cover.eps

Passing the PRINCE2 Exams For Dummies ®

Visit www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/passingprince2examsuk to view this book's cheat sheet.

Table of Contents

Introduction

About This Book

What You’ll Need Alongside This Book

The manual and PRINCE2 For Dummies

The official practice papers

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organised

Part I: Explaining the Exams

Part II: Revising the Processes

Part III: Revising the Themes

Part IV: Revising the Method as a Whole

Part V: The Part of Tens

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I: Explaining the Exams

Chapter 1: Understanding the PRINCE2 Exams

Grasping the Exam Basics

Taking exams on a training course – or not

Taking exams at a public centre

Unlocking Exam Success

Understanding the Exams and Levels

Understanding the Foundation exam

Going on to Practitioner

Understanding the Practitioner Exam

Understanding the Re-registration exam

Managing Exam Nerves

Handling Special Requirements

Taking the exams in your second language

Taking the exams if you’re dyslexic

Dealing with special physical needs

Applying for special provision

Having a problem on the day

Chapter 2: Revising and Preparing for the Exams

Planning Your Revision

Putting Time Aside for Revision

Keeping your evenings free during a course

Keeping your days free during a course

Including revision in distance learning

Calculating the revision time you need

Preparing for the Exams

Gearing Up for the Foundation Exam

Marking up your answers

Understanding the Foundation question style

Writing on the question paper

Developing a strategy for Foundation

Gearing Up for the Practitioner Exam

Understanding the meaning of ‘open book’

Marking up your answers

Developing a strategy for Practitioner

Getting to grips with Practitioner question styles

The Practitioner Scenario For This Book

Preparing the new business unit

Chapter 3: Dealing with Disappointment

Handling Failure

Putting the exams in context

Having a bad time with a Foundation paper

Looking forward, not back

Finding Out What Went Wrong

Finding holes in your knowledge

Finding holes in your understanding

Hitting difficulties with question styles

Timing out

Struggling With Exam Nerves

Deciding About a Re-take

Preparing for the Next Shot

Getting the Right Mindset

Part II: Revising the Processes

Chapter 4: Starting Up a Project

Getting to Grips With the Process Model

Revising the Start Up Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Getting an overview of Starting Up a Project

Going fast with Start Up

Being clear that Start Up isn’t a stage

Knowing your brief from your PID

Understanding nesting – the brief as a folder

Being clear on roles and job descriptions

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 5: Directing a Project

Revising the Directing a Project Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding that boards manage, not do

Focusing on decision making

Seeing where the process kicks in

Wondering what an Exception Assessment is

Seeing the integration of exception management

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 6: Initiating a Project

Revising the Initiation Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Getting an overview of Initiating a Project

Understanding the process and the stage

Knowing why feasibility isn’t Initiation

Seeing how the PID fits with other products

Appreciating the full use of the PID

Getting clear on the Benefits Review Plan

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 7: Controlling a Stage

Revising the Controlling a Stage Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding Work Packages

Getting to grips with exception management

Being clear on when to escalate and when not to

Appreciating the extent of the stage status review

Handling issues and risks

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 8: Managing Product Delivery

Revising the Managing Product Delivery Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding who runs the process

Seeing when to produce a Team Plan

Understanding the exception cascade

Looping the loop with teamwork

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 9: Managing a Stage Boundary

Revising the Managing a Stage Boundary Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding the two triggers

Seeing why exception doesn’t always need the stage boundary process

Knowing what gets created and what gets updated

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 10: Closing a Project

Revising the Closure Process

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Having a closure stage . . . or not

Understanding follow-on actions

Seeing why benefits reviews can come later

Updating the Benefits Review Plan

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Part III: Revising the Themes

Chapter 11: Business Case

Revising the Business Case Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding project justification

Seeing the Business Case as a living document

Realising when benefits may be realised

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 12: Organization

Revising the Organization Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding the project organisation structure

Appreciating the significance of roles

Understanding the roles

Seeing where stakeholders fit in

Knowing when appointments are made

Knowing when appointments can be changed

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 13: Quality

Revising the Quality Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding the focus on appropriate quality

Planning the quality management

Appreciating the place of the Product Description

Understanding the Quality Register

Understanding Quality Review

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz on Quality Review

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 14: Plans

Finding PRINCE2 Planning a Bit Unusual?

Revising the Plans Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Seeing the difference between a PBS and a PFD

Understanding why there are levels of plan

Knowing how the Product Checklist works

Checking Out Diagrams in the Practitioner Exam

Checking a Product Breakdown Structure

Checking a Product Flow Diagram

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 15: Risk

Revising the Risk Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Seeing risk as positive and negative

Learning the risk actions for the Foundation

Understanding the risk budget

Appreciating that the process isn’t a cycle

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 16: Change

Revising the Change Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Being clear about the Change Authority

Understanding issues

Using change budgets and exception plans

Getting to grips with configuration management

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz – what sort of issue is it?

