Ever since it was first created back in 1996, PRINCE2® has become the most widely used methodology for the managing and running of projects globally, enabling organisations to deliver change successfully within time, cost and quality requirements by providing structure & control mechanisms whilst addressing those factors that can threaten these targets being achieved.
However, as we now live in a very fast-paced dynamic ever-changing world, so too the business world, and by extension organisations’ priorities and ways of working have changed, therefore how those projects need to managed and run has also changed.
Over the years, the methodology has gone through numerous updates or iterations to respond to this, with the current 6th edition being launched in July 2017. So as the business world & the project industry changes, the guidance provided by PRINCE2® needs to adapt as well hence the launch of PRINCE2® 7th edition this autumn.
That’s why we have pre and post-course support for all our delegates and consulting clients in both Dublin and Belfast.
The previous version was structured around what is known as the 4 integrated elements of Principles, Themes (now called Practices), Processes, and Tailoring to suit the project environment. In the 7th Edition a 5th integrated element has been added called People. Because projects introduce change, this will affect people in their business as usual or normal operational activities therefore the success of any project is dependent on the capabilities of the project team, and the strength of their relationships with the people who will be impacted by that change. This People integrated element therefore provides guidance on the management of those relationships.
The 6th Edition talked about the 6 aspects of project performance that need to be managed for a project to be successful, the 6 being Time, Cost, Quality, Scope, Benefits & Risk. In the Prince2 7th Edition a 7th aspect of project performance has been added called Sustainability. Sustainability is a major concern in the real world today, therefore the business is likely to have sustainability objectives and commitments that the project needs to adhere or contribute too. The 7th edition addresses this as one of the target areas that needs to be managed, and is included through the defining of role responsibilities, documentation such as plans & reports, it is incorporated into various Practices such as the Business Case practice, and some processes such as including activities to confirm sustainability requirements are been met.
• Digital & Data:
To meet the evolving needs of Project Management Professionals a Digital & Data Management Approach has now been added. The purpose of this is to define –
a) How digital technology will be used to support project management and project work.
b) How data and information will be created used and managed across the project ecosystem, lifecycle, and beyond.
• Improved Flexibility:
Rules within the methodology have been reduced and streamlined whilst maintaining the core elements and ethos of PRINCE2®.
• Language & Terminologies:
PRINCE2® language and terminologies have been simplified throughout making it easier to understand and more relatable to a wider market.
Ever since the 2009 version (5th Edition) of PRINCE2® the methodology has been perfectly formed to be used to manage and run projects where Agile frameworks such as SCRUM, Kanban or XP are being used by the teams. However in the 7th edition greater guidance is now given on tailoring the methodology to support these Agile environments including the provision of scenarios or examples to demonstrate this.
As with the previous iterations of the methodology it provides project managers with the knowledge, skills, structure and control mechanisms to successfully deliver projects regardless of the size, scale, complexity or market sector they are operating within. However this 7th edition takes into account additional elements such as sustainability, data management and managing the people relationships both internally and externally to the project.
Whether taken virtually, or face-to-face.
The Foundation course lasts for 3 Days.
The Practitioner course lasts for 2 Days.
How long is the Foundation Exam?
The Foundation exam is a 1-hour exam, consisting of 60 multiple choice questions, each carrying 1 possible mark. There is no negative marking. It is a closed book exam – so no support material permitted during the exam.
How long is the Practitioner Exam?
The practitioner exam is 2 hours 30 minutes in duration. It consists of 70 multiple choice questions each carrying one possible mark. It is an open book exam, so you are permitted to reference the PRINCE2 7th Edition manual throughout if needed. All questions are scenario based. One difference between the 7th edition & 6th Edition practitioner exam is that with the new version there are 4 project scenarios detailed within the first chapter of the manual, so the Practitioner exam will be based on one of those 4 scenarios, whereas with previous versions the scenario was unseen prior to the exam.
The pass mark for both exams is now 60% - a slight increase from the previous version which was 55%.
So for Foundation you need to get 36 or more of the 60 questions correct to Pass. For Practitioner you need to get 42 or more of the 70 questions correct in order to Pass.
For the Foundation exam there are no pre-requisite requirements for attending the course. So, you can undertake the training irrespective of your previous experience levels.
For the Practitioner level you must be certified in one of the following before undertaking the 7th edition Practitioner exam:
- PRINCE2® 7th Edition Foundation
- PRINCE2® 6th Edition Foundation & / or Practitioner
- Project Management Qualification (PMQ)
- Project Professional Qualification (PPQ)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
- IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)
- IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)
- IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)
To be absolutely clear, you can undertake the 7th Edition 3-day Foundation course and then move straight into the 2-day Practitioner course all in the same week. It is intensive, but depending on how you learn many delegates find this to be the best way for them. Equally other delegates, whether through time constraints, or this intensive learning style simply doesn’t suit them, prefer to split the two courses over two different weeks.
The short answer is Yes. However, as the 7th edition now includes new components (See “What are the key additions…” question above) you would need a copy of the new version of the manual, and to familiarise yourself with those new components and language changes before taking the 7th edition Practitioner exam. It may therefore be more straightforward if you prefer, to take the 6th edition Practitioner exam this time, and then upskill to the 7th Edition in 3 years time when you come to renew your registration as a PRINCE2® Practitioner.
Unfortunately no, you can’t. The 2009 version (5th Edition) does NOT qualify as a pre-requisite for sitting the 7th edition Practitioner exam due to the volume of changes to the methodology.
You therefore have 2 options.
a) You can still take the 6th edition (2017 version) Practitioner exam, your 2009 version foundation qualification will meet the pre-requisite requirements for that exam
b) Undertake the 7th Edition Foundation & Practitioner courses.
Your registration of accreditation at both Foundation & Practitioner levels is now only valid for 3 years from date of passing the exam. This has been back-dated to include previous editions of PRINCE2® as well.
You can however renew your registration by either resitting the relevant exam after the 3 years, or carry out Continued Professional Development activities in each of the 3 years to earn CPD points. If you earn sufficient CPD points each year your registration will automatically be renewed at the end of the 3-year period.
No, do not wait. The current 6th edition is still very valuable and highly recognised as a qualification and will provide you with the necessary knowledge & skills to be an effective Project Manager. Whilst the 7th Edition does include some updates, at its heart it is still the same ethos & structure as 6th Edition just with some tweaks, so we would advise you don’t change your plans and go ahead with your scheduled course.