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Project management guide: What is PRINCE2®?

Gaining a PRINCE2® qualification is a smart way to kickstart your career in project management. But what does the PRINCE2® involve and what can you expect to learn from it?

Updated on: 7th November 2019

In this guide, we explore what the PRINCE2® qualification is, its history and benefits, and why undertaking a PRINCE2® is essential for aspiring project managers.

Learning People | Project manager leading a meeting

What is PRINCE2® project management methodology? 

For decades, project managers worldwide have relied on PRINCE2® project management methodology to successfully deliver projects on time and to budget.

Developed as a UK government standard for IT project management, PRINCE2® stands for “projects in a controlled environment.” In 1996, PRINCE2® was released as a general standard in project management and its use now extends beyond the world of tech.

PRINCE2® is based on seven principles that need to be followed to manage a project effectively. These include:

  • Continued business justification: A business case must be created to ensure the project is viable.
  • Learn from experience: A lessons log needs to be updated so that project managers can ensure learnings from previous projects are fed into subsequent ones.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities: Four levels of responsibility among the key project stakeholders need to be defined from the offset of the project.
  • Manage by stages: The project must be planned and executed, one stage at a time, with a detailed next-stage plan in place before the next stage is moved to.
  • Manage by exception: Projects are controlled against six performance goals; scope, timescale, risk, quality, benefits, cost. If any of these performance goals are exceeded, the next management level must be consulted on how to proceed.
  • Focus on products: The quality of products delivered by the project is a key focus of PRINCE2® methodology.
  • Tailor to suit project environment: PRINCE2® is not a one-size-fits all methodology, but can be tailored to suit the needs of each project.

In addition to these core principles, PRINCE2® lays out a series of seven processes which define the ways in which different elements of a project should be managed. The methodology also suggests templates for key documents that should be produced throughout the project to keep it on track.

Learning People | 4 project managers at desk with laptop and tablet

What are the benefits of PRINCE2®? 

The qualification gives you grounding in a robust project management framework that you can apply to any project, in any company, anywhere in the world. Particularly valued in tech, PRINCE2® also opens the doors to a range of other industries. In this way, a PRINCE2® is a surefire way to accelerate your career in project management.

Being able to apply the principles and processes that you will learn when you study the PRINCE2®, will help you to deliver quality outcomes for every project you manage. You’ll also be able to keep close control on the six performance goals in order to show real value to the business you work for.

With a PRINCE2® under your belt, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with your project team. And due to the defined roles that the methodology provides, you will be well equipped to hold others accountable for their responsibilities in a professional manner.

If you are already in a role that involves some project management, earning a PRINCE2® could help you step up to the next level. Watch the interview about the £10,000 pay rise successful Learning People student Mo Azim achieved with the PRINCE2® foundation and agile practitioner courses. 

Learning People | 3 project managers at desk with laptops

Why should aspiring project managers gain a PRINCE2®?

Seen as an industry standard, the PRINCE2® is a tried-and-tested project management methodology. Hiring managers will be on the lookout for a PRINCE2® qualification on your CV when you apply for a project management role.

Not only does the qualification make your CV stand out, but it will improve your performance at interview stage. Undertaking a PRINCE2® qualification ensures that you speak the same language as your peers. Being able to talk confidently about PRINCE2® methodology will ensure that your answers resonate with your interviewer and instil confidence in your abilities.

What’s more, learning PRINCE2® methodology will give you a taste of what it would be like managing large budgets on key projects within the tech sector and beyond. Gaining an understanding of the processes project managers employ can help you envisage, and work towards, your future success in the industry.

Learning People | Team meeting with post-it notes and woman smiling


A well-established methodology that project managers swear by, PRINCE2® is trusted throughout the tech sector and beyond as an effective way to manage projects successfully. Earning your PRINCE2® is a clever way to set yourself up for career success in project management.

Whether you want to transition into a new project management role or are ready to take the next step in your current one, enrolling on one of our PRINCE2® courses will give you the skills and confidence to excel.

Request a personalised career consultation today to find out more.