PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology – Principles, Themes, Processes Explained
What is PRINCE2
PRINCE2 stands for Projects In Controlled Environments. It’s a project management framework that’s designed to helps an organization to plan, manage and control a project through out it’s lifecycle.
Prince2 is a common project management framework which is suitable for any project in any industry. It’s based on most up-to-date best practices in project management. It is extensively used by the UK government for Project Management and also throughout the world.
The Key Features of PRINCE2 are
- PRINCE2 Focuses on the business justification of a project.
- PRINCE2 focuses on defining the structure of the organization for the project management team
- It focuses on Product-based planning approach
- Divides the project into manageable and controllable stages that can be executed easily
- Flexibility that can be applied at a level appropriate to the project.
Benefits of PRINCE2 Project Management Framework
1. PRINCE2 guides you through the whole project management life cycle and can be adapted to meet the particular needs of project management. This basically means that PRINCE2 can be tailored to meet your project needs.
2. It has a common and consistent approach and a controlleged and organized project execution.
3. PRINCE2 assures that the project will continue to have Business justification.
Elements of PRINCE2
PRINCE2 is made up of four elements. These elements are
Everything in PRINCE2 is based upon these principles. They are the basis or foundation for the entire framework.
The PRINCE2 principles have the following characteritics
Universal – PRINCE2 principles are universal. It can be applied irrespective of language and culture.
Self-Validating – PRINCE2 is self validating because it is made up of all the best practices that have been proven over many years to be the most effective all over the world for project management.
Empowering – They are also Empowering because it’s gives the practitioners the ability to influence the outcome of the project.
The seven principles are
Continued Business Justification
This means that the business which is sponsoring and paying for the project must understand the benefits that must be achieved in return for its investment, compared with the costs and risks of the project.
Business Justification must be checked on a regular basis throughout the project. If that justification ceases to exist, the project must be closed prematurely.
Manage by Exception
In PRINCE2 Project management, regular meetings are deemed to be inefficent and unnecessary. Controlled work components are assigned to the project team by the project manager which contains the outputs and timelines to complete these work components. Only in special cases where the team is unable to meet the project requirements, meetings needs to occur.
Learn From Experience
Each project maintains a lessons log. Projects should look at their own lessons learned log and logs of other projects that were completed in the past continuously to learn from the experience and avoid repeating the same mistakes again.
Defined Roles And Responsibilities
The four levels of structured roles in an organization in a PRINCE2 project are corporate or programme management, project board, project manager level and team level.
The Corporate management sponsors the project and continuously monitor the business justification. The project board make the big decisions about the project and delegate the authority for the day-to-day management to the project manager. In turn, the project manager delegates the authority for some work to one or more team managers.
Manage By Stages
Each project is planned and controlled on a stage by stage basis. Each stage is detailed and assigned to the project manager by the project board for execution.
Focus on Products
When the project board decide to proceed to the next stage, they delegate authority to the project manager by setting tolerances for cost, time, quality, scope, risk and benefits.
Tailor To Suit The Project Environment.
No two projects are the same; the greater the risk, complexity, size or importance of a project, the greater the degree of monitoring, reporting and control that will be required.
If you show that you’re applying these seven principles to your project, you’re managing a PRINCE2 project.
Themes are aspects of Project Management that needs to be addressed continuously through-out the project.
There are seven themes in PRINCE2
- Business Case
Processes describes who is responsible for performing the themes at different points in the project.
The seven processes are
1. Starting Up A Project
2. Initiating A Project
3. Directing A Project
4. Controlling A Stage
5. Managing Product Delivery
6. Managing Stage Boundaries
7. Closing A Project
PRINCE2 uses various templates for each of these processes for documentation related to the product.
4. Tailoring to Project Environment
Every Project is different. Therefore each of these principles, themes and processes must be tailored for each project.