I was busy and occupied over the last few days as I went through a training session for Prince2 Project Management Methodology, which was followed by its Foundation examination. I passed the examination too. Prince2 certification happen in two stages, first is the ‘Foundation’, next is the ‘Practitioner’. I am planning to do the next level soon.
Prince2 stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments, the initial version was Prince, which was fairly IT specific and the second version is more generalized for projects of all disciplines. It was developed for UK government projects, but later was adopted by the private sector as well. It’s owned by OGC, a govt. body in the UK, and the training & certification stuff are handled by the APM group. There are accredited training organizers, trainers and consultants in different parts of the world. There are quite a few in Australia as well. I did my work with the Ferguson Project Management Services (FPMS).
Passing the exam wasn’t easy. It required some hard work. However, the exposure I’ve had in different processes helped me a lot. I’ve always loved studies on different processes. These include ones on overall software development as well as more specific processes. A part of my current role is business process improvement. My first project was the Process Automation project at Virtusa, which probably had a big influence on me.
Some of you are probably aware of Prince2, and some may not be so. There are mainly 2 popular project management methodologies in use. One is the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) of Project Management Institute (PMI) and the other is Prince2. There are other things such as ITIL as well. Prince2 Vs PMI is a whole separate discussion and is one of the biggest rivalries in the IT industry and I hope to discuss most of it separately but will jot something about their popularity and usage.
Prince2 is very popular in the UK and is considered the de facto standard there. PMI has a more US based popularity, but it cannot be considered as the de facto in the US as other methods also have certain levels of acceptance. It’s important to note that some of the organizations have developed their own methodologies as well. Australia, as with many other things, is divided between the two methods. My personal gut feeling is both have a similar popularity here. Sri Lanka predominantly is guided by PMI, but not necessarily fully adopting the methodology, probably because the offshore industry is more aligned with the US than the UK or Australia. India is fairly similar but Prince2 has some existence as Indian offshore industry roots have gone through British ground as well.
Even though there is a discussed rivalry between the two, most experts believe that there is no need for a fight here, as both can co-exist, helping each other. Prince2 provides a methodology, is non-prescriptive and doesn’t specify all the techniques of doing things. PMI on the other hand is very detailed, provides techniques and is fair to say, is prescriptive, and most agree that it’s not a methodology but a set of techniques to guide you in detail. Given this background, they can co-exist. In a Prince2 environment, PMI techniques could be applied. However, there could be practicality issues, which should be captured separately.
Expect more on this in the near future!