Tag Archives: Prince2

PRINCE2 and DevOps, a successful marriage or recipe for divorce?

Happy to see that my white paper PRINCE2 and DevOps, a successful marriage or recipe for divorce? is now live on the AXELOS content hub.

More and more organizations are incorporating DevOps into their working practices to get more done. Many organizations will also use PRINCE2 to deliver projects. But can an organization really use these two approaches together? This paper will show that an organization does not need to pick and choose which approach it will take; PRINCE2 and DevOps can be used together and even share some similarities.

This paper will examine DevOps and the PRINCE2 governance structure separately and will compare a temporary PRINCE delivery team with a permanent DevOps team. I describe how a PRINCE2 project manager can cope with DevOps teams and how DevOps teams can cope with the PRINCE2 governance. The paper will combine both approaches to explore how they can be successfully implemented together.

I hope this white paper will be useful and feel free to give me your comments.

How the PRINCE2 Directing Guide helps with decision latency

On the AXELOS website you can find my blog how the Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 guide can help you with decision latency.

‘The CHAOS Report’ 2018 from the Standish Group sees decision latency as one of the key factors why so many projects fail. In other words, if you want to improve project success, you have to speed up your decision-making. The Standish Group studied this decision latency for over a decade and stated that a project will create one decision for every $1,000 in project labour cost. If it takes hours to make a decision, you must find ways to reduce this interval by decentralizing the decision making and eliminating steps that take time but have no value, e.g. too many meetings. Simply reducing decision latency can improve your project performance by 25%.

See for the rest of this blog: AXELOS blog

To order Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2: managementboek.nl, bol.com, Amazon

Podcast: Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2

Honored to be interviewed by Allan Thomson about one of my latest books Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2.

The book Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 can be ordered by:




Review Official PRINCE2 Foundation App

1200x630waA companion learning tool to pass the PRINCE2 Foundation exam. It’s based on a simple 3-step approach: study, practise and mock exams. You can do a quick test by topic or a full mock exam. You can review answers provided with explanations and results will be tracked by topic.

It can be used as a reference tool with a comprehensive glossary with search function across the whole App. The App contains a case study to bring PRINCE2 to life and offers links to continue your PRINCE2 journey.

On the main menu you have to choose between study or practice. In the study part you will be able to read a case study (Axle Car Hire) about project management and study for your exam with Study Cards (in total 240 questions). The case study contains 5 topics:

  • Introduction to PRINCE2: introducing the company, it’s vision, the project and the key employees
  • Principles: remarks from the key stakeholders in line with the principles
  • Themes: purpose and remarks from the key stakeholders in line with the themes business case, organization, quality and plans
  • Themes 2: purpose and remarks from the key stakeholders in line with the themes risk, change and progress
  • Processes: purpose and remarks from the key stakeholders in line with the processes starting up a project, directing a project (3 parts), initiating a project, managing a stage boundary, controlling a stage, managing product delivery and closing a project.

The study cards are in line with the five topics. When you give the right answer, you get an explanation why that’s the correct answer. If you give an incorrect answer you get an explanation why it’s incorrect.

In the practice part you can select a quick test or mock exam. The length of the quick test (min 10, max 30 minutes) and the number of questions (between 20 and 40) can be adjusted. The Mock exams are 60 questions in 60 minutes. The questions are the same as the study cards. 

Conclusion: In total 240 questions, which more than enough to prepare yourself for the foundation exam. The App could be of more value if the study cards are based on the case itself.

Some potential improvement points:

  • Navigation: if you mark a topic as read you imediatly get the next topic and before you know you mark that one as read too.
  • Navigation. Replace < on the top with HOME. If you use this as previous screen/previous question you have to start all over with the study cards. Or add a message in line with the mock exam.
  • In the case there is a reference to PRINCE2 role: Sponsor (incorrect, see glossary).
  • Some questions refer to the Commissioning organization (not in the glossary).



Review: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English / – Nederlands

Voor de Nederlandse versie van de courseware naar beneden scrollen.

9789401802253-480x600This book PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English was created by Douwe Brolsma and Mark Kouwenhoven and can be used as a replacement for a syllabus that training organizations provide for each attendee when following a PRINCE2 practitioner training class.

