Why are project management techniques not a focus of PRINCE2?

People sometimes ask why the PRINCE2 method and PRINCE2 certification exams do not cover a broad range of project management techniques. We first need to think about the aim of PRINCE2 which is to provide a management method that covers elements that are necessary for ‘all’ types of projects. Many techniques are likely required for some types of projects but not necessarily ‘all’ project types.

There are potentially hundreds if not thousands of techniques that can be used across many different types of projects. If PRINCE2 was to cover a broad range of management techniques, the authors of the method are likely to find difficulty on two levels: ‘which techniques do they exclude and is the technique relevant for all types of projects’. For example; if we would select Earned Value Analysis, which is a progress control technique, it is likely to provide value to large scale engineering projects with high financial cost though likely of little value for projects of low compleixty.

Our PRINCE2 training does not ignore techniques, some examples of techniques are highlighted in the PRINCE2 manual, importantly PRINCE2 encourages the use of management or specialist techniques together with the PRINCE2 method if the project team finds them useful for certain types of the projects.

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