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Prince2

#2
To be at either PRINCE foundation or practitioner levels requires absolutely no knowledge of PM.

To pass the foundation exam one merely needs to learn verbatim a selection of likely questions. To pass the practitioner exam requires one to be skilled at navigating one's way around the PRINCE manual, and being able to fairly swiftly extract and condense info.

Is it worth it - yes, if somebody else is paying for it, as some employers, particularly the public sector seek it as a desirable for many jobs.
 
#3
A couple of people here have done the course, both military and civilian. All said it was hard work and they lost the will to live and would never do it again. Only half of them passed it.

Not sure if that helps!
 
#4
Its not bad, gets you to think about how to build a project with proper timelines, external agencies, committess etc rather than just off-the-cuff planning. By using PRINCE it also helps other external agencies know where you are in the project as you can stipulate they follow PRINCE guidelines thus making the methodology transparant.

Remember it is a tool and civil service are terrible for following it by the letter, hence, late delivery as they seem to spend too much time doing project paperwork than actual action!

Try also looking into Sixth Sigma if your looking at the Engineering route, this is the new big one in Civ St and where i work is becoming a basic requirement for PMs.
 
#5
I was more looking at it to just add to the toolbox (quite empty right now) and pay for the course myself as noticed a fair number of jobs were specyifying(sp) it. However if it is as rubbish and totally bloody awful as you say i might wait till the oppo to get an employer to pay.

Wishful_Thinking - did any of them say it was worth it?

might just by the bumper pack of p[rince2 books and see how bad it looks?

~TMS
 
#6
The_Majors_Son said:
Wishful_Thinking - did any of them say it was worth it?
They are all currently job hunting as they are in their last year of service with the Army. So it's hard to say TMS.

One of them, a Civvy, who failed it twice has decided to not do a resit.

They all said, and I quote, "It was bloody hard".
 
#7
b*llsh*t_ will give 6th Sigma a look too. There's no rush on this one so will do some in depth research.

Thanks everyone for the quick responses

TMS
 
#9
If anyone is looking for PM work in the North East, PM me and I will send on some details. I work for BT and we are always looking to get decent PM's in, sick of monkeys who have done a Prince course who havent got the foggiest about real life.
 
#10
An employee will rarely make you a PM based on a course, it is experience. If you have co-ordinated/managed an Op Deployment, well that is a project, with timelines, external factors, agencies. The PRINCE just puts a stamp on it to say you did it in a certain way.

I found the course boring as hell, even passed the exam and I am no rocket scientist, but the certificate was just an extra line on my CV, but at my interview they asked me directly if I had managed any projects before and for me to explain how I managed it.

For me, getting a PRINCE2 book would just send me to sleep....
 
#12
Counter-Bluffer-Ops said:
To be at either PRINCE foundation or practitioner levels requires absolutely no knowledge of PM.

To pass the foundation exam one merely needs to learn verbatim a selection of likely questions. To pass the practitioner exam requires one to be skilled at navigating one's way around the PRINCE manual, and being able to fairly swiftly extract and condense info.

Is it worth it - yes, if somebody else is paying for it, as some employers, particularly the public sector seek it as a desirable for many jobs.
Spot on. Even better when the Civil Service pay for the course, the T&S and then give you a bonus for passing. Anyone doing the course should pay particular attention the the bit I've highlighted. Sticky notes are a godsend.

For anyone wanting to do the course for free (to them anyway) look on the DB learning website for the course run at Admiral House. It's one of the courses that used to be run by DPMT. It's five days with the foundation on the Thursday and the Practitioner on the Friday Morning.
 
#13
Maxi_77

Dont agree on your 6th Sigma opinion, I work for a global technology company at it is mandatory that all of our managers do 6th Sigma Yellow belt, all PMs & senior Engineers Green belt and even secretaries & production workers do 6th Sigma appreciation.

Been on meetings with other big companies, the main things seem to be 6th Sigma as it gets you to measure facts. What I mean is that PRINCE2 gives you a guide on running a project, great, but sixth sigma gets you to really think about how you are benefitting from it, what you can take from it and re-use to develop your companies business processes, where traditional PM'ing, tends to do it, archive it and forget. But as I said before, it is a tool, however many big companies are now referring to a Sixth Sigma Culture, with the aim of improving work processes, profitability & efficiency.

In my opinion ,the corporate world loves new ideas and 6th sigma is the new big buzz. Combine this with proven PM skills and a proven PRINCE project and you should have no problem in finding employment.

I know a green belt 6th sigma manager in my company can easily demand an extra 20% on top of his/her salary.
 