What do we get:

  • A timetable for a four-day training class with the exam at day 4 (starting with an overview and the principles, the project lifecycle including PRINCE2 processes and themes, tailoring.)
  • A print of all slides to be used during the training class. In the slides you find all the figures as provided by AXELOS, the preferred content of all products including references to the official manual
  • Two PRINCE2 Foundation sample papers from AXELOS (Question Booklet, Answers and rationales. 1 hour, 60 questions, to pass you need 33 correct answers) to be used at the start of the training class
  • The PRINCE2 Practitioner Examination Specification from AXELOS (learning outcomes, examination design and the weightings (number of questions) across learning outcomes, assessment criteria and ‘Bloom’s level’
  • Two PRINCE2 Practitioner Sample Papers from AXELOS (Scenario Booklet, Question Booklet, Answers and rationales. 2 hours 30 min, 68 questions, to pass you need 38 correct answers, open book, you can use the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2)
  • 14 assignments to be used throughout the training with different types of exercises (create a product, explain a role, perform an assessment)

Conclusion: The courseware contains all the needed material for a training but could be of much more value when each slide is accompanied with an explanation of the content of the slide. In that case you could use the material as reference material after the training class/exam too.

To order: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English

Recensie: PRINCE2 2017 editie Practitioner Courseware – Nederlands

9789401803458-480x600Dit boek PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – Nederland is gemaakt door Douwe Brolsma en Mark Kouwenhoven en kan gebruikt worden als vervanging van een syllabus zoals die door opleidingsorganisaties aan elke deelnemer wordt gegeven bij het volgen van een PRINCE2 Practitioner cursus.

Wat krijgen we:

  • Een tijdschema voor een vierdaagse training inclusief examen op dag 4 (de training begint met een overzicht en de principes, vervolgens volgen we de levenscyclus van een project met daarbinnen de verschillende PRINCE2-processen en thema’s, en het op maat maken)
  • Een print van alle PowerPoint slides die tijdens de training gebruikt kunnen worden. In de slides vindt u alle figuren/tekeningen zoals verstrekt door AXELOS en de gewenste inhoud van alle producten inclusief verwijzingen naar de officiële handleiding
  • Twee PRINCE2 Foundation voorbeeld examens van AXELOS (vragenboekje, antwoorden en toelichting, 1 uur, 60 vragen, om te slagen hebt u 33 correcte antwoorden nodig) die gebruikt kunnen worden aan het begin van de training
  • De PRINCE2 Practitioner Examination Specification van AXELOS (eindtermen, examenontwerp en de wegingen (aantal vragen) over leerresultaten, beoordelingscriteria en ‘Bloom’s level’
  • Twee PRINCE2 Practitioner voorbeeld examens van AXELOS (scenario-boekje, vraag-boekje, antwoorden en toelichting) 2 uur 30 min, 68 vragen, om door te geven hebt u 38 correcte antwoorden nodig, open boek, u kunt het beheren van succesvolle projecten met PRINCE2 gebruiken)
  • 14 opdrachten die tijdens de training gebruikt kunnen worden met verschillende soorten oefeningen (een managementproduct maken, een rol uitleggen, een beoordeling uitvoeren)

Conclusie: het cursusmateriaal bevat al het benodigde materiaal voor een training, maar kan van veel meer waarde zijn wanneer elke slide vergezeld gaat van een uitleg van de inhoud van die slide. In dat geval zou je het materiaal ook kunnen gebruiken als referentiemateriaal na de training / examen.

Om te bestellen: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – Nederlands

Review: PRINCE2 Handbook

9780113315420-480x600Mike Acaster, Neil Glover and Allan Thomson compiled this PRINCE2 Handbook using the 2017 update of Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2.

It’s a handy, concise (A6) 82 pages booklet. It follows the official manual, and gives you a comprehensive overview of PRINCE2. After an introduction regarding projects in general, the role of senior management and the project manager, the six controls (costs, timescales, quality, scope, benefits and risk) and the structure of PRINCE2 you get an overview of the principles, tailoring, themes, processes and considerations for organizational adopting.

The principles provide a framework of good practice. All seven principles are explained: continued business justification, learn from experience, defined roles and responsibilities, mange by stages, manage by exception, focus on products, tailor to suit the project.

