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What is PRINCE2®?

PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited

PRINCE2 is now the world’s most popular project management framework. The name PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. It started out in life as PRINCE (without the 2) as a UK government method used for managing government I.T. projects. During the early 1990’s it was realized that the same tools and techniques that are useful when managing I.T. projects are exactly the same tools and techniques which are useful when managing any project. So, a decision was undertaken to rewrite PRINCE by removing all of the I.T. specific terminology. The new version became known as PRINCE2 and was released in 1996.

Since then, the official PRINCE2 manual (Managing Successful Projects Using PRINCE2) has been released a number of times. Each revision has improved the understanding and usability of the method and has been updated with best practices. The latest version of the manual was released in 2009 and is generally accepted as embodying the most up to date best practices in project management.

By the middle of 2011, more than 800,000 students have sat the PRINCE2 Foundation examination worldwide, which is the lower of the two levels of qualification (Practitioner being the highest level). Whilst most of these students were based in the UK, increasingly, the method is gaining in popularity throughout the world as project managers and organizations realize the benefits of applying a standard project management method based upon best practices.

PRINCE2 has become a de-facto standard project management framework used by the UK government and has become the most widely used project management framework in the UK and Europe. It is also fast becoming the most widely used in other parts of the world too.

The popularity of PRINCE2 comes partly from the fact that it is a generic project management method that can be tailored to suit any size and type of project, within any organization or industry. Adopting PRINCE2 means that organizations do not need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to deciding how to manage their projects.