A PRINCEly Qualification

April 23, 2007

I was chatting to an acquaintance the other day.  He’s looking for work as a project manager.  But no one will take him on as he has no PRINCE2 formal qualification.   Shame.  Another good person going to waste because a box hasn’t been ticked.

I’ve dealt with a lot of project managers in my time, and whilst I think that processes like PRINCE2 et al are great, it really boils down to the individual.

I have seen project managers that are so well qualified it’s scary, but they were crap when managing a project.   Conversely, I have seen project managers with little, or no, qualifications, and they were bloody brilliant.

In my eyes a project manager needs to truly own the project, live and breathe it.  Understand it.  Know the capabilities of its people.  Know what its critical success factors are.  Know what the risks are.  Know where the pressure points are.  A good project manager will make sure everyone is crystal clear as to what they are supposed to be doing.  Relentlessly.  Process can help with this, but at the end of the day you need a rigourous, tenacious and unerring discipline to make it all happen.  Make no bones about it, project management is about people.

With respect to PRINCE2, it’s like any methodology.  You take what you need and adapt it to get it working best for you.  For most NZ based projects, it is complete overkill.  You’ll need about 10% of it – which is basic project management theory anyway.

Recruitment is all about people.  Not paper.  How can two weeks of PRINCE2 training replace years of experience?

It can’t.  It never will.

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2 Responses to “A PRINCEly Qualification”

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