by Rob Llewellyn

PRINCE2 2009 – How Refreshing!

Jun 21, 20093 mins
IT Leadership

PRINCE2 TM was launched in 1996 and is often said to be the world’s most widely used project management method. On 16th June 2009, it was re-launched as PRINCE2 2009 after over 170 organisations and individuals provided feedback in an effort to improve the method.

Some of the common requests were:

  • Reduce the size of the manual and improve the style of language (more guidance less instruction)
  • Integrate with other OGC products
  • Show linkage to other methods and bodies of knowledge
  • Provide more guidance on tailoring
  • Include/reference) the soft aspects of Project Management

Lead Author of PRINCE2, Andy Murray says that the most noticeable change is that there are now two guides for PRINCE2:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 – Aimed at people who work on projects on a daily basis.

Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 – Provides a guide for those who direct or sponsor projects.

In view of the audience of I want to focus on the 2nd guide which is completely new to PRINCE2 and aimed at supporting the senior manager responsible for a project, specifically those managers undertaking an executive role on a project for the first time.

Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2

Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 covers the duties and behaviours expected of members of the Project Board and can be used as a reference guide at any stage to check what is required of the Project Board and the Project Manager.

Amongst other things, the guide covers the questions frequently asked by those who sponsor or direct projects such as:

  • What’s expected of me and what should I expect of the Project Manager?
  • How do I know the Project Manager is applying PRINCE2 appropriately?
  • What information is required/available to help me make decisions?
  • How do we tailor the use of PRINCE2 for projects of differing scale or type?
  • What does an effective Project Board look like?

Many will be pleased to see that PRINCE2 is now less prescriptive and more flexible, less theoretical and more practical. It now has a set of clearly defined principles that can be used to check that PRINCE2 is actually being applied appropriately – not too rigidly nor superficially.

PRINCE2 now also aligns with other OCG products such as Managing Successful Programmes (MSP TM), Management of Risk (M_o_R R) and the new Project, Programme and Portfolio Offices (P3O R) guidance and will enable users to seamlessly integrate all four methods and frameworks. And last but not least, the refreshed PRINCE2 is less beaucratic as it focuses on information and decisions as opposed to documents and meetings.

Learn more about PRINCE2 2009 at

To purchase the new guides visit