What is PRINCE2®?
PRINCE2® is the world’s most widely adopted project management method, used by people and organizations from wide-ranging industries and sectors. It is a flexible method that guides you through the essentials for managing successful projects, regardless of type or scale. Built upon seven principles, themes and processes, PRINCE2® can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.
PRINCE2®: The Method
The PRINCE2® method comprises four integrated elements of principles, themes, processes and the project environment.
The Structure of PRINCE2®
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These are the guiding requirements and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2®. There are seven principles and unless all of them are applied, it is not a PRINCE2® project.
The PRINCE2® principles are:
- Continued business justification: there must also be a justifiable reason to be running and managing the project. If not, the project should be closed.
- Learn from experience: PRINCE2® project teams should continually seek and draw on lessons learned from previous work.
- Defined roles and responsibilities: the PRINCE2® project team should have a clear organizational structure and involve the right people in the right tasks.
- Manage by stages: PRINCE2® projects should be planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis.
- Manage by exception: people working within the project should be given the right amount of authority to effectively work within the environment.
- Focus on products: PRINCE2® projects focus on the product definition, delivery and quality requirements.
- Tailor to suit the project environment: PRINCE2® must be tailored to suit the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.
These describe aspects of project management that must be addressed in parallel throughout the project. The seven themes explain the specific treatment required by PRINCE2® for various project management disciplines and why they are necessary.
PRINCE2® helps people apply the themes but stating the minimum requirement needed for each theme, and gives specific guidance on how to tailor to certain environments.
The PRINCE2® themes are as follows:
- Business case: create and maintain a record of the business justification for the project.
- Organization: define the individual roles and responsibilities of the whole project team.
- Quality: what the quality requirements and measures are and how the project will deliver them.
- Plans: the steps required to develop the plans and the PRINCE2® techniques that should be used.
- Risk: effectively identify risks and opportunities that could impact the project.
- Change: how the project manager will assess and act on changes to the project.
- Progress: the ongoing viability and performance of the plans and how and whether the project should proceed.
These describe the steps of the project lifecycle, from the initial idea to project closure (and measurement of the benefits). Each process provides checklists of recommended activities, related responsibilities and guidance about how to tailor to a specific environment.
The PRINCE2® Processes are:
- Starting up a project
- Directing a project
- Initiating a project
- Controlling a stage
- Managing product delivery
- Managing stage boundaries
- Closing a project
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