Prince2 in Plain English

Steve Tofts

Published by

Benchmark Training and Development Ltd





Reviewed by

Kawal Banga MBCS CITP


9 out of 10

I’ve read a few Prince2 books and quite a few project management ones over the years, not to mention two versions of the Prince2 manual, so I wasn’t expecting anything to get too excited about. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by this book.

I tend to agree with the author’s suggestions that the book is useful as an introduction to the official Prince2 manual; for preparation for the Prince2 examinations; for those playing a part in Prince2 projects; and for those looking for real world examples of using Prince2.

It may also prove useful to those who are new to project management and looking for an off-the-shelf project management framework, as well as those who want a detailed understanding or overview of Prince2 in action.

The four elements of Prince2 (seven principles, seven processes, seven themes and tailoring) are well covered. There are ten chapters, with a chapter on each of the basics, the principles and the processes, and a separate chapter on each of the seven themes.

This does seem bizarre at first, but tailoring is discussed throughout the book and the relevant principles and processes are also covered in each of the seven themes chapters.

The two separate A3 coloured charts, a 140 term six-page glossary, the four real-world everyday example projects, good graphic illustrations  and 113 pages of A4 with a decent sized font size make this a very readable and useful resource.

The four example projects (rubbish recycling; expanding a pie stall business; installing a home office in the garden; and a £multi-million leisure complex improvement project) really do bring home the point that Prince2 can be tailored and applied to any project.

Some suggested improvements might include a concluding chapter; a separate section on tailoring - even if it merely reiterated the examples of tailoring that had been provided throughout the book; and some colour (the whole book is in black and white).

The only negative comment I would make about the book is the number of typos, punctuation, missing word and other errors. So much for ‘plain English’! Call me old-fashioned, but I was taught never to start a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’. This book is littered with them, and most are unnecessary.

Also, there are countless missing full stops and commas. The approach in the book is to highlight, in bold, items which have an entry in the glossary. Unfortunately this convention is not strictly adhered to, and there are items shown in bold that one would expect to have a glossary entry, but do not appear in the glossary.

Technically, this is an excellent book, but because of the above, the overall score is a 9 out of 10.

This is definitely a ‘must-buy’ book for anyone wanting an introduction to Prince2 or sufficient working knowledge of Prince2 in order to have a meaningful discussion about a project utilising Prince2.

Further Information: Benchmark Training and Development Ltd

July 2011