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Two Different Sources of Value From PRINCE2

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PreAmble: Logical Model offer a $99 P2 exam prep course because it is our belief that the exam cram does not give companies value – So it should not cost a lot. The exam course gives individuals a qualification that aids job mobility. It does not equip “practitioners” to be practicing project managers – too much is missing (as explained below). The exam course introduces topics that are pre-requisite to industrial strength study & practice. It is a good preparation for the focus needed to apply P2  in the real world – That training we offer as a B2B event at a fee that reflects its true worth. See http://goo.gl/jpKFX and LML’s Courses page.

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PRINCE2 **Qualification** Is VITAL to job seekers, P2 **competency** is valuable to businesses – acquiring both is two different weeks training

PRINCE2® is a “must have” qualification for job candidates who want to get called forward for interview in the UK and increasingly elsewhere in the world. Happily for all aspiring practitioners there are no mandatory prerequisites to sitting the exam (P2 is unlike the PMP exam were 3,500 hrs real-world experience is required to apply for the exams).

To prepare for the exam is normally 50 or so hours effort. There are two exams: foundation which is recall of facts and practitioner which is ability to apply to a simple project scenario. In my opinion most of the preparation effort is required for the foundation because of its basis on remembered facts! – Our online course hosted by VTC includes all the APMG (examining body’s) official mock exams. [ “PRINCE2 is a registered trademark of the Cabinet Office” ]

PRINCE is an acronym for Projects IN Controlled Environments – If you check-out the trial portion of the VTC P2 course the acronym’s meaning, the method’s whole structure & content and the relationship to the PMBoK Guide® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) are  explained in the trial chapters. To summarise here P2 defines the working of two interfaces: first the interface between those who direct the organisation and those who manage a project is defined, and second the interface between those who manage the project and those who do the technical work to create the project’s products. The definitions are described by giving procedures and role definition for the delegation of project results required, the mechanisms for reporting status and handling exceptions beyond authority. P2 gives solid guidance on Quality control and Configuration management and standard coverage or Risk Management and Change control.

What P2 omits (because it assumes familiarity) is almost everything the PMBoK includes – Tools and techniques for schedule and budget development, for progress tracking, for procurement, for stakeholder management, for organisation structures and perhaps more. For what P2 includes there is nothing better and the PMBoK Guide® mostly omits! – They are a wonderfully complementary pair.

Like any method P2 has weaknesses but they are minor niggles for the project management community– for example its detailed treatment of necessary topics feels daunting at first and is hard to ‘sell’ to senior management. For the real world P2’s deficiencies are more serious. It has been written from a supplier’ point of view even while claiming a customer perspective. The consequences are fault lines such as divorcing accountability for benefits from accountability for risk, emphasising benefts while omitting any guidance on their definition or delivery and insisting on a crisp project start and end – always a supplier’s desires and rarely an investor’s reality.

The major dose of reality in P2 is the official manual’s insistence that use requires first embedding into the organisation and then tailoring to project specific context and circumstances. Embedding means general cross-functional and cross-management understanding of the principles (there are 7 defined in the manual such as enduring “business justification”) and adoption of the document templates (there are 26 in the official manual’s appendix A). Tailoring is the case-by-case adaptation of P2 processes to each project’s local needs that adds and subtracts rigor to the adherence to the literal guidance of the manual. No project will need everything in the P2 manual all the time and every project may benefit from ideas not in the manual.

Studying for the P2 exams takes a focus that is different from applying P2 to the real world. The VTC course addresses both with great care for detail, in-fact so much detail that separate purchase of the P2 manual – a very expensive book – is not required.

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Logical Model provides B2B training in project based change. Our training and mentoring in #pm_ngt explains the flexible approach and structured steps plus matched tools and techniques that are relevant2reality™ across the end2end™ investment timeline and top2bottom™ span of decision making within all corporate change.

Taking the investor’s timeline means tools to describe the future and a mindset of deliver the objectives not blindly follow the (out-of-date) plan are the key focus.

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