By Sonal Maheshwari
PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects IN a Controlled Environment, version 2, which explains the nature of execution of projects using this software. It is a methodology that includes the top management in organization and control of the project. It is a process driven project management methodology that encompasses seven principles –
- Project start-up: in this stage the project board is formed and an executive and project manager are appointed. The project management team is set up and the project brief, approach and business case are outlined.
- Project initiation: this is the project planning phase and includes finalizing quality, refining business case and risks, setting project controls and creating a project initiation documentation
- Directing a project: here the initiation, project, project stage and alternate plan are authorized
- Control stage: here the work packages are authorized and progress is assessed. Project issues are discussed and risk mitigation is discussed. At this stage a review is done and corrective actions are taken.
- Stage boundaries management: once the stages are set, here project plan and business case is updated. The risk register is reviewed and the exception plan is produced.
- Product delivery management: here the work package is accepted, executed and delivered.
- Project closure: This is the final stage where project is decommissioned and follow-on actions are identified. A benefits review plan is prepared and project evaluation is done.
PRINCE2 Project Management
PRINCE2 benefits the organization by providing a structured, controlled and reusable project management methodology. This helps in cutting the time and costs in launching fresh projects from scratch. The system is dynamic, hence it adapts to the changing business environment while retaining the reusable components. PRINCE2 recognizes that irrespective of the scale of the project, the basic initiation problems and requirements remain the same. It provides greater resource control and effective management and control of project risks. It provides a consistent approach with complete control on start, execution and end, with regular reviews on progress. There is room for evaluating the business justification behind the project’s continuation. With the structured approach, the evaluation of the project’s efficacy and its profitability can be assessed at a early stage and any extra costs or losses can be curbed.
Underlying Principles of PRINCE2
PRINCE2 was designed as a highly flexible methodology that could be adopted for project management across industries, projects scales, budgets and teams. The Business Case requires to be reviewed and updated at every stage to justify the continuation of the project. Work packages replace “team meetings” and are assigned by Team Managers with schedules for time and quality. There is very little intervention and only major deviations are discussed and tackled with in time. Roles are defined as per PRINCE2 standards to avoid any clashes or confusions with room for adding additional roles. This makes space for easy adoption of PRINCE2 in the traditional management setup.
Work packages clearly define the deliverables and the stages in which they are supposed to be executed. This makes allowance foe defining time, quality, scope and cost in advance. The dynamism of the framework while maintaining rigidity in reporting enables its re-adoption and execution of projects using this framework easy to manage.