PRINCE2 Principles

PRINCE2 Principles

Prince2 is a structured, non-proprietary project management method focusing on controlling project costs, timescales, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The purpose of PRINCE2 is to provide a project management method that can be applied regardless of project scale, type, organisation, geography or culture. This is possible because of the fact that PRINCE2 is principles-based.

Prince2 An Introduction

The PRINCE2 Principles originate from lessons learned from projects in the past.

They provide a framework of good practice for the people that are involved in a project. The PRINCE2 Principles are the basis of what defines a PRINCE2 project: if you say that you are working on a PRINCE2 project, all seven principles must be applied in that project.

PRINCE2® Foundation

The seven PRINCE2 Principles are:


  1. Continued business justification: A PRINCE2 project must at any time have continued business justification.  This means that there is a justifiable reason to start a project, this reason remains valid throughout the life of the project and the justification is documented and approved. The justification is documented in the Business Case.
  2. Learn from experience: projects must demonstrate lessons have been captured from previous and current projects and integrated to improve the chances of success. It is the responsibility of everyone involved with the project to seek lessons learned rather than waiting for someone else to provide them.
  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: A PRINCE2 project has defined and agreed roles and responsibilities with an organisation structure that engages the business, user and supplier stakeholder interests.
  4. Manage by stages: A PRINCE2 project is broken into manageable stages that can be planned, monitored and controlled. PRINCE2 requires a minimum of two management stages: one initiation stage and one or more further management stages.
  5. Managed by exception: this means that a project has defined tolerances for each project objective in order to establish limits of delegated authority. Management’s time has to be used efficiently whilst maintaining maximum control with tools such as end-stage assessments, progress reporting and tolerances.
  6. Focus on products: A PRINCE2 project must address the proper definition and delivery of products and in particular its quality. The set of agreed products defines the scope of a project and is the foundation for planning and control.
  7. Tailor to suit the project environment: The PRINCE2 methodology must be tailored to suit the project’s size, environment, complexity, importance, capability and risks. This is done by the project team to adapt the method to the context of a specific project. It is not likely that the project management approach is appropriate for the needs of a project if PRINCE2 is not tailored.


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Kate Hamblin

Senior ITSM Consultant +44 0118 324 0620