PRINCE2 definition

PRINCE2, which stands for Projects in Controlled Environments, version 2, is a methodology for project management originally developed by the Office of Government Commerce of the UK government. It is used extensively within the UK government to manage public projects but is also used extensively within the private sector.

The PRINCE2 methodology is split into stages that cover a project’s lifecycle. In order, they are: starting up a project (SU), initiating a project (IP), directing a project (DP), controlling a stage (CS), managing stage boundaries (SB), managing product delivery (MP) and closing a project (CP).

The term PRINCE2 refers also to the qualifications based on PRINCE2 methodology. Candidates must pass an initial Foundation-level exam and can then – if they choose to – go on to take the higher-level Practitioner exam, which is more in-depth. Candidates who pass the Practitioner exam can call themselves a Registered PRINCE2 Practitioner, after which they must re-certify, although the re-certification exam is shorter.

Advantages of the PRINCE2 methodology include efficient distribution and use of resources, clearly defined frameworks and thorough documentation. Because it’s a widely known standard, the principles and structure are also commonly understood which can make progress easier. There are some disadvantages, namely its complexity, which some say make it less suitable for smaller projects or those with limited budgets.