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 17: Progress

Appreciating It’s More Than Just Progress

Revising the Progress Theme

Revision checklist – Foundation

Revision checklist – Practitioner

Clarifying Some Key Points

Understanding exception management

Knowing your time- and event-driven controls

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Part IV: Revising the Method as a Whole

Chapter 18: Revising the Management Products

Understanding Management Products

Knowing the Three Categories of Management Product

Setting About Your Revision of Products

Knowing what the product is

Knowing where the product’s created and when it’s used

Knowing who’s responsible

Knowing the sections – for the Practitioner

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Chapter 19: Knowing How PRINCE2 Fits Together

Appreciating the Four Integrated Elements

The Processes

The Themes

The Principles

Tailoring to the project environment

Understanding How It All Fits Together

Practising With Some Questions

Foundation-level questions

Practitioner-level questions

Answers to the quick quiz

Answers to the Foundation-level questions

Answers to the Practitioner-level questions

Part V: The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Things for Your Revision

Scheduling Revision In With the Learning

Keeping Up With Revision

Being Systematic

Going Large On the Tricky Areas

Getting Help If You’re Still Unclear

Practising With Exam Questions

Being Familiar With Objectives and Purpose Statements

Knowing How It All Fits Together

Annotating Your Manual

Knowing Where Stuff Is

Chapter 21: Ten Things to Remember Before Taking an Exam

For Both Exams

Being confident

Remembering to RTFQ

Remembering to ATFQ

Arriving in good time

Getting your exam stuff together

Getting some rest

Practising with sample papers

For the Practitioner Exam Only

Tabbing your manual

Knowing where stuff is

Making notes

Chapter 22: Ten Points To Be Clear About On Products

Knowing What a Product Is

Appreciating the Two Product ‘Flavours’

Knowing What a Product Isn’t

Zooming In On Management Products

Baseline management products

Records

Reports

Understanding Product Diagrams

Knowing Your PBS From Your PFD

The Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)

The Product Flow Diagram (PFD)

Fitting the diagrams together

Knowing What’s In and What’s Out

Describing Products

Following the Link to Quality

Describing the Whole Project

Cheat Sheet

wileycopyrightlogo.eps

Introduction

The examinations for the PRINCE2 (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment – Version 2) project management method have proved popular. That popularity has reached the point that having a PRINCE2 qualification is sometimes a pre-requisite to getting a contract, new job or promotion. Even where it isn’t a pre-requisite, it usually helps.

If you’re reading this having already started your studies, then you’ll already know that PRINCE2 is a project methodology. That simply means that it contains useful information and a clear structure to help you as you progress through a project. When I am teaching PRINCE2 on training courses, people often tell me at the start, ‘I know about project management, but I’m looking for some structure to help me run my projects.’ Well, with PRINCE2 you’ve got it.

The exams are to show that you understand what’s in the method and that you understand how to apply the method to a project. And, yes, it’s ‘exams’. To make your joy complete, you have two chances to show how good you are. The Foundation exam covers the bit about understanding the method. The Practitioner exam is focused on checking that you know how to apply PRINCE2 to a project. You need to pass the Foundation before you can take the Practitioner exam, but that doesn’t stop you taking the two exams close together, because the Foundation is very fast to mark – just a minute or so.

About This Book

PRINCE2 should be about delivering projects better, and indeed PRINCE2 For Dummies will help you do that as well as help you learn the method. This workbook, however, has a different objective and it is solely focused on the two PRINCE2 exams.

You’ll find help here as you plan your revision for the exams and check out what you know and also where you’re not so clear and need to do a bit more revision. Here you’ll find:

check.png Checklists for both the Foundation and the Practitioner exams. You can tick off the items where you’re confident, and put any remaining ones on your revision hit list. The checklists cover the official exam syllabus, but also some key background points.

check.png Clarification on particular points in each subject area where you may be finding PRINCE2 tricky, or you may have misunderstood something.

check.png Quick quizzes to rapidly check your knowledge of particular areas or points, such as whether something is a benefit and can go in a Business Case or not.

check.png Foundation-level practice questions grouped by subject so you can have a go as you learn PRINCE2. The official practice papers aren’t a lot of help until the end, because the subjects come up on those papers in random order.

check.png Practitioner-level practice questions so you can get used to the different formats of these multiple-choice questions. That way, when you come to your Practitioner exam, you’ll be focused clearly on PRINCE2, not struggling with the mechanics of the question style.

In this book, cross references to a section in the PRINCE2 manual are shown like this: [Manual 3.2.1]. Cross references to a section in PRINCE2 For Dummies are shown like this: [P2FD Ch11 Justifying the Project].

What You’ll Need Alongside This Book

This book is targeted at revision and exam practice, not explaining the method or learning it, so you’ll need some things alongside to complete your set of PRINCE2 materials.

The manual and PRINCE2 For Dummies

The PRINCE2 exams aren’t a pushover by any means, and success requires both hard work in learning then effective exam preparation with revision and practice with exam style questions. The first of those, learning the method, is covered by a companion book PRINCE2 For Dummies and, of course, by the official manual for the PRINCE2 method, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 (The Stationery Office).

