK and internationally. It embodies established and proven best practice in project management.

OnlinePRINCE2 is a product of Metier Academy Benelux. Metier Academy Benelux is an accredited PRINCE2® Training Organization (ATO). PeopleCert has formally qualified and accredited Metier Academy Benelux to provide PRINCE2® courses.

The origin of PRINCE2®

PRINCE® appeared on the market in 1989 and numerous improvements and extensions were implemented in 1996, which led to PRINCE2®. PRINCE® was initially intended to manage projects within the IT sector in a better way. The changes in 1996 led to PRINCE2® being much more widely applicable and used in more and more sectors alongside IT.

PRINCE2® is applicable to all projects from small to large and has great flexibility. Aspects of the method that are not applicable to (or not useful for) a specific project can be skipped. Therefore, the question “How extensively should this process be applied to this project?”, is often asked.

In 2002 and 2005 PRINCE2® has been updated with the latest insights in best practices, and in 2009 it got a very comprehensive review. Because the community indicated that there was a need for more ways and examples with regard to tailoring a PRINCE2® project, AXELOS renewed the manual and exams in 2017. PRINCE2® now elaborates more on “tailoring to the project environment”, and the exams have been adjusted in line with the new manual. Click here to read more about the PRINCE2® 2017 Update.

Through the years, the name PRINCE2® has not changed, but the substantive changes are clearly present. At this moment, PRINCE2® is used in many countries within Europe and interest from the rest of the world is increasing. The PRINCE2® manuals are available in various languages.

PRINCE2® features

PRINCE2® uses distinctive terms. Terms for the various processes and components are defined and used accordingly. This makes the method so versatile. Everyone with knowledge of PRINCE2® understands what it is about when discussing a project where PRINCE2® is applied. A few examples:

Customer, user, supplier

The customer is the person or group who commissioned the work and will benefit from the end results. The person or group who will use the project product is the user (in some projects, one person can have both roles). The ones responsible for the supply of the project’s specialist products are the suppliers. They have the expertise to design and build the project products. All these people need to be organized and coordinated in order to deliver the required results within the defined budget, and time frame at the desired level of quality.

The PRINCE2® Project Board

Every PRINCE2® project has a Project Board consisting of the customer, the end user and the supplier or representatives of each of these three. Within the PRINCE2® terminology, these are respectively the Customer, Senior User and Senior Supplier. The Project manager regularly reports to the Project Board, keeping them informed of the progress and any problems that can be expected. The Project Board is responsible for providing the Project Manager with the necessary decisions in order to execute the project and resolve any problems.

Project Assurance

The project board’s responsibilities to assure itself that the project is being conducted correctly. The project board members each have a specific area of focus for project assurance, namely business assurance for the executive, user assurance for the senior user(s), and supplier assurance for the senior supplier(s). Within some projects, the Project Assurance is done by a separate team, the Project Assurance Team. The tasks related to Project Assurance can also be done by the individual members of the Project Board itself.


Project Support

Within most projects there is a lot of administrative work; keeping everyone informed, planning meetings, keeping the project plan up-to-date, etc. Project Managers often do all these activities themselves, especially on smaller projects. However, if several projects are carried out simultaneously within an organization, a Project Support Office can be set up to assist the various Project Managers with these activities.

PRINCE2® principles, themes, and processes

The PRINCE2® methodology is within public domain, so it is not tied to a specific organization for consultancy, training and support. PRINCE2® is a process-based approach for project management. The whole approach is composed of 7 principles, 7 themes, and 7 processes, as shown in the image below,  where each process is defined with the main input and output in mind, together with the specific goals to be achieved and the activities to be performed.

All this forms the PRINCE2® methodology within the Project Environment.