My views on project management, failing projects and organizational issues.

Would you like to share your own opinions? Please let me know.

In 2020 Axelos published the 5th edition of Managing Successful Programmes. Because of COVID, only recently in 2022, as a trainer I was made aware of this new edition and had a chance to become familiar with it.

I have been MSP Advanced Practitioner from 2005 to 2020 and a MSP Approved Trainer since 2005 for several training organizations in The Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain.

Also, I have been a PRINCE2 Practitioner and a PRINCE2 Approved Trainer since 2002.

This evaluation assumes good understanding and knowledge of MSP by the reader. It discusses a number of issues, but only a number of in my view critical issues and not all of my issues.

I felt the need to evaluate the 5th edition and, to a lesser extent, the exams. Hopefully it could be used by Axelos to improve the MSP 5th edition and/or the exams.

In discussions about the PRINCE2 Management Stages, people regularly mention that an organization defined corporate standards that can be tailored for individual projects. As a result, they would work with PRINCE2 Management Stages and apply the Tailoring principle.

However, this is normally not the full picture. In virtually all cases other principles will be breached, with harmful consequences.

In many discussions about projects, people express the view that Time and Cost are the main controls. In fact, a common view is that projects fail when they deliver late or run over Budget.
But many projects fail because of a focus on time and cost.

The Magic Triangle, or Triple Constraint, is widely seen as the fundament of project management. Controlling time, money and quality is a basic rule for project-governance. There are several variations, e.g. the Devil’s Quadrant.

This concept is generally accepted without much thought or discussion. But should it be? Is (a variant of) the Magic Triangle always useful?

On the Axelos website I found a page discussing the importance of the PRINCE2 Project Initiation Document (PID), including offering a PID template. This is amazing. And so wrong. A template for the PID simply does not make sense, for several reasons. ...

It is quite common for consultants and trainers in the area of project management to claim they have a way to deliver a project on time and on budget. Ever some suppliers of PRINCE2 training will advertise with this promise.

Delivering on time and on budget is not a goal. Even worse: this attitude will almost certainly make a project fail.

The term "Sponsor" is used in many approaches to Project Management, Programme Management and Change Management. Not just in the theoretical approaches describing Best Practices or Common Practices, but also in real life a Sponsor is often mentioned as a key role.

This is a destructive practice. A Sponsor is a dangerous role; the term should not be used anymore. Sponsors are main threats to any form of change.

There are several ways to look at organizations and the behaviour of people within organizations. Years ago, I developed a model that has always served me well. When looking at resistance to change and failing projects, I found that it is often about different cultures within organizations. ...

This is an overview of the Issues I raise for the PRINCE2 2017 edition by Axelos. ...

AXELOS published the 2017 Edition of PRINCE2. Here is a verdict: is the 2017 edition an improvement? Why or why not? ...