Background The PRINCE2:2009 refresh project started in November 2006 under the leadership of the Lead Author, Andy Murray. The project involved consultation with a group of 170 organizations and individuals across all different sectors. The purpose of the consultation was to gather feedback in terms of likes/dislikes for the current version of the method and to capture ideas for improvements. The consultation was encapsulated in the Public Consultation Report, issued on the 27th of June 2007.
The PRINCE2 Reference Group met on the 11th of July 2007 to agree the UK’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Mandate for the 2009 refresh. The Reference Group comprised of users, academics and trainers. The main desired outcomes for the refresh were agreed as:
- Reflect evolution in project management since 2002
- To be considered more accessible / less bureaucratic
- An enhanced qualifications scheme The overwhelming feedback was that PRINCE2 as a method is fundamentally sound.
Further analysis of the feedback from the consultation exercise showed a general consensus for change, with the following items to be included in the updated version:
- Reduce the size of the manual and improve the style of language (more guidance - less instruction)
- Make it more accessible (for example by embracing new media)
- Integrate with other OGC products
- Show linkage to other methods and bodies of knowledge
- Provide more guidance on tailoring (particularly for smaller projects)
- Include (or reference) the soft aspects of project management (e.g. people management, change management, ‘fuzzy’ initiation) Main Structural Changes
The manual is now 300 pages and has been reduced by 150 pages. This has been achieved primarily by removing much of the duplication that existed between the Process and Component chapters. The two introductions in the 2005 edition have been replaced with a single introduction. The majority of the previous content has been retained in either the new Introduction or new Principles chapters. Components have been renamed to Themes. The themes have been placed before the processes to aid understanding of content prior to application of the theme to the processes. To avoid any confusion with Processes, theme steps are referred to as procedures rather than processes. Themes have been reduced from eight to seven. Quality in a Project Environment is renamed to Quality, and Management of Risk is renamed to Risk. The product-based planning technique has been integrated into the Plan theme. The Change theme includes the previous versions Change Control, Change Control Technique and Configuration Management. The new Progress theme focuses on controlled progress. The 2005 guiding principles have been consolidated into a brand new Principles chapter. The 2005 version implicit principles are now presented as seven explicit principles:
- Continued business justification
- Learn from experience
- Defined roles & responsibilities
- Manage by stages
- Manage by exception
- Focus on products
- Tailor to suit the project environment
The number of processes has been reduced from eight to seven by moving the Planning Process content to the Plans Theme. Managing Stage Boundaries has become Managing a Stage Boundary. The 2005 “Scalability” references have been moved to a new Theme: Tailoring PRINCE2 to the Project Environment. Appendix A, the Product Description outlines has been retained. However, the appendices that provided details of Risk Categories, PRINCE2 Health-check, and Project Document Management have all been removed. New appendices covering Governance, Product based planning examples and Checklists have been included.
The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner examinations are mainly unchanged. All candidates who have taken their examination on the 2005 edition will find their qualification remains valid until they need to re-register their Practitioner qualification. The 2009 exams will be available from June 2009 and thereafter Re-registration exams will be based on 2009 version. Although a final cross over period decision by the Examination Board is still pending, a minimum period of three months after the launch will enable students to take examinations either on the 2005 or 2009 versions. After this, exams will be based on the 2009 manual only. A new publication “Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2” was created.
The publication is aimed at supporting the senior manager responsible for a project, specifically those managers undertaking an executive role on a project for the first time. Covering the duties and behaviors expected of members of the Project Board, the publication can be used as a reference guide at any stage to check what is required. Depending on demand, an examination based on the 'Directing' manual may be developed and launched towards the end of 2009.
n Conclusion: According to Andy Murray "This latest version of 'Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2' represents an evolution of the previous manuals. The basic method remains but by building on feedback from users, this new manual aims to be more accessible and easier to tailor. For those people who sponsor or direct projects there is a revolution in that they now have a role-specific guide, “Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2”, targeted for their needs." In my opinion, the 2009 version is a quality product and will significantly benefit project practitioners in the delivery of their projects.
Jurie Smith (MBA, PMP®, PRINCE2® Practitioner, MSP®) is the General Manager at the PM Academy. He is an experienced business executive with over 24 years experience in project management consulting and training. He is a Project Management Assessor registered with the Services SETA, an Executive on the Steering Committee of the Project Management Standards Generating Body and has held various Executive positions at Project Management South Africa (PMSA).
Jurie may be contacted at:
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