History of PRINCE2

We can trace the history of PRINCE2® to the mid-1970s when Simpact systems Ltd., a company in the private sector developed Project Resource Organization Management and Planning Techniques (PROMPT II) framework in response to their computer projects overrunning on budgets and the proposed time for completion. Subsequently, it has gone through some developments which are represented in the timeline below:

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CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in the UK) adopted the PROMPT II Methodology. In April 1989, CCTA renamed the PROMPT II framework to PROMPT II IN the CCTA Environment (PRINCE) and utilized it as a standard for information systems (IT) project management. It was eventually renamed to PRojects IN Controlled Environments. In a short while, the PRINCE2® methodology became widely adopted by non-IT environments

In 1990, PRINCE was released into the public environment, where it gained popularity and became widely adopted by even the non-IT environments. However, PRINCE was too inflexible and was only suited to large projects. This necessitated the need for its revision. Therefore, in 1996, project management experts in about 150 European organizations developed the PRINCE2® framework. They also considered PRINCE2® as a best practice framework. Moreover, unlike the previous edition (PRINCE) which was primarily developed for IT projects, the PRINCE2® was an updated, all-inclusive framework that could be tailored to projects spanning across various industries regardless of the size.

Starting in 1998, the PRINCE2® methodology underwent some revisions. However, the biggest revision occurred in 2009 and it made the PRINCE2® methodology simpler and easy to customize. This revision also established the seven central principles critical to the success of projects which include:

Continued Business Justification Learn From Experience Defined Roles and Responsibilities Manage by Stages Manage by Exception Focus on Products Tailor to Suit Environment

The second major revision occurred in 2017 with a focus on scalability and flexibility. This update clarifies the minimum requirement for a project to be regarded as a PRINCE2® project. Also, due to feedback from top-global PRINCE2® Professionals, this version places greater emphasis on the link between the themes and guidance, and how to apply the framework to real-life business scenarios. The same principles, processes, and themes in the earlier version still exist. However, there are changes to the arrangement of the PRINCE2® exams and teaching methods. In spite of these major revisions, there have not been any changes to the PRINCE2® name. This is because the guiding principles behind the PRINCE2® remain the same.

The following gives an overview of how the PRINCE2® methodology and its ownership has evolved over the years: 1975: Simpact Systems Ltd. created the Project, Resource, Organization, Management, and Planning Technique (PROMPT) Methodology. 1989: The UK government licensed the use of PROMPT from Simpact and CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in the UK) adopted the PROMPT Methodology as a standard for IT project management. 1989: CCTA renamed PROMPT to PRINCE. 1996: The first release of PRINCE2® and its certifications by Her Majesty’s (HM) Cabinet Office in the UK. 2000: CCTA became part of the OGC (Office of Government Commerce). 2009: HM Cabinet Office released a simpler an easy-to-customize version PRINCE2® 2013: HM Cabinet Office transferred the ownership of PRINCE2® to AXELOS Limited. 2017: AXELOS Limited published the PRINCE2® 2017 Update.

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