18 April 2012

My new Prince2 hypothesis


If you have been watching my tweets you'll notice I have been searching for any reliable evidence that Prince2 as a method has delivered any sort of possible results to users.  While there are anecdotes of project managers describing success with Prince2, there is no evidence that it is anything more than a coincidence.

Apart from asking practitioners on PM forums and social media, I have also searched industry and academic papers on the topic. Nothing.

So, I am now confident to say that there is zero evidence that Prince2 can help you achieve any sort of success.

You would expect what people have invested in it, there would have been some work invested into proving the model. Given it isn't there, even in a tenuous, challenge-able state, I have modified my hypothesis.

My new hypothesis
"Prince2 actually contributes to cost over-runs, budget crises and disillusioned clients."
I don't know that this is a truth, but I suspect it is possible.  For example, we find Prince2 concentrated in UK and Australian Government circles. Coincidentally these domains have a reputation for poor delivery, bad project choices and tremendous amounts of waste within their projects.

(And yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but there is a clear trend, you have to agree.)

So, the call to action:  Can you help me prove or disprove this hypothesis? Do you have any studies or reports that cold help?

Things that could be useful;

  • Reports on industry project performance correlated to industry Prince2 concentration
  • Surveys of project outcomes compared to project delivery methods
  • etc
Looking forward to your help :)