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Of all the project management methodologies present, PRINCE2 is a unique one. If you are planning to undertake a PRINCE2 foundation certification, or have already registered for one, you will be quickly introduced to the basic seven principles of this methodology. Ultimately it’s how these principles intertwine and influence one another, which sets the bar for success in most projects.

These guiding doctrines that act as the constitution for all projects must be followed at all times if you are to become a successful project manager skilled in the ways of PRINCE2. Although a PRINCE2 foundation training will impart the necessary skills to you, it’s ultimately up to you to put them into practice for the betterment of your career and improve profitability for your organization. So without much further ado, let’s look at the top four guiding principles of PRINCE2 –

1. Continued justification of the business 

Contrary to popular belief, not every project can be subjected to PRINCE2 guidelines for the successful execution and delivery of actionable items. Only those that are well-defined, continuously validated, and under supervision should be subjected to PRINCE2. Many projects suffer from problems like unclear goals, misalignment between the strategy of the organization and that of the vendor, and, ultimately, the redundancy caused by similar projects.

Basically, an organization would start a project to achieve a specific set of goals. This can vary from new business goals to increased profitability methods, a cost-reduction exercise or regulations or legislation that might motivate it. The first principle of PRINCE2 suggests that whatever the reasons might be behind the initiation of a project, it’s equally important to manage the project throughout its lifecycle. Split into stages, each section must have a business justification.

2. Learning over knowing

One of the most basic requirements of PRINCE2 is that one must learn from mistakes, improve, and then apply changes. This is mainly done throughout the project lifecycle, as mentioned below :

  • At the outset of the project initiation stage, all past projects that were successfully executed and are similar to the present one should be overhauled to create a list of potential drawbacks. This doesn’t take a lot of time if proper knowledge transfer protocols are put in place by the company
  • During the runtime of the project, there is a high possibility of new challenges cropping up. Although these can’t be prevented because of the very nature of new ventures, one can, however, learn from these challenges, course correct, and continue. All projects following the PRINCE2 way have to be continuously monitored and assessed to identify what works and what does not
  • The last stage of any project primarily comprises of compilations and creating documents that summarize the activities taken up during the project’s course.

3. Clearly defines roles and responsibilities

If you are looking to get yourself certified with a PRINCE2 foundation training, you will have to drill into yourself the fact that a project can only succeed if responsibility is logically divided. Generally, there are three categories across which responsibilities are spread out:

  • Users are the people who will be using the deliverables from a project to improve their personal lives or their organization’s life in some way or the other. Sometimes there is only one user, and sometimes there might be multiple users. Whoever it may be, the project’s result should always support the business case for the project. It should make the life of the user more comfortable.
  • Business stakeholders are the people who are in control of the lifeline of the project. That might sometimes be funding or tools, but these are the folks who make the final call on the success metrics of a particular project.
  • The third and final group who have a say during a project’s life cycle are the suppliers. This category contains people who are actually on the ground making the project happen. The project team is part of the supplier group, and any help taken from external contractors will automatically include them in this group.

The information must be shared across all three groups to ensure the successful completion of a project.

4. Division of projects into stages

One of the other unique features of a PRINCE2 foundation certification is that it teaches you to break a large project into smaller, manageable pieces. A management stage defined by PRINCE2 is akin to a project phase that has to be assessed for progress made to date, risks, and compliance with the business justification that was mentioned above.

Once all this is done and taken care of, responsibilities are assigned to every tier of the project execution lifecycle.

With these top four principles of PRINCE2 certifications, it’s not surprising that professionals who undergo a PRINCE2 foundation training come out with a shinier career and a steeper learning curve.