Accreditation is governed by the passing of two exams – the Foundation and the Practitioner. The Foundation exam is a one-hour, multiple choice exam. The Practitioner exam lasts for 2.5 hours, and is an objective-testing multiple-choice exam. Around the world, exams are administered by the APM Group. The successful candidate register can be searched on the web. It is possible for individuals with project management experience to self-study for the exams but a number of training organisations offer courses, many of which also include exam entry in the fee. There is a mandatory accreditation scheme for training providers, run by the APM Group, which provides them with access to the official PRINCE2 examinations. PRINCE2 Practitioners must retake the Practitioner exam every 5 years to remain accredited. This re-registration comprises a 1-hour examination set at the same standard as the Practitioner examination. Trainers must be re-accredited every 3 years and undergo a surveillance check (either in the form of a visit by an assessor to a training course or a telephone interview of their professional knowledge by an assessor) every 12 month
Project Brief, Project Brief, Business Case, Project Issues, Configuration Management Plan, Configuraton Item Record, Project Plan, Project Organsation, Acceptance Criteria, Cost Benefit Analysis, Communications Plan
Project Initiation Document (PID)
Project Risk Assessment
Project Quality Plan
Post Project Review Plan
End Project Report
End Project Notification
Project Stage Log
End Stage Report
End Stage Notification
Product Status Checklist
Risk and Issues Template
Quality Review Error List
Quality Review Follow-up Action List
Quality Review Invitation
Quality Review Sign-off
Lessons Learned Report
Lessons Learned Log
Project Highlight Report
Programme Highlight Report
Work Package Authorisation
Work Package Description
In this process the project team is appointed and a project brief (describing, in outline, what the project is attempting to achieve and the business justification for doing so) is prepared. In addition the overall approach to be taken is decided and the next stage of the project is planned. Once this work is done, the project board is asked to authorize the next stage, that of initiating the project. Key activities include: appointing an executive and a project manager; designing and appointing a project management team; preparing a project brief; defining the project approach; and planning the next stage (initiation).
This process builds on the work of the start up process, and the project brief is augmented to form a Business case. The approach taken to ensure quality on the project is agreed together with the overall approach to controlling the project itself (project controls). Project files are also created as is an overall plan for the project. A plan for the next stage of the project is also created. The resultant information can be put before the project board for them to authorize the project itself. Key activities include: planning quality; planning a project; refining the business case and risks; setting up project controls; setting up project files; and assembling a Project Initiation Document.
These sub-processes dictate how the Project Board (which comprises such roles as the executive sponsor or project sponsor) should control the overall project. As mentioned above, the project board can authorise an initiation stage and can also authorize a project. Directing a Project also dictates how the project board should authorize a stage plan, including any stage plan that replaces an existing stage plan due to slippage or other unforeseen circumstances. Also covered is the way in which the board can give ad hoc direction to a project and the way in which a project should be closed down. Key activities include: authorising initiation; authorising a project; authorising a stage or exception plan; giving ad-hoc direction; and confirming project closure.
Design the plan by identifying the tools and narrative required to produce the relevant plan being created. The Definition and Analysing of products which is carried out using Product Based Planning. This will produce a Product Breakdown Structure and Product Flow Diagram. The identification of activities and dependencies using the Product Flow Diagram. Estimating. Scheduling by assigning of resources. Risks should be analysed before the plan is considered finalised. The plan is completed and narrative added.
The Controlling a Stage process dictates what should be done within a stage, Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) dictates what should be done towards the end of a stage. Most obviously, the next stage should be planned and the overall project plan, risk log and business case amended as necessary. The process also covers what should be done for a stage that has gone outside its tolerance levels. Finally, the process dictates how the end of the stage should be reported. Key activities include: planning a stage; updating a project plan; updating a project business case; updating the risk log; reporting stage end; and producing an exception plan.
PRINCE2 suggests that projects should be broken down into stages and these sub-processes dictate how each individual stage should be controlled. Most fundamentally this includes the way in which work packages are authorised and received. It also specifies the way in which progress should be monitored and how the highlights of the progress should be reported to the project board. A means for capturing and assessing project issues is suggested together with the way in which corrective action should be taken. It also lays down the method by which certain project issues should be escalated to the project board. Key activities include: authorising work package; assessing progress; capturing and examining project issues; reviewing stage status; reporting highlights; taking corrective action; escalating project issues; and receiving a completed work package.
The Team Manager will negotiate and agree the details of the Work Package with the Project Manager. The Team Manager must ensure that any work allocated to the team is authorised by the Project Manager. The Team Manager will ensure that the work meets all interface requirements identified in the work package. The Team Manager will ensure that the work is carried out and completed. Work will be assessed regularly and progress reported back to the Project Manager. Products are produced to meet quality criteria outlined in the Work Package. Approval is gained for the completed products.
This covers the things that should be done at the end of a project. The project should be formally de-commissioned (and resources freed up for allocation to other activities), follow on actions should be identified and the project itself be formally evaluated. Key activities include: decommissioning a project; identifying follow-on actions; and project evaluation review.
PRINCE provides a structure of management controls to be applied throughout the project. These controls cover all aspects of project activity and, at the highest level, allow senior management to assess project achievement & status prior to committing further expenditure. Controls are applied through meetings of (customer) project management & (supplier) project staff, with each meeting producing a set of pre defined outputs. Management Controls are defined at Project Initiation to ensure that the project is set up with clear Terms of Reference, incorporating agreed & measurable Objectives & an adequate management structure. Including Project Initiation, there are 5 key management controls - End & Mid Stage Assessments, Project Closure, & Tolerance.