PRINCE2® 2017 Update: bringing structure to project management
Blog posted by: Hannah Mason, project manager – Octopus, 08 September 2017.
Hannah Mason, project manager at Octopus Group, recently studied and certified in the latest versions of PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner. Here, she talks about the newly-updated certifications and how PRINCE2 helps her day-to-day work.
Certifying in PRINCE2 has formalized what I need to do as a project manager.
While my background was in operations – working in teams and always involved in change, such as helping IT to build new systems and improve processes – moving into project management has brought new challenges. Currently, that involves project managing the new EU data protection regulations across the group.
The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner courses I did consecutively are helping me in a number of ways: how to start a project, staging my approach and managing stakeholders, to name a few. It has also made me realize how important project management is to organizations.
Taking tailoring on board
In the new version of PRINCE2, the principle of tailoring has given me a new way to think about project management and how it applies whether you’re working in a programme, a small company or in an agile environment.
As every organization is different, working with different scenarios makes you think about how you need to tailor certain aspects of PRINCE2 to your own workplace and projects, while making sure you always follow the 7 Principles.
Thinking back to how I approached projects before, for example when working with developers in an agile way, it’s clear how important tailoring your approach is. The book helps me to work better with other people within a project, such as being clear on overall deadlines and what’s needed at each stage.
Staging, communication and closing in PRINCE2
Other valuable aspects of PRINCE2 I’ve learned include stage plans: having a work package and delivering within a staged plan. That’s certainly something I’ll be using – especially when dealing with different business units, as it helps you to have control over different areas and know what you need to deliver in each stage.
Communicating in a more structured way with other parts of the business is another important learning and actively tracking stakeholder management has brought real structure to that side of my responsibilities.
And what PRINCE2 says about closing a project is really helpful in terms of setting the criteria to know when you’re ready to close the project. That means setting real product requirements, quality criteria, what needs to be completed and who to communicate with before you can close.
The real-life examples that come up throughout the book are really helpful also, such as showing the typical type of content in the registers. To be able to see what people are tracking column by column really brings it to life.
Speaking the same language
One of the big positives from the PRINCE2 course is the ability to speak the same project language as my PRINCE2-certified colleagues in the company. It gives us a vocabulary that we all understand and a credibility that I have reached a certain level of qualification.
Overall, having passed PRINCE2 has given me more confidence in addition to the project management experience I already had. It has brought more structure to my existing experience which, as a project manager, you need to have.
It has also convinced me that my long-term career is in project management!
Hannah Mason took her PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner courses with SPOCE, accredited training and consultancy organization that delivered the world’s first PRINCE2 course.
Read more blog posts on the PRINCE2 2017 Update
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