Since I started as a PRINCE2 trainer way backing 2006, I’ve come across a number of common misconceptions about PRINCE2. In this article I’ll try to challenge some of the most common of these.

Myth 1: ‘PRINCE2 training is only designed for people in the IT industry’

As a generic project management method, PRINCE2 can be applied to any project, large or small, in any industry. Its adaptability is one of the many reasons for the method’s success in over 150 countries. PRINCE2 Practitioner training looks at how to implement the method in different project scenarios, giving you the confidence to apply it to your own projects, whatever their size, complexity, or level of risk.

The idea that PRINCE2 is only suitable for IT projects couldn’t be further from the truth, but probably arises from the method’s earliest incarnation as a project management framework developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in the late 1980s. ‘Projects in Controlled Environments’ (PRINCE) was originally devised to support the UK government’s IT projects.

So effective was the method that its potential to serve any kind of project was quickly realised, leading to the introduction of PRINCE2 in the mid-1990s. Its status as a ‘best practice’ project management method richly deserved, PRINCE2 has now helped thousands upon thousands of organisations to plan and control their projects.

Each week at Knowledge Train’s PRINCE2 training courses, we welcome people from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, some of whom are working on projects, while others are retraining to work in project management and may not possess any project management experience.

Having recently analysed feedback provided by a large number of our delegates, we found that nearly three quarters of respondents praised the PRINCE2 method as either extremely or very useful in relation to their project management career.

Myth 2: ‘It takes a huge amount of time to prepare for a PRINCE2 course’

With Knowledge Train’s exclusive pre-course preparation, you can familiarise yourself with the PRINCE2 approach to projects in just 3 to 4 hours or less. Tightly focused and clearly written, our PRINCE2 overview introduces the method and its key terminology, while a full-colour process model diagram helps to reinforce major concepts. If you have worked with PRINCE2 previously and need to understand how it has changed between the 2005 version and the latest, 2009 update (on which our courses are based), our more specialised preparatory module, the PRINCE2 2005-9 Bridge, is ideal and can be read alongside the overview.

Our trainers understand that it is unhelpful to overburden people in the days or weeks leading up to their course. The majority of Knowledge Train’s PRINCE2 delegates are busy professionals with demanding schedules, so the pre-course preparation is designed with their needs in mind. Available via our convenient and easy to use e-Learning centre, the preparatory reading is accompanied by several interactive features, including quiz questions to stimulate your learning.

Myth 3: ‘PRINCE2 is a form of project management software’

PRINCE2 is in fact a generic project management method, not computer software. The method is underpinned by key principles, themes, and processes designed to give your project the best chance of success at every stage of its development. Among the areas targeted by PRINCE2 training are the importance of the Business Case, strategies for managing quality, risk, stakeholders and configuration items.

Highly adaptable, the PRINCE2 framework can be applied to any project, regardless of its size or the nature of the business environment in which it operates. Since its introduction in 1996, PRINCE2 has benefited more than 20,000 organisations and is a leading project management method in both the private and public sector.

PRINCE2 courses are a popular choice among individuals seeking effective project management training. Knowledge Train is accredited by The APM Group to deliver PRINCE2 training and offers classroom-based courses in central London with the option to study via eLearning also available.

Naturally, PRINCE2 can be implemented alongside project management and project support software. If you would like to receive project management software training, you may be interested to know that MS Project courses are widely available and cater for trainees with varying degrees of experience.

Myth 4: ‘Only people with plenty of project management experience can attend PRINCE2 courses’

The truth is that PRINCE2 training is open to all. There are no pre-requisites to attending a PRINCE2 course; you are not required either to hold a particular qualification or possess ‘real world’ project management experience in order to train in the method. PRINCE2 can be applied to any kind of project, and this is reflected in the diversity of people who train with us.

Some delegates on Knowledge Train’s PRINCE2 courses are working on, supporting, or managing projects and require formal training in this field; some attend because they are retraining to work in project management and wish to enhance their employment prospects with PRINCE2 qualifications; others may simply be interested in the subject matter.

The first level of PRINCE2 training, Foundation, is ideal if you are working on or supporting projects using the PRINCE2 framework. Achieving Foundation certification demonstrates that you possess a clear understanding of the PRINCE2 approach to projects. If you aim to manage projects using PRINCE2, you would also benefit from training at Practitioner level. Registered PRINCE2 Practitioner status is often cited by employers as a requirement among candidates for project manager job vacancies. Need to renew your Practitioner qualification? We also offer the PRINCE2 Re-registration course to prepare candidates for their exam.

Myth 5 – ‘Taking a PRINCE2 exam involves writing essays’

Whichever PRINCE2 exam you wish to take – Foundation, Practitioner, or Re-registration – you will not be asked to write any essays. All PRINCE2 exams are based on the multiple-choice testing format, whether they are paper-based or taken online. For each question, candidates select what they believe to be the correct answer from a list of four options.

Until a few years ago, anyone being examined at Practitioner level was required to complete an essay-based exam. Now, people are often relieved to find that it is no longer necessary to write at length when attempting to obtain or re-register the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification! Even if you originally passed the essay-based Practitioner exam, for example, you would complete a multiple-choice Re-registration exam when aiming to renew the qualification.

The marking of multiple choice exams can arguably be conducted more speedily and efficiently than that of essay-based papers, reducing the amount of time it takes to provide candidates with their results. Practitioner and Re-registration exam results are normally sent to Knowledge Train’s delegates about a week after the exams are taken. Delegates receive their Foundation results on the same day as the exam.