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The path to PRINCE2

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This month I received my PRINCE2 certification for both the Foundation and Practitioner levels.

PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a UK government standard for project management and is used widely in Australia for managing corporate and government IT projects.

It was an interesting experience studying from 6 to 9pm three nights a week for 6 weeks. It goes without saying I was glad when it was over, but when you actually have an interest in the subject matter studying is a lot more interesting than if you were taking a course to make up “credits”. I haven’t studied project management since engineering school and and lot people I have dealt with over the years worked as project managers so the interest was definitely there, even if a crash course after hours was not my preferred way of learning.

When you have an interest in the topic you expect to do well. I had realistic expectations, but it was frustrating getting sample exam questions wrong after covering the material during course hours and after-hours reading.

Why care about project management? The short (and best) answer is it’s a universal discipline and skill set. Project management can be applied to any project, not just IT projects. IT does have an obsession with project management – perhaps due to the highly structured nature of the industry – but many a CIO I have spoken to believes project management should be applied to all business change, not just IT change programs.

One PRINCE2 trainer I spoke to told me project management can be like religion – people become immersed in the rules and forget about the outcome. I’ll save that debate for another forum. For now, I’m just happy to be a PRINCE2 practitioner. The exam results?

  • PRINCE2 Foundation: 83%
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner: 75%

Again, not bad results, but when you have an interest in the subject you want to “know” everything. It’s time for me to apply the study and gain the valuable knowledge – to learn on the job.

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