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Some Common Misunderstandings about PRINCE2

Misunderstanding 1:  
PRINCE2 is only relevant to project managers.

PRINCE2 is far more than just a tool for project managers. Its strength is that it enables 
organisations to create a management environment which maximises the chances of the project achieving its objectives.

Misunderstanding 2: 
PRINCE2 concentrates on products, so it is not suitable for internal projects within a company.

PRINCE2 applies to all types of project. The term "product" applies to all items that the 
project delivers. In PRINCE2 terms a new computer system is a product, so is a project plan or feasibility study.

Misunderstanding 3: 
PRINCE2 is not relevant to us because we have heads of departments, not stakeholders.

In PRINCE2 terms anyone within the organisation that is affected by a project is a 
stakeholder. Some are customers of the project, some are suppliers to it and others are 
users of whatever the project produces.

Misunderstanding 4: 
We do not use PRINCE2 because we have invested in Microsoft Project.

Software tools such as Microsoft Project or Primavera assist a project manager to plan a project and track progress.  That is fine, but such tools do not tackle the common causes of project failure such as lack of stakeholder management, not having a business case, or the lack of senior management involvement.  It is these management issues that PRINCE2 addresses. Project management software tools supplement PRINCE2, but they do not replace it. 

Misunderstanding 5:  
We decided not to use PRINCE2 but to use Agile instead.

PRINCE2 provides a management environment in which the Agile methodology, or any other, can be used. 

Misunderstanding 6:  
PRINCE2 is a bureaucratic nightmare.

PRINCE2 is a management environment and a philosophy. There are a number of reports, but you only use those relevant to your project, they do not have to be large, and some can be verbal. 

Misunderstanding 7:  
PRINCE2 is only for big projects.

The processes needed when managing a small project are the same as those for large ones, so PRINCE2 is equally applicable to large and small projects. Those parts which do not deliver a management benefit do not have to be implemented.

Misunderstanding 8:  
We simply don't have time for PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 is just "good practice". Anyone who does not have time to do the minimum of work to manage a project is running a big risk which may well cost them their job.

Misunderstanding 9:  
Methods like PRINCE2 kill ideas and creativity.

On the contrary, PRINCE2 specifies a management environment within which creative ideas can be encouraged and handled appropriately.

Misunderstanding 10:  
I don't have time to learn PRINCE2.

As a senior manager, you yourself do not need to know the ins and outs of PRINCE2, simply hire a project manager who does. You only require an overview of what is involved.

For immediate information to get going with PRINCE2, and in a highly readable and practical 
format, why not get hold of a copy of 'PRINCE2 for Dummies'?

Misunderstanding 11:  
PRINCE2 is just for government projects.

It certainly started that way, but quickly spread to the private sector when it proved to be effective was shown to apply to any type of project, whether it be public sector, private sector, IT, civil engineering construction, business re-organisation etc.

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