Project Management Training & Certification

Project Management in More Detail

The practice of Project Management is a de-facto requirement for organizations of any size and type, so there are clear benefits to gaining a professional qualification in this field.

Good e-Learning’s PRINCE2 Foundation course is designed with this in mind and makes use of interactive training to provide students with a good level of knowledge about PRINCE2 at Foundation level.

PRINCE2 is the global standard project management methodology, and PRINCE2 Certification is a world class project management qualification, with over 1 million examinations taken to date.

To learn more about the history of Project Management, it's evolution within the business and IT industry, and how understanding and practicing it can benefit you and your organization, continue reading below.

Learn Project Management With Our Accredited PRINCE2 Courses

A project can be defined as a unique and transient endeavor, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which are definable in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. The application of the processes, methods, experience, skills and knowledge to achieve a project’s objectives is known as Project Management.

Before formal Project Management techniques were adopted, large civil engineering projects were traditionally managed by the master builders, architects and engineers themselves.

Project Management emerged as a distinct discipline during the twentieth century, the result of work in the fields of civil construction and engineering, and a burgeoning heavy defense industry.

It's roots lie in Frederick Winslow Taylor’s (1856-1915) theories of scientific management. Within Taylor’s work can be found the forerunners of modern Project Management tools such as the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and resource allocation.

Two of his students, Henry Gantt (1861-1919), the author of early planning and control techniques and the Gantt chart, and Henri Fayol (1841-1925), creator of the five management functions that underpin project and program management (planning, organizing, leading, controlling and coordinating), are generally considered to be the founding fathers of the modern discipline that eventually emerged in the 1950s, and that we recognize today as Project Management.

 
The Evolution of Project Management

In the early days of Project Management, projects were managed on an ad-hoc basis, using Gantt charts and informal tools and techniques. In the 1950s, however, two mathematical project-scheduling models were developed: the Critical Path Method (CPM), and the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). Both models were developed for specific contexts. CPM is used for projects within which the timings of each activity will be certain and known. PERT, on the other hand, allows for stochastic, or unpredictable and uncertain activity times.

Alongside these developments in project-scheduling, advances were being made in the areas of project cost estimating, cost management and engineering economics, and in 1956 the American Association of Cost Engineers was formed (now the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, or AACE International).

1967 saw the foundation of the International Project Management Association (IPMA), a federation of several individual national Project Management associations. The IPMA retains its presence today, providing standards and establishing guidelines for the work of Project Management professionals through the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB). The ICB covers behavioral, as well as technical, and contextual, competencies.

In 1989, the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (then a department of the UK Government) adopted a Project Management model which they renamed PRINCE (Projects IN a Controlled Environment). In 1996, PRINCE2 was released and eagerly adopted as a generic Project Management method, and became a standard across many UK Government departments, and across the United Nations system. The method was revised in 2009, yet retained the name PRINCE2.

Scalable and easily-tailored, and embodying many years of best practice, PRINCE2 is the de-facto standard for Project Management in the UK, and is increasingly practiced worldwide.

PRINCE2’s focus on what a project is to deliver (the why, when, and for whom?), together with its formal recognition of responsibilities, enables PRINCE2 to provide your organization with greater control of resources, and the ability to manage both business and project risk more effectively.

The key benefits are:

  • The use of a common reporting language and methodology. PRINCE2 is widely recognized and understood, saving time and effort.

  • The assurance that the project continues to have a business justification and a controlled and organized start, middle and end to the project.

  • An increased awareness of roles and responsibilities amongst staff and the opportunity to employ a set of very powerful diagnostic tools, allowing very detailed assessments of project work.

  • An enhancement in the engagement of stakeholders in project approval and management, and the assurance that stakeholders have proper representation in the planning and decision making.

Ultimately, PRINCE2 represents an established means to increase the Project Management skills of your staff at all levels. Furthermore, PRINCE2 ensures good communication between the project management and the rest of your organization, making it the ideal tool to capture and share lessons learned.

PRINCE2 certification requires the passing of standard examinations and assessments. There are two key levels of certification: Foundation and Practitioner. Passing the Foundation certification is a pre-requisite for engaging in Practitioner.

 
PRINCE2 Foundation

Foundation represents the starting point in PRINCE2 certification. Passing the one-hour exam certifies the candidate to act as a qualified member of a Project Management team, versant in the PRINCE2 principles, terminology and method.

Some of the key learning outcomes a successful Foundation candidate can expect to benefit from include:

  • The ability to describe the function and content of all project roles

  • Understand the purpose and composition of the seven principles, the seven themes and the seven processes

  • The ability to specify the main principles and composition of the major management products, and describe which of them are input to, and output from, the seven processes

  • The ability to map, within the project, the relationships between management, roles, processes and deliverables

The Foundation exam is 60 minutes in duration, and comprises 75 multiple-choice questions. A minimum of 35 correct answers are required to pass the assessment successfully. It is a ‘closed book’ exam.

 
PRINCE2 Practitioner

Practitioner represents the higher level of PRINCE2 certification. It is required that the candidate successfully passes the Foundation exam before engaging in Practitioner. Passing the more complex two-and-a-half hour test formally certifies the candidate as a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner for five years.

The Practitioner exam assesses the candidate’s ability to apply the PRINCE2 method to the running and managing of a straightforward project. To be successful, the candidate must demonstrate their ability to apply and tailor PRINCE2 to the scenarios given.

Some of the key learning outcomes a successful Practitioner candidate can expect to benefit from include:

  • The ability to tailor PRINCE2 to varying project circumstances

  • Understand and be able to explain, in detail, all principles, themes and processes of all PRINCE2 products

  • The ability to map, within the project, the relationships between management, roles, processes and deliverables, and how to utilize this map in ensuring a successful project outcome

  • Understand the purpose and composition of the seven principles, the seven themes and the seven processes, and the principles that underpin them

 
Re-registration

A certified PRINCE2 Practitioner must re-register within three to five calendar years of successfully passing their Practitioner examination. Consisting of a one-hour exam, the re-registration exercise is set at the same standard as the Practitioner assessment.

The re-registration exam consists of three questions, each one comprising ten possible points. 17 out of a possible 30 points are required to successfully pass the exam (55%). The candidate is allowed to refer to the official PRINCE2 manual at points in the assessment.

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