#14
bullshit said:
In my opinion ,the corporate world loves new ideas and 6th sigma is the new big buzz. Combine this with proven PM skills and a proven PRINCE project and you should have no problem in finding employment.
Hey BS, got PRINCE2 Practitioner next week. Hoping to couple that with my diplomas and MBA (still ongoing) to avoid sleeping rough under Waterloo Bridge in 2 years when I hit civvie strasse. The missus would be upset!

I might have a lookie at 6th Sigma over the next few months.
 
#15
BS

Whilst I agree some industries and companies are hot on 6 Sigma many do not see it as a global need, but but more and more widely varying organisations are seeking out those with genuine PM capability. As for fashionability 6 Sigma is getting old now, we have had our practitioner team for many years now and not expanded it but we are investing heavily in PM training with customised in house training courses. I don't do so much trainig now as I am one of the old farts due to be put out to grass in a few years so training me is a diminishing resource but the young bloods have one or two modules a year.

I would add that whilst recognised training and the likes of APM membership are valuable they are not in any way a substitute for decent hands on experience, though if you hold down a 'management' position in the military now and have done the courses if you cannot rewtrite your CV in PM speak you probably don't deserve the job.
 
#16
I did the Prince2 course about 6 months after leaving as I was lucky enough to get my employer to pay for it. It was a pretty intense 5 days but anyone who has done JDSC etc won't find that aspect too much of a shock, and it is only 5 days.

Have I ever used the whole of P2 in the last 8 1/2 years? No. But what i have found it very useful for is as a framework and for understanding how to set up and control a project. For anyone coming out of a culture where the Combat Estimate is second nature will find it is just an excellent way to base what you were going to do anyway. It's a structured approach to common sense really. Do you need P2 to get a job? Most of the time no, though it definitely doesn't do any harm, and most employers will have a methodology which will be based on Prince. Whether they follow it is another matter!

So - if you can get the chance to do it and get someone else pay for it, then I would recommend it.

Alternatives? Six Sigma is definitely gaining ground, but I've yet to see it as a requirement to get a job, more likely you would then get sent on a course. PMI is another one, but is the American qualification. The exam is all multi guess, I mean choice. But you can only get so far with the books - it does help to have experience of managing projects. And finally, not needed for manging a project, but ITIL also looks good on a CV.

As to writing your CV - I would echo the comments above. So much of what you do in the forces can be re-written as a project. Just start using the terminology and you'll see. Project sponsor, lead customer, lead supplier etc
 
#17
I am currently one of a team of PMs on a multi-Bn dollar construction project in the Middle East. My company have now decided that all PM staff have to be PRINCE2 trained.

I am currently doing the course online, whilst doing the job on site.
 
#18
Maxi_77, would not say 6th Sigma is old hat! GE, the big US company has just invested millions into making GE a 6th Sigma Culture. I think tho' 6th Sigma is more of a way of doing business, however it can be applied to PM work, but PRINCE is clearly PM oriented.

Excellent comment before though on demonstating clear project achievements, real time proof that you actually delivered something. If you also used a methodology, great, but what matters is that you delivered a result! Aim at selling your experience, not some poxy 5 day course!!

The unfortunate thing is a lot of big companies are now using external companies to screen CVs and I have seen a guys CV not get past the 1st hurdle because the HR Company were scanning for exact buzzwords, and therefore did not pick up on the fact that he has managed an enormous project in China! So if this guy had maybe dropped a few 'buzzword in' maybe he would have got further.
 
E

Epiphany

Guest
#19
Bristol Management Centre, 1 week course - PRINCE2 Foundation and Prac. was £1295. when I went through early 07.
Mainly military students, can use ELC for the course, they are v familiar with the ELC process.

Its v boring and intensive but not difficult - open book exam for prac.

http://www.bmc.ac.uk/
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Epiphany said:
Bristol Management Centre, 1 week course - PRINCE2 Foundation and Prac. was £1295. when I went through early 07.
Mainly military students, can use ELC for the course, they are v familiar with the ELC process.

Its v boring and intensive but not difficult - open book exam for prac.

http://www.bmc.ac.uk/
Ditto.

It is important to remember to put PRINCE2 into context. Think of it as a driving licence - one gets it after passing the test, but doesn't necessarily mean you can actually drive well. It is all down to experience that makes you worthy of consideration by employers. I bluffed my way by building some of the Op Deployment work and some O&D stuff as a Sub-Unit 2IC and OC to make them into convincing projects to sell.

PRINCE2 Practioners is seen as a very good thing to have, it does give you an edge but nothing beats experience.

PS: Epiphany - PM me - you and I may have been on the same course at BMC!!
 

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