Starting with PRINCE2: Concepts, Principles, and Accreditation

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on June 14, 2023

PRINCE2: The Reigning Project Management Methodology | Blog Wrike

All businesses undergo transitions as they expand and evolve. Likely, every organization will eventually undertake a project of some sort, such as implementing a new IT system, reducing supply chain waste, starting with PRINCE2 accreditation, or establishing a new website.

Numerous corporate projects can be complex and time-consuming, spanning several months and consuming valuable resources. Therefore, possessing a solid understanding of project management is crucial for corporate executives to ensure smooth progress and avoid costly delays.

The PRINCE2 principles serve as definitive factors that all projects must adhere to. They function as a project constitution of sorts. While it falls under the project manager’s responsibility to assemble the necessary individuals, skills, and resources for project completion, there will always be a specified project management technique guiding their actions and facilitating effective tracking of various components. The PRINCE2 project management approach is widely recognized in the modern world for bringing structure and order to the process.

In this blog, PRINCE2 will go over the seven guiding principles of this technique, which can be applied to projects of any size and in any industry.

What is PRINCE2?

The PRINCE2 accreditation project management methodology is predominantly utilized in the United Kingdom, Australia, and European countries. Projects IN Controlled Environments, commonly referred to as “PRINCE2,” focuses on effective resource and risk management by dividing large projects into smaller phases, defining roles and responsibilities clearly, and employing seven processes to navigate the project life cycle.

Now that we’ve established what PRINCE2 entails, let’s look at its important elements.

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Let’s Discuss the important PRINCE2 Accreditation elements — Principles, Themes, Processes

The foundation of the project management methodology lies in the principles, themes, and processes of PRINCE2. Let’s provide a concise overview of the essential elements of PRINCE2.


The core concepts that drive this project management methodology are the PRINCE2 principles. These principles encompass a steadfast dedication to precise methodologies, project planning, and collaborative techniques. It is crucial that none of the fundamental PRINCE2 project management principles are ever altered or compromised.


Themes within PRINCE2 accreditation concentrate on particular aspects that must be considered throughout the project’s duration.


The level of PRINCE2 accreditation processes surpasses that of work assignments and activities. The primary aims of these processes are to determine the necessary tasks, assign responsibilities, and identify the team members responsible for completing the work.

The 7 Principles of PRINCE2 Accreditation

The PRINCE2 accreditation methodology is built upon a set of key principles, which are outlined below:

1. Continued Business Justification in accrediting PRINCE2 – Continuously making sound business decisions for your project necessitates ongoing business justification. Traditionally, a business case is utilized to showcase the validity of your project’s initiation and its relevance throughout its entire lifespan, even in the face of potential changes. By consistently demonstrating the justification for completing your project, you will gain the support of your financial stakeholders. Moreover, if you can compellingly present strong reasons for project completion, your sponsor and governing entities will also lend their assistance.

A significant number of projects face obstacles such as unclear objectives, inadequate alignment with company strategy, or overlapping with other initiatives. To increase the likelihood of securing additional funding or resources, it is crucial to regularly update your justification. Each point in your business case should be supported by compelling and logical reasons. In the event that your justification weakens or loses its impact, it becomes necessary to change direction or abandon the project. This proactive approach will save you from investing more time and money into unsuccessful endeavors.

2. Learn from Experience – Project managers are not immune to making mistakes. It is essential to continuously learn from these errors as you progress. Learning from both past failures and successes is a vital aspect of PRINCE2 projects, as it serves as an effective tool for risk assessment.

By doing so, you can avoid repeating similar mistakes in the future. Maintaining a learning journal to track your experiences is advised. Additionally, drawing lessons from the learning logs and experiences of past projects is important. This PRINCE2 principle will consistently support you in improving your performance.

3. Defined Roles and Responsibilities – Establishing clear roles and responsibilities is crucial from the outset of a project. Depending on the project’s size and configuration, individuals may assume multiple roles or share a position as outlined by PRINCE2.

The project’s organizational structure can be divided into four levels: corporate, project board, project manager, and team level. Having a thorough understanding of these roles ensures that information is communicated to the appropriate parties, eliminates gaps or duplications in project activities, and ensures that everyone is aware of their reporting lines. A well-defined hierarchy also lays the groundwork for optimal resource utilization.

4. Manage by Stages – According to PRINCE2 best practice guidelines, it is recommended to divide a project into a minimum of two stages to enhance administration and control. The determination of the number of phases should take into account risks and expenses, following the traditional approach of project management. By dividing your initiatives into stages and overseeing each one separately, you can effectively manage the project.

The PRINCE2 methodology encompasses several well-defined stages that should be incorporated. A project phase and a management stage share similarities. At the completion of each management stage, the project should undergo an evaluation of its current status, plan progress, risks, and alignment with the project’s business justification.

By maintaining a high-level overview, the project manager (PM) can monitor the overall project performance and identify scope deviations and potential delays to take appropriate mitigation actions.

5. Manage by Exception – The concept of management by exception is a fundamental principle of the PRINCE2 project methodology (as well as a fundamental premise in any flexible approach to project management). According to this principle, senior management should only become involved when necessary.

When everyone on the project team is well-informed about their tasks and the project is meticulously planned, it allows for uninterrupted execution of tasks without constant intervention or the burdensome “micromanagement” that often accompanies poorly designed projects.

