I spent the majority of last weekend, studying: reading and reading a big book called “Managing successful projects with PRINCE2”. After my 10 hours of pre-course reading I then had a crash course to complete on the book and that also included two exams. It has been tough! 9am to 5pm, then 3 hours of homework each night. I have missed my family immensely this week, but this was something that I had to do for the learner in me. Just because I am a Mum and I have 2 beautiful children, doesn’t mean I have given up on any career dreams and pushing myself intellectually.
So what is PRINCE2?
It is a method of effectively managing a project. There are themes, processes, tables upon tables and this framework can be applied to any project. This qualification is what I have wanted for a long time, I have been managing projects for the past few years and now I have many ideas on how to improve them and my management for that matter too. This week was two exams, not only am I qualified now, but I am also a practitioner – that means I can apply the methods into real life. I can put it into practice.
It was funny watching The Apprentice this week, because I have been reading this book on project management all week I could easily pick up the keywords that were thrown around the episodes and spot how things could have been done differently (in my opinion anyway). Like for example in episode 2, Aisha didn’t really project manage at all: she just told everyone what to do. Being a project manager means that you allocate roles to your teams and work together – exploring options and making a plan is part of managing a project and the only options she explored was her own. Basically like Richard did, he listened to everyone and gave everyone a role – but also a gentle steer in the right direction too haha.
What is a project?
It can be anything you want it to be. Where shall we go on holiday next year? Answering that question is a project. There will be set criteria that you cannot change, there will be things that you can change, for example we have to go in the summer holidays but the budget is between a set amount. You will create a plan to booking your holiday, include relevant people to help you achieve it and you will make sure that everything runs smoothly during the process. Now who doesnt love a project like that. The kind of job I think would be really interesting to put PRINCE2 to practice is wedding planning. The project is each wedding. I bet that is a fun job.
Another analogy that is widely used is building a house, a project manager needs to make sure that house is built on time, within budget and the right bits in the right places. There is no point in the roofer coming to fix the roof, if the walls have not been built yet!
So there we go, that is why I have been quiet in real life and on social media. But it was worth it – I did pass both exams!