Tailoring can be applied to processes, themes, roles, management products and terminology.

Themes describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually as the project progresses through its lifecycle. All seven themes are discussed in detail; Business case, organization, quality, plans, risk, change and progress.

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management. A process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. There are seven processes in PRINCE2 which provide the set of activities required to direct, manage and deliver a project successfully. All processes and underlaying activities are described: starting up a project, directing a project, initiating a project, controlling a project, managing product delivery and closing a project.

In a separate chapter you get considerations for adopting PRINCE2. Tailoring PRINCE2 to create an organization’s method and embedding the tailored method within the organization.

In the appendices you find explanations of all management products, roles and responsibilities and a glossary.

 Conclusion: a concise quick-reference guide with an overview of PRINCE2. But not enough if you are studying for PRINCE2 foundation.

To order: PRINCE2 Handbook

To order: Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2

Recensie Projectmanagement op basis van PRINCE2 Editie 2017

9789401802772-480x600Bert Hedeman, Gabor Vis van Heemst en Hans Fredriksz hebben hun, door trainingsorganisaties veel gebruikte boek Projectmanagement op basis van PRINCE2 geheel herschreven om daarmee in lijn te zijn met de nieuwe editie van PRINCE2 als vervanger van PRINCE2 editie 2009.

Medio 2018 komen de eerste Nederlandstalige PRINCE2 Foundation en Practitioner examens beschikbaar en dan is dit boek een welkome aanvulling op de geboden trainingen om te kunnen slagen voor het examen.

Het boek is nu in vier herkenbare delen uitgewerkt, waarbij het laatste deel nieuw is ten opzichte van de vorige druk:

  • Deel I Introductie
  • Deel II Thema’s
  • Deel III Processen
  • Deel IV Op maat maken

De Introductie geeft een inleiding op projectmanagement en op PRINCE2 en er wordt uitgebreid ingaan op de zeven principes (niet veranderd ten opzichte van editie 2009):

  • Voortdurende zakelijke rechtvaardiging
  • Leren van ervaring
  • Gedefinieerde rollen en verantwoordelijkheden
  • Managen per fase
  • Managen ‘by exception’
  • Productgerichte aanpak
  • Op maat maken voor de projectomgeving

De zeven PRINCE2-thema’s, met daarin de aspecten van projectmanagement die continu en integraal moeten worden beheerst, worden uitgebreid beschreven.  Ieder thema wordt in een afzonderlijk hoofdstuk behandeld waarbij ingegaan wordt op het doel, kernbegrippen, te gebruiken technieken en per rol de bijbehorende verantwoordelijkheden. Ten opzichte van de editie 2009 wordt nu ook ingegaan welke aspecten minimaal moeten worden meegenomen in een PRINCE2-project en hoe het thema effectief kan worden toegepast bij kleine, agile, commerciële, wet- en regelgeving en overheidsprojecten. Achtereenvolgens krijgen we de volgende thema’s:

  • Business case: Waarom?
  • Organisatie: Wie?
  • Kwaliteit: Wat?
  • Plannen: Hoe, hoeveel, wanneer?
  • Risico: Wat indien?
  • Wijziging: Wat is de impact?
  • Voortgang: Waar staan we nu? Wat is de prognose?

Verschillen tussen de 2009 en 2017 editie:

Editie 2009 Editie 2017
Bedrijfs- of programmamanagement lijn- of programmamanagement of de klant
Batenreviewplan benefitsmanagementaanpak
Risicomanagementstrategie risicomanagementaanpak
Kwaliteitsmanagementstrategie kwaliteitsmanagementaanpak
Configuratiemanagementstrategie wijzigingsmanagementaanpak

Deel III gaat in op de processen. Per proces wordt ingezoomd op de doelstellingen, de context, de procesbeschrijving en een overzicht van de onderliggende activiteiten. Ten opzichte van de editie 2009 wordt nu ook ingegaan op het op maat maken bij kleine, agile en commerciële projecten en projecten binnen een programma. De volgende zeven processen worden behandeld:

