This article explains Prince2 in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful project management methodology.
What is Prince2?
A PROJECT IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE) is a project management method. It is related to the management, monitoring and organization of a project Prince2 refers to the second large version of this method. It is also a registered trademark of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), an independent branch of the HM Treasury of the United Kingdom.
A project is often complex because many processes are being carried out at the same time. The Prince2 project management methodology relates to the management, monitoring and organization of a project and makes these processes transparent. Prince2 refers to the second, renewed version of this method and has been adopted as a registered trademark of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in Great Britain.
Prince2 is an automation method to manage a project according to a structured approach and clearly defined parameters. It describes procedures for the coordination and supervision of people and activities within a project and it provides points of reference for the adjustments of a project when this does not proceed according to plan. The input and output of each sub activity are indicated separately. This project management methodology also performs automatic checks on any deviations.
Prince2 divides a project into manageable stages because of which there is close supervision. Because of this structured method, Prince2 provides a common language for all participants.
In addition, their skills are linked to the complexity of a project. In the Prince2 diagram, the arrows reflect the information flows:
Prince2 defines 40 separate activities and organizes these into six different process stages:
Stage 1. Starting up a project
The project team is appointed and the projects events are described and prepared.
Apart from the main features, the final objectives are also defined.
Stage 2. Initiating a project
The project is further worked out in the form of a business case. Quality is safeguarded by means of management and project control.
Important information and results are presented to the project steering group.
Stage 3. Controlling a project
The steering group performs checks across the entire project and gives permission for new stages in the step-by-step plan.
In addition, the Management Board can give direction to a project.
Stage 4. Managing a stage
Because a project has been subdivided into stages, each separate sub process can be checked well separately.
Most fundamental is the way in which work packages can be approved and received and how the highlights of progress are reported to the steering group.
In addition, there will be checks whether corrective measures are necessary.
Stage 5. Managing stage boundaries
Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) determines what still needs to be done towards the end of a project stage.
Risk inventory and possible changes in the business case are involved in this.
Furthermore, it is determined how the end stage must be reported.
Stage 6. Concluding a project
At this stage the activities that are still to be done at the end of the project are the focus of attention.
A formal order is given to release resources which will be allocated to other activities.
The project is evaluated formally and important activities take place:
- dismantling of the project;
- identification of the follow-up actions.
Quality Review Technique
De Prince2 method works well together with for example Quality Review Technique, which sees to it that products of a project meet the required standard and the determined quality criteria.
This check takes place in a quality review meeting, in which the identified problems are not tried to be solved, but in which the joint expertise is to lead to the right output of the project.
Prince2 is sometimes wrongly deemed unsuitable for very small projects, it would take a lot of work for the creation and maintenance of documents, logbooks and lists.
However, Prince2 is fully scalable and can be applied to projects of any size and be tailored to the requirements of a certain project, in which it is important that all essential elements are applied.
It’s Your Turn
What do you think? Is the Prince2 project management approach interesting for today’s modern companies and businesses? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do you have more suggestions? What are your success factors for the good project management set up?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Bennett, N. & Axelos. (2017). Managing Successful Projects with Prince2. Tso.
- Bentley, C. (2009). Prince2: a practical handbook. Routledge.
- Sargeant, R., Hatcher, C., Trigunarsyah, B., Coffey, V., & Kraatz, J. A. (2010). Creating value in project management using PRINCE2.
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