This principle impacts the project manager, the project steering committee, and stakeholders at the company level. As a project manager, you can effectively focus and direct your attention by utilizing this PRINCE2 principle. It enables you to concentrate on the areas that require the most attention. By doing so, you enhance your ability to deliver the project on schedule, within the allocated budget, and with the desired level of quality.

6. Focus on Products – In the context of project management, the term “product” refers to the final deliverable rather than the actual work involved. Therefore, project management should prioritize a product-focused approach over a work-focused one.

The project should revolve around the successful delivery of the product, adhering to well-defined quality criteria. Products should be clearly defined in terms of their purpose, quality attributes, format, and composition. By focusing on the desired outcome, a project manager can establish workflows and processes that work backward from the end value.

To achieve effective results, it is crucial to establish product specifications, quality standards, and other relevant criteria. PRINCE2 promotes an output-oriented strategy for projects, emphasizing the importance of these elements in ensuring successful outcomes.

7. Tailor to Suit the Project Environment – It is not advisable to rigidly apply the PRINCE2 approach without any adaptations. It should be customized to better suit the nature and scope of the project.

For example, you may choose to combine multiple documents into smaller, more agile projects. Verbal or email updates could be utilized as alternatives to written reports. Additionally, you might seek to introduce greater flexibility for future adjustments in agile projects where precise answers or solutions are uncertain. Different projects encompass diverse contexts and scopes, necessitating the ability to adjust the process to meet each project’s unique requirements.

While this principle emphasizes the importance of flexibility in adapting to the project, it is still essential to adhere to the overarching principles. The PRINCE2 methodology has specific requirements, including adherence to various project stages and procedures, which must be followed diligently.

The Significance of PRINCE2 Accreditation

The fundamental concept behind the PRINCE2 key principles is to empower project managers to streamline their work. At times, projects can veer off course, surpassing their initial budget, timeline, or scope expectations.

The primary objective of the PRINCE2 principles is to prevent projects from spiraling out of control and maintain a sense of control by establishing a structured framework that facilitates easier project management. Moreover, having a system to rely on during challenging situations can be immensely beneficial.

The PRINCE2 principles are fundamentally designed to provide guidance and ensure successful project outcomes.

1. Universal – The PRINCE2 guidelines are standardized and universally applicable. In theory, they can be utilized for projects across industries of varying sizes and scopes. Therefore, they serve as an invaluable reference for project managers who often navigate between different sectors and industries.

2. Self-validating in PRINCE2 – By using the PRINCE2 principles as a reference and being honest with yourself about your role as a project manager, you can easily assess whether you are aligning with these principles. Self-validation, without relying on external assistance or opinions, can significantly contribute to enhancing your ability to effectively manage your projects.

3. Empowering – In essence, the PRINCE2 project management principles are designed to provide you with greater control over your circumstances. They aim to instill in you the confidence and resilience to make informed decisions that will positively impact your projects. While there may be instances where you seek guidance from senior leaders, the PRINCE2 methodology can help you feel more assured that your choices align with the established principles and are grounded in sound reasoning.

The 7 Themes of PRINCE2 Accreditation Methodology

The PRINCE2 accreditation methodology outlines the key project management aspects that require continuous and simultaneous attention. Seven themes elucidate the specific focus areas that PRINCE2 emphasizes for different project management disciplines. These themes are established at the project’s outset and are consistently monitored throughout its duration. Projects that effectively address these areas are well-supported and remain on track. The themes encompass the following:

  • Business Case Theme
  • Organization Theme
  • Quality Theme
  • Plans Theme
  • Risk Theme
  • Change Theme
  • Progress Theme

The 7 PRINCE2 Processes

1. The Start of a Project – A new project is initiated through a project mandate, which entails making a formal request. The organization evaluates its capacity to undertake the project based on the mandate. If the proposal is approved, a more comprehensive project brief is provided by the company.

2. Directing in PRINCE2 – The project board reviews and assesses the project briefs, after which they determine the organization and implementation approach for the approved initiatives.

3. Project Initiation – The project manager develops the initial project documentation, which encompasses a plan and a framework outlining key objectives such as cost, benefits, risk, quality, and scope. The project board then reviews this documentation to ensure unanimous agreement.

4. Controlling Stage – Once the project has been divided into smaller work phases, the project manager delegates the project to the rest of the team. The project manager maintains oversight of each phase and intervenes when necessary. Meanwhile, the team manager supervises the day-to-day tasks.

5. Administration of Product Delivery – Before delivering the final outcomes to the client, it is important to ensure that the deliverables meet PRINCE2’s quality standards. The responsibility for this lies with the project manager, who oversees the quality assessment process. Subsequently, the project board evaluates the results to determine their satisfaction and the need for any modifications.

6. Stage Boundary Control – At each project stage, both the project board and project manager assess the progress to ensure adherence to the plan and fulfillment of all requirements. The project board may make decisions regarding the project’s future based on these evaluations. It is the responsibility of the project manager to document the lessons learned during each review for future reference and application.

7. Project Completion in PRINCE2 – Upon completion of the project, it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure proper closure.


Projects can be performed effectively and services can be given on schedule and with high quality by following the PRINCE2 principles, themes, and methods. Improve your professional development by learning more about the PRINCE2 methodology and honing your project management abilities with PRINCE2 certification training.

Here at CourseMonster, we know how hard it may be to find the right time and funds for training. We provide effective training programs that enable you to select the training option that best meets the demands of your company.

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