  • Opstarten van een project: Formuleren van de projectopdracht
  • Sturen van een project: De activiteiten van de stuurgroep
  • Initiëren van een project: Uitwerken van de projectopdracht
  • Beheersen van een fase: Uitvoeren van de projectopdracht
  • Managen productoplevering: De activiteiten van de teammanagers
  • Managen van een faseovergang: Voorbereiden van de besluitvorming
  • Afsluiten van een project: Opleveren van het projectresultaat

P2 QRC (Produktmodel NL, 180222) v1.0Downloaden: P2 QRC (Produktmodel NL, 180222) v1.0

Het laatste deel gaat in op het op maat maken van PRINCE2 voor een individueel project en het verankeren van PRINCE2 in een organisatie. Het verankeren is nieuw ten opzichte van de 2009 editie. Bij het op maat maken wordt ingegaan op projecten in de private of publieke sector, haalbaarheids-, agile, commerciële en multi-organisatieprojecten en projecten in een programma. Verder wordt projectvolwassenheid en het P3M3-model kort besproken.

In de bijlagen vinden we een opzet van alle managementproducten, de rollen en verantwoordelijkheden, een voorbeeld van een productgerichte planning en een projectthermometer en tenslotte een begrippen- en vertaallijst. In de 2017 editie zijn vier producten niet in ieder project noodzakelijk: configuratie-item-record, leerpuntenrapport, productstatusoverzicht en het dagelijks logboek.

Conclusie: Wil je je voorbereiden voor het Nederlandstalige PRINCE2 Foundation of Practitioner examen of wil je een goed beeld vormen van PRINCE2 dan is dit volledig herschreven en goed leesbare boek aan te bevelen. Volgende week wordt een bijbehorende website www.P2foryou.nl operationeel waarop ook de projectthermometer, begrippenlijst en vertaallijst beschikbaar komen.

Bestellen: Projectmanagement op basis van PRINCE2 Editie 2017

PRINCE2 Update 2017: manual supporting tabs

9780113315338-480x600Now the new PRINCE2 Update 2017 manual is available (click to to order PRINCE2 Update 2017), I updated the PRINCE2 manual supporting tabs as well.

The Dutch Best Practice User Group (BPUG) will offer pre-punched papers with stickers representing the colored tabs. I hope it will help you to pass the exam.

PRINCE2_update_2017_UK_v2 To download a printable version (and print on a sticker paper): PRINCE2_update_2017_UK_v2


I received a question how to stick/position the tabs into the manual. If you look at the picture of the manual (bottom/middle of the A4 sticker page) you see some colored bars. These bars represent the tabs and gives the position. There are several colored groups:

  • Appendices D, E, Glossary: Gray (place on pages 369 – 349); At the right side of the pages, start from bottom to top
  • roles and responsibilities: orange (place on pages 347 – 339); At the right side of the pages, start from bottom to top before Appendix D
  • Appendix B Standards alignment: gray (place on 333); At the right side of the pages, before roles
  • the management products: green (place on pages 331 – 293); At the right side of the pages, start from bottom to top
  • Considerations for organizational adoption: gray (place on page 271); right side of the page, at the top
  • the processes: blue (place on pages 259 – 157); At to top side of the pages, start right from the black tab and then to the left
  • the themes: yellow (place on pages 147 – 45); At to top side of the pages, start from right till left
  • tailoring and adopting PRINCE2: black (place on page 29); left from the themes
  • the principles: red (place on page 19); left from tailoring and adopting

Nederlandse versie Managen van Succesvolle projecten met PRINCE2

9780113315529-480x600Ondertussen heb ik ook de vraag gekregen om voor de Nederlandse uitgave de tabs te vervaardigen.

Bestellen: Managen van Succesvolle projecten met PRINCE2

PRINCE2_update_2017_NLDe tabs kunnen via Best Practice User Group (BPUG) besteld worden of zelf afgedrukt worden op sticker-papier en met een schaar worden uitgeknipt.

Downloaden: PRINCE2_update_2017_NL



PRINCE2 2017 Update, the same but better!

Tprince2-2017oday AXELOS announced the upcoming arrival of the new PRINCE2 2017 Update. It was in 2009 when the previous version was presented and this could mean that product is not being used or is already rather mature. I think the latter is the case and that’s what we can conclude too if we look at this new version. It’s a thorough but evolutionary update; same seven principles, themes and processes remain.

