16 Apr 2011

A Fool with a Tool

Posted by Paul Atkin

Best PRINCE2 SoftwareWhich software is best for PRINCE2?

As a PRINCE2 Trainer I was often asked this question on my training courses.  My answer was always the same:  Microsoft Office.

That never pleased everyone.  As one student put it:  “we just want something which makes the project run at the touch of a button.”

And that, IMHO, is where the problem lies: a Fool with a Tool, is still a Fool.  Even good projects involve blood, sweat and tears and the idea that they can be automated is dangerous and lazy.  I realise that is controversial and that there are a lot of good software programs out there but, in 13 years of managing PRINCE2 projects, I have never used anything other than Microsoft Office applications.

I’m not a Microsoft Office expert, but you don’t need to be.  Like most people, I probably know about 30% of what it can do, but that’s enough to write PRINCE2 documentation in Word, create and manage a Risk Register in Excel and show a schedule in MS Project.

Buying 3rd Party PRINCE2 software goes against the grain – it costs money (while PRINCE2 is free to use), it means more training and only does the job that a decent Access database could do anyway.

If you want to automate your project you could start by upgrading your Microsoft Office skills.

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