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How PRINCE2® 2017 Aims To Help Your Organisation

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Aimed at project professionals with any level of experience, around 30 people attended an insightful presentation at the Atkins’ Hub office in Bristol on the evening of 6 February 2018. Our speaker, Nigel Bennett, shared his knowledge and insights on what PRINCE2® is and how it can be used effectively to improve the chances of project success. Nigel was part of the authoring team for the 2009 and 2017 versions of PRINCE2® and was very well placed to talk about the latest version of PRINCE2® and the benefits that it offers.

In terms of the end to end process, Nigel explained that the fundamental reason for re-writing the PRINCE2® book was to tailor its contents to better meet the changing needs of organisations that operate in a wide range of project based environments. There were over 100 people involved in the update of the book including practitioners, organisations, AXELOS and academics. It took 10 months to finish using an excellent change management process and several reviews of draft versions prior to the final publication.

PRINCE2® (Projects In a Controlled Environment) is very well known in the project management profession. It is a process and thematic-based approach for effective project management and was originally developed to improve the management of UK Government IT projects since its launch in 1996. It is now owned by AXELOS Limited, a joint venture by the Cabinet Office and Capita plc. This latest update has greater emphasis on tailoring the approach to meet specific business needs and further defining the project environment.

PRINCE2® is widely recognised and understood, and therefore provides a common vocabulary for all those involved in a project, which aids effective communication. The 2017 edition’s increased focus on tailoring means that the method is more flexible and can be used as the basis of a project management method within any environment. Guidance is provided, for example, on projects within programmes, portfolios and commercial environments. It can also operate with any delivery approach such as waterfall or agile. PRINCE2® explicitly recognises project responsibilities so that participants understand each other's roles and needs. There is a defined structure for accountability, delegation, authority and communication.

The key changes explained by Nigel on the night focused on project management, tailoring and adopting PRINCE2®, considerations for organisational adoption and standards alignment. The book now also emphasises the themes rather than the process itself and provides more real world advice, guidance and tips.

In addition, there are some fundamental changes to the foundation and practitioner examinations to ensure that there is renewed focus on candidates having the ability to apply PRINCE2® practically in a given project environment and consequently increase the value gained from using the method.

The book also has a new look and feel which will be adopted by all future best practice publications within AXELOS’ portfolio.

Nigel explained that AXELOS has now also offered a number of re-registration options including the AXELOS membership which is a subscription service with a wide range of project management assets available for all members as well as how PRINCE2® practitioners can maintain their practitioner status through AXELOS membership. The attached slides provide more detail, including points of contact, on all of the above characteristics described by Nigel on the night.

Nigel Bennett is a Consulting Director at RSM UK Consulting LLP. He was a member of the authoring teams for the 2009 and 2017 versions of PRINCE2® and for P3M3 version 3. Nigel helps organisations become more capable of delivering their bids, projects, programmes and portfolios effectively and efficiently. He is a specialist in designing and embedding project management methods for organisations. Nigel can be contacted via email at

PRINCE2 is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.

Bruce Phillips


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