Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prince 2

I am writing this post because a good friend of mine, Oscar, told me a few weeks ago that was considering to get enroll in a course to get certified in Prince 2.

A couple of months ago or so I became certified on Prince 2, I will share some thoughts about my experience while learning this project management methodology. It has not been the first time I have studied a PM methodology, although it has been the first time that I have got an official PM certification.

Firstly, I will discuss (rather) briefly my understanding of a big drawback of this methodology when it comes to my current job. Prince 2 is all about how to manage projects internally within an organization, which is something that in SDL WCMS PS does not happen. As per Prince 2, the only contact with another company is done through the "Delivery Manager", that is the PM at the company providing with a service to the company "you" work for. Any PS organization is actually that company delivering "something" (software related deliverables in our case i.e. Tridion implementation, Functional Design, User Manual, Blueprinting & Authorization Design etc). 

As I see it any PS organization is pretty much left out from the Prince 2 methodology, except for the "Delivery Manager" role (grey box in the image below). It could be useful though, to help you to understand better how your customer manages the project internally.

Secondly, I am going to talk about the course I took. Two days, too short. Within two days you can only expect to get ready to pass a exam and to learn just a few tips that might help you in real life. The teacher took us through a rather large presentation (100+ slides) in these two days, the goal was clearly to learn key terms that would only be useful to pass the exam. It worked out because I got certified, but... how much did I really learn? what do I remember today about Prince 2?

Thirdly, learning vs getting certified. My personal feeling about it is that I learnt a lot more by attending to some lectures 
about real projects given by PMs, than rushing to learn to pass a exam of Prince 2. In the end that is really what you do, not learning Prince 2 but learning to pass the exam. By the way, it reminds me a bit of Java certifications (SCJP and SCWCD) where you have to learn some very useless things that you will never used in real life, although in a way it also helps you to build a solid basis to build on.

In summary, the Prince 2 training was not too bad but I wouldn't recommend you to spend your own money on this certification. If you are not going to be working for a company that actively uses Prince 2, I would never recommend you to take the training because you will forget everything rather soon. 
However if your company is going to pay for you to get certified because it really uses such methodology, that's a different story.


  1. Asier, after meeting you in person and realizing
    1) you're a voracious reader (what's your secret?)
    2) you have enough fascinating stories to fill multiple blogs,
    I am not surprised you earned a project management certification. Congrats and thanks for the description.

    I'm familiar with the PMI Institute's take on project management (PMBOK, more popular in North America I believe) and was curious on what Prince2 involved.

  2. Thanks Alvin! I simply love reading, I am waiting for four books at the moment, but I admit that most of what I read is definitively on the internet :)