• Basics
  • Introduction
  • PRINCE2 structure
  • The Foundation exam
  • PRINCE2 benefits

You must know and understand:

  • Six aspects of project performance to be managed
  • Definition of a project
  • Four integrated elements of principles, themes, processes and the project environment upon which PRINCE2 is based
  • Customer/supplier context of a PRINCE2 project

Definitions and Core Concepts


A temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or meer business products according to a defined business case.



Project management:

The planning, delegating, monitoring and controlling of all aspects of the project and the motivation of all involved parties in order to reach the project's goals within the predefined goals of time, cost, quality, risk, scope and benefit.

Management aspects:

  1. Cost;
  2. Time;
  3. Quality;
  4. Scope;
  5. Risk;
  6. Benefits.


  • is a method for project management that can be used by anyone free of charge for the management of projects, with a world-wide acceptance.
  • is generic and can be applied to all projects, irrespective of size, business area, geography or culture;
  • separates management of the project from the it's specialist content;
  • is based on and developed from practical principles that have been proven over the years.

Hamburgermodel for project management

PRINCE2 is a method for project management that is solely aimed at the management aspects of the project. PRINCE2 does not concern itself with the content or technical aspects of the work to be performed in the project.


As in a hamburger, a project consist of multiple layers: the specialists aspects ("what the project is about") and management aspects.

The project manager's first responsibility is to perform the activities necessary for the management of the project.


Though knowlegde of the project's specialist aspects helps it is by no means advisable for the project manager to focus on these in stead of on the management aspects!

The Project Manager's job:

  • Planning the activities;
  • Identifying resources: both human and other;
  • Delegating the work to be performed;
  • Monitoring the progress of work against a set plan;
  • Correcting the execution of work if a deviation from a plan occurs;
  • Applying, if possible, measures that will either speed up the project's execution or lower it's cost;
  • Ensuring that the right information reaches the decision makers in the project.

A fundamental aspect of the job is to establish an environment in which effective control of the project will be possible.


PRINCE2 offers it's users:

  • 7 Principles;
  • 7 Themes;
  • 7 Processes;
  • Guidance on the way PRINCE2 can be tailored and customised for different environments.
Generic assumptions in the field of project management based on experience (best practices). In projects where PRINCE2 is applied one would expect to see these applied.

Guidelines for the execution of certain aspects of project management. A theme answers the question "How should I do this". For instance: the theme "Organization" presents extensive hints for a sensible way of assigning roles, tasks and responsibilities in a project.

The PRINCE2 processes lay out the various steps that should be taken in managing a project. Therefore a process answers the question: "What should I do at a certain point in the project". 

PRINCE2 does not offer:
  • Guidance for technical work: PRINCE2 is to be used for the management of the construction of a house, and it is assumed that the bricklayer is competent and does not need guidance in the actual bricklaying itself. This makes PRINCE2 a generic method.
  • Detailed techniques for planning and monitoring: For instance: Critical Path Analysis is a well known technique for planning. As this technique is described in numerous places PRINCE2 will not repeat this. Also PRINCE2 does not assume that there is one universal technique to be applied in projects (e.g. Critical Path Analysis). Through this approach PRINCE2 offers it's users all freedom to use all that is of value in the method and to complement this with specific techniques that will fit in the context of their specific projects. In this way PRINCE2 is not a straightjacket but a flexible and sensible approach to the management of all kinds of projects.
  • Soft Skills: Numerous libraries have been filled on this subject and PRINCE2 does not prescribe a set of desirable charactertraits or behaviours for project managers. The fact that a project manager should show leadership in a project is not to be discussed but it is also clear that no compulsory prescriptions for a particular style of leadership can be given.

PRINCE2 2009 qualification programme
Exam format

  • Multiple choice
  • 75 questions per paper
  • 5 questions to be trial and not counted in scores
  • 35 marks required to pass (out of 70 available) - 50%
  • 60 minutes duration
  • Closed book.

The purpose of the foundation level is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the PRINCE2 method to be able to work effectively with, or as a member of, a project management team working within an environment supporting PRINCE2. The foundation level is also a pre-requisite for the practitioner certification.

  • PRINCE2 benefits

PRINCE2 benefits

  • Before introducing the structure of the method, it is worthwhile reviewing the key benefits of adopting PRINCE2:
  • PRINCE2 embodies established and proven best practice and governance for project management
  • It can be applied to any type of project and can easily be implemented alongside specialist, industry-specific models ('engineering models' or 'development lifecycles')
  • PRINCE2 is widely recognized and understood, and therefore provides a common vocabulary for all project participants promoting effective communication
  • PRINCE2 provides for the explicit recognition of project responsibilities so that participants understand each other's roles and needs.There is a defined structure for accountability, delegation, authority and communication
  • Its product focus clarifies (for all parties) what a project will deliver, why, when, by whom and for whom
  • PRINCE2 plans are carefully designed to meet the needs of the different levels in the management team, improving communication and control
  • It is based on a 'management by exception' framework, providing for the efficient and economic use of management time (whether at corporate, programme, Project Board or project management levels)
  • PRINCE2 ensures that participants focus on the viability of the project in relation to its Business Case objectives rather than simply seeing the completion of the project as an end in itself
  • It defines a thorough but economical structure of reports
  • It ensures that stakeholders (including sponsors and resource providers) are properly represented in planning and decision making
  • Adopting PRINCE2 promotes learning and continual improvement in organizations
  • PRINCE2 promotes consistency of project work and the ability to reuse project assets; it also facilitates staff mobility and reduces the impact of personnel changes/handovers
  • PRINCE2 is an invaluable diagnostic tool, facilitating the assurance and assessment of project work, troubleshooting and audits
  • There are scores of accredited training and consultancy organizations (ATOs and ACOs) operating worldwide, who can supply expert support for PRINCE2 projects or for organizations planning to adopt PRINCE2.