SE23.com - The Official Forum for Forest Hill & Honor Oak, London SE23
Online since 2002  -  10,000+ members

Home | SE23 Topics | Shops & Services | Wider Topics | Offered/Wanted/Lost/Found | Advertising | Contact
Geddes Hairdressing & Barbering Studio One Armstrong & Co Solicitors Adult Learning Lewisham


Post Reply  Post Topic 
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »
Prince2 Project Management Software
Author Message
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
03-03-2009 04:25 PM

I am interested to know whether anyone on this site has experience of this software and would like to share their views and knowledge? It is required for many jobs in the public sector and I am thinking of doing it for that reason. There is also an online version which is cheaper than the classes. All in all the prices are extortionate so I would appreciate advice before proceeding to book myself on a course. Thanks.

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
03-03-2009 07:01 PM

As far as I am aware Prince2 is not specific software but a method of implementation of good practise in project management. Generally most project management jobs require prince2 training as it is the only formal qualification in project management and it demonstrates best practise, but how many actually actually use it as anything more than guidelines for project implementation?

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
03-03-2009 07:43 PM

Good question! Any answers?

I have had a look at the various training courses and packages and it does seem a bit of the Emperors New Clothes to me ie government inspired practices trotted out as an industry standard and something which no one really knows either how to use properly or to implement. I would love to hear from anyone who actually uses it in practice. The initial training course costs ?500 by e learning and takes 8 hours for the tutorials followed by an exam ( and thats cheap as the prices seem to range up to ?1000 for the foundation course) so it seems to be a cash cow for some training organisations.

All the available information seems to concentrate on selling the benefits and advantages without spelling out exactly what it is being offered. I was under the clearly mistaken impression that it was a software package. I have used Microsoft Project in the past which I have found good enough. As were Post It notes arranged on my wall at work- significantly cheaper..

Find all posts by this user Reply
shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
03-03-2009 07:48 PM

I qualified as a Prince2 Practitioner just over a year ago and can't say I've put the whole system into practice, but the whole idea is that it is scalable - a highlight report can be as little as an update to the boss in the lift. The system was designed for very complex (mostly IT-based) projects where simultaneous or successive pieces of work ("Work Stages") could be farmed out by the project manager to the project team and returned done and quality checked. However, I've used various bits of it - PID, highlight reports, risk logs, issues logs, version control etc which are very useful, and it's good to identify clearly who the project sponsors and executive are. But real life just isn't as neat as P2 would have you think. It's useful as a discipline (like knowing latin is good for english grammar) and it also good to bluff with the jargon, but in order to make it really useful you need the whole project team to adopt it from the very start (and even loooong before the start) of the project. If implemented full scale, it would create a huge amount of admin - you could spend all day just updating logs - and you would need extra admin to be the "configuration librarian".

Overall, Roz, I'd say go on the course - at least the three days Foundation course, especially if you can get work to pay for it! Some places even do a free half-day taster. I can recommend Maven Training, where I did mine, as one of the leaders in the field. (Checking their website, I'm not sure about the PC-ness of the girls only course, but the price and the after-course massage do sound attractive!!) The others are SPOCE. If you do go on a course, can I stress that the pre-course reading is ESSENTIAL (i.e. learn it all out of the book, before you even start!) and evening homework is also set, so clear your social calendar.

Hope this has been helpful - sorry to rant on for so long...

Find all posts by this user Reply
shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
03-03-2009 07:54 PM

Ah, your second post crossed mine.

I'd say, do the half-day free taster and take it from there.

Oh, and by the way, there is a rumour that Prince 3 (or maybe a totally different name) is coming soon, so you may want to keep your powder dry....

Find all posts by this user Reply
Shizue


Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #6
06-03-2009 12:45 PM

Hi Roz,

I qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner 5 years ago (currently studying the MSP now) and to echo shzl400, its really scalable. I've used a kinda PRINCE2-lite methodology for smaller, simpler projects, whereas for Pan-London IT projects we've used the whole shebang.

Coz its the public sector standard methodology, its useful to do, if only so you understand the terminology and everyone has a standard approach.

I've found that like any methodology, its only as good as the implemention of it. I work in a Programme Management Office made up of dedicated project staff and as we all understand PRINCE2 inside out and use it on a daily basis its a genuinely useful, in fact essential, tool for us. However, I've also sat in on 'projects' where the terminology was used, but with no real application and in those cases, it was used more to confuse other people than actually add any value.

Find all posts by this user Reply
shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
06-03-2009 12:50 PM

Quote:
However, I've also sat in on 'projects' where the terminology was used, but with no real application and in those cases, it was used more to confuse other people than actually add any value.


Yup, that'd be us then!

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
06-03-2009 02:24 PM

The problem with PRINCE2 is that it does not work for agile development. I understand that PRINCE3 will take account of Agile. However, in situations where agile development is used, the value of a project manager should be questioned - not always a bad role to include, but in a proper agile environment a project manager is often unnecessary. What you do need it Programme Management.

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
07-03-2009 04:06 PM

I must away and google ' agile development'.....

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
07-03-2009 04:15 PM

So, is it humanly possible to just buy the Stationary Office Manual for ?65 and do the Foundation exam, without forking out on a course circa ?500-?800?
What software does/do you 'Prince2' people use?

Find all posts by this user Reply
borderpaul


Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
07-03-2009 11:25 PM

I passed the Prince2 foundation exam by getting the official Prince2 manual for ?40 on ebay being sold by a Learning Tree trainer and a book called Prince2 revealed which was a simple description of how Prince2 could be used in the real world. The manual is very dry/boring whereas the other book gave me the concepts and how it all fitted together.

I added Prince2 certified to my cv which was enough. I don't work in Project Management but I work with Project Managers and most people I know use Microsoft Project for the project plan and then Word for all the documentation such as PIDs etc.

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
07-03-2009 11:48 PM

Thanks for this, very useful advice, and one which will probably save me ?'00's!

Find all posts by this user Reply
Shizue


Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #13
08-03-2009 10:34 AM

The software packages I use most are MS Project, MS Visio (invaluable for process flows), and MS Infopath (although Word will do, this just saves time and effort). EPM is great as well if your organisation is forward-looking enough to have it - my current one isn't. Thumbdown

Find all posts by this user Reply
calvin


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #14
15-01-2011 06:01 PM

I am now considering taking the Prince2 exam so revisited this thread - Roz, did you qualify in the end? And does anyone have any old Prince2 manuals or books they're looking to get rid of?

Find all posts by this user Reply
dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #15
15-01-2011 08:25 PM

Prince 2 is an over complicated project management sysyem. For further info of a simpler approach please pm me.

Find all posts by this user Reply
davidwhiting


Posts: 74
Joined: Dec 2003
Post: #16
16-01-2011 10:15 AM

I too worry about the complexity of some current project planning systems. They are so complex that they often become a world of their own, apart from the real world which real people inhabit, and the dynamics of the planning systems become the be all and end all .... To work them requires the time to obtain enormous specialist expertise which is often purchased at the expense of front line experience.

Back in the 1980s, I was a deputy corporate planning director in a division of Reed International. Things were probably over-complex even then. However, we used to say that 'if it's too complex to write on the back of a fag packet it's probably too complex for real life'.

Please note, this is not an incitement for people to start smoking so as to amass a supply of used fag packets. A small Post-it note will serve equally well.

Find all posts by this user Reply
calvin


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #17
16-01-2011 10:21 AM

I am looking at civil service jobs, for which Prince2 seems to be a common pre-requisite. It is for this reason that I am considering learning about it.

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
16-01-2011 12:23 PM

I didn't do the course as shortly after I posted I got a job offer so I thought I'd save the 1000 plus for something else! I have been trying to do it at work but they are not funding any more places due to the cuts.

Most people in my department including fairly junior staff members have both beginner and practitioner level qualifications and I am now the odd one out due to when I started so I am still presenting a case for me to do it as it is a minimum requirement of many public and indeed private sector jobs now - in case I am made redundant again which is not impossible.
Everyone says its like the 'emperor's new clothes/the elephant in the room' ie everyone thinks it is overcomplex and serves little purpose but everyone does it regardless. One of those things that once started no one can really stop.

Good luck with the training course Calvin if you decide to do it. Most courses are done in an intensive way ie you can do both parts in one week but it requires a 9-5 attendance plus work every evening before the exams. I couldn't do it this way for childcare reasons as if something happens you are not allowed to finish the course. I have been trying to get my employer to consider a less intensive distance learning option but thats the obstacle as it means a different supplier. However on the equalities arguments they should be keen to offer a wider range of delivery vehicles.

Find all posts by this user Reply
calvin


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #19
16-01-2011 12:46 PM

Thanks for the responses, and for recounting your experience, Roz. Very useful to know all of this.

Find all posts by this user Reply
dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
17-01-2011 10:01 PM

Prince 2 has become a money making industry in it's own right as some Government departments demand it and don't realise that a large part is not relevant.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »

Friends of Blythe Hill Fields