PRINCE2 - Controlling a Stage Process Tutorial

15.1 Controlling a Stage Process

Hello and welcome to PRINCE2® Foundation Certification course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson is about ‘Controlling a Stage’ process. PRINCE2® project is based on the principle called ‘managing by stages’. If the work is broken into phases it becomes easy to plan, execute and monitor the