This workbook covers the second area, which is revision and practice with exam questions. You’ll find some help between the covers on the content of PRINCE2, but that help is targeted at things that people often misunderstand or find hard to understand in the first place. For full details, you’ll need to refer to the manual; for a more friendly explanation then try PRINCE2 For Dummies. This workbook has lots of cross references to both of these other publications. For clear and helpful explanation, PRINCE2 For Dummies has been extremely well received, but you’ll also need the manual. The For Dummies books are a supplement to the official manual, not a replacement for it, to help with effective learning and exam preparation.

The official practice papers

There’s one other thing you’ll need, and that’s the official exam practice papers. This book doesn’t reproduce the official practice questions, because you can get those for free anyway. If you’re on a training course as you read this book, then your training provider should provide you with a set. If you’re not, then ask the exam authority. The exams are currently managed by APMG Ltd on behalf of the Cabinet Office, part of the UK Government, which owns PRINCE2. APMG’s website and UK address are below.

The practice papers will always be readily available, because there are no past papers but the exam authority must let people see what the papers look like. Because the exam is run just about every week, it’s not possible to produce a new paper every time. Questions are drawn from a pool from which past papers were made up. For that reason, past papers cannot be made available. When you sit an exam, you’ll find that your question paper is very carefully collected in at the end.

APMG’s UK address is APMG-UK, Number 12, The Valley Business Centre, Gordon Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP13 6EQ. APMG does have offices in other countries too. Its website at the time of writing is www.apmgroupltd.com.

Foolish Assumptions

I assume that you:

check.png Want to give yourself the very best chance of passing the exams, so you’ve set time aside for learning and revision as well as having bought this book

check.png Have a copy of the official PRINCE2 manual, which you can use to prepare for the exams and – because the exam is open book – take into the Practitioner exam with you

check.png Have some other explanation to help you learn PRINCE2; that may be the companion book, PRINCE2 For Dummies, or material from a training provider, or both

How This Book Is Organised

This book is divided into five parts. This section gives you an idea of what lies ahead – apart from some hard work, but then you knew that!

Part I: Explaining the Exams

The first couple of chapters give you some background to the exams and, importantly, explain the question formats used in the exams and throughout the rest of the book. There’s also a chapter on what to do if things go wrong and you don’t pass your exam. Some of you reading this may actually have bought this book to give you a better chance the next time around.

This section also gives a short project scenario of a project that will be the subject of Practitioner level practice questions throughout the rest of the book.

Part II: Revising the Processes

The chapters in Part II cover the PRINCE2 processes one at a time. You can go through these chapters as you are learning the method or use them to brush up at the end.

Part III: Revising the Themes

The theme-based chapters are to help you revise the seven PRINCE2 themes, such as Risk and Change. As with the processes in Part II, you can read these chapters as you learn about each theme or use them to check your understanding at the end.

Part IV: Revising the Method as a Whole

When you’re learning PRINCE2, it can be hard to see how everything fits together. But you need to know how it all fits together before you sit the exams, because there are questions based on that integration. Part IV is designed to be used after you’ve done Parts II and III, to check your understanding across the whole method – for example, how the themes and processes support each of the seven PRINCE2 principles.

Part V: The Part of Tens

Here you’ll find some hints on getting ready for the exams, and also some key points for understanding the product-based planning technique which PRINCE2 uses – and which a lot of training courses don’t teach too well, so you may need a bit of extra help.

Icons Used in This Book

quickquiz.eps The theme chapters include some ‘quick quiz’ panels to rapidly check your understanding of particular areas. Have a go at answering these blocks of questions; in each case, you’ll find the answers at the end of the chapter containing the quiz.

remember.eps Most ‘remember’ points are when you’re learning the method, so you’ll find lots of them in the companion book, PRINCE2 For Dummies. In this one, there are a just a few, so watch out for this icon.

example.eps This icon indicates either a real-world example from my many years of involvement with PRINCE2, or a hypothetical instance which illustrates a key point.

tip.eps This icon introduces a shortcut to help you get to grips with the complexities of the method as quickly as possible.

warning_bomb.eps In the world of PRINCE2, there are plenty of Ways Not To Do Things. This icon flags them up.

Where to Go from Here

The great thing about the For Dummies books is that you don’t have to read them all the way through. You can simply turn to the bit you want. That’s especially true of Parts II and III, where you can turn to the process or theme that you’re learning about at the moment. Within the chapters though, there’s no need to read everything. Where a point is clarified, if you already understand that point just skip the rest of the explanation and move on.

Part I

Explaining the Exams

9781118349656-pp0101_fmt.png

In this part . . .

Part I sets the scene for the PRINCE2 exams. It explains the format and also the style of questions. In the Foundation exam the style is ‘classic’ multiple choice, but even here there are strategies that you will find useful. The Practitioner exam is also multiple-choice, but here you find different styles such as matching questions. This section goes through each style to help you understand them quickly.

Hopefully you will succeed in both exams after reading this book. However, if something goes wrong – as it can in any exam – you’ll also find some advice in this section on handling exam failure. That may be especially important to you if the reason you have bought this book is because you’ve already failed an exam and want to give yourself a better chance next time around.