As one of the reviewers for the AXELOS PPM product family I took part in several review rounds for this new PRINCE2 Update, so I have already read the draft manual.

There is now, in the new manual, a much stronger emphasis on tailoring. In the previous version, it was a separate chapter, and not examined, and now it’s a thread running throughout the method as well as the exam.  You will also get a much stronger emphasis on the principles, and the practical application of PRINCE2 is much better explained. This will help to get rid of the misconception that PRINCE2 is a waterfall approach to project management.

Some changes in more detail:

  • Better link between themes and principles
  • Tailoring guidelines on the level of individual themes and processes are added
  • New chapter on adopting PRINCE2 in an organization
  • Tailoring guidelines for the management products are added
  • Tailoring guidelines regarding roles are added
  • Throughout the manual many hints and tips
  • Any bias against agile is removed, on several places you will find references to agile approaches
  • Instead of ‘corporate or programme management’ we now have ‘corporate, programme management or customer’
  • PRINCE2 terminology better aligned with ISO21500 and BS6079 and differences are explained
  • Progress theme is not talking about ‘technical stages’ anymore. New terms: ‘development approach’ e.g. agile, waterfall and ‘development step’ e.g. iteration in agile
  • The ‘strategies’ e.g. risk management strategy, are now called ‘approaches’
  • The ‘benefits review plan’ is replaced by the ‘benefits management approach’
  • ‘Daily log’ and ‘lessons report’ are no longer included in appendix A. The ‘lessons log’ should be treated as a view of the ‘lessons log’.

Benefits of this PRINCE2 2017 Update are:

  • Builds on your existing investment in PRINCE2;
  • You will get the best out of PRINCE2
  • It equips practitioners with practical skills and tools
  • New exams test candidates in a fairer and more valuable way
  • Practical, accessible, authoritative, relevant guidance for anyone managing a project
  • Doesn’t impact PRINCE2 Agile.

Some final facts:

  • Official book launch May 2017 (English, other languages, e.g. Dutch, Polish, German, … as of 2018 and beyond)
  • Exams as of mid 2017, as of 2018 only PRINCE2 2017 Update exams
  • PRINCE2 2017 Update Foundation exam: tailoring added, now 60 questions
  • PRINCE2 2017 Update Practitioner exam: focus on practical skills, all parts are now included, 75 questions
  • No PRINCE2 2017 Update re-certification exam anymore
  • Current PRINCE2 version 2009 Practitioner certificate expiry dates remain valid
  • See also: axelos.com/prince2-2017

BPUG session 6/1/2016: PRINCE2 Agile: Agilometer workshop results

Wednesday Jan 6th, I gave a presentation regarding PRINCE2 Agile for the BPUG. You can find the presentation on the BPUG site. I would say a lively session with lots of positive and enthusiastic reactions.

I started with a short visual movie created by Kirsten Casper from Hedeman Consulting.

2016-01-06 23.43.39In the second part of this session we focussed on the Agilometer. In the attached figure you see the three management levels and the Agilometer. The Agilometer will help to understand how far the agile thinking can rise up or how far the PRINCE2 thinking can cascade down. When a suitability slider, e.g. “Flexibility on what is delivered” is moved to the right (becomes completely yellow) we have a project where agile thinking is maximized. At the opposite side (slider to the left (completely blue) the PRINCE2 thinking is completely cascaded down.


The official manual only describes the full agile situation. In this situation the sliders are all moved to the right.

2016-01-08 19.04.34-2In 12 groups we discussed the definition and example behaviour of the missing situations. Due to time constraints we focussed on the left side, the traditional approach and the middle where parts from the traditional PRINCE2 as well as the agile world are equally combined.

‪I added all your comments in the 6 slides and with great help from Richard Metcalf (one of the attendees) these were translated in understandable sentences.

Dia2‪To download all six slides (sliders): PRINCE2 Agile (BPUG 160106 agilometer results) v1.3

Feel free to comment on the results till so far.

‪As a next step I will generate a final version using your feedback and other material such as the questionnaires from KWD Resultaatmanagement (Agile Geschikt/Ongeschikt) and the Project Approach Questionnaire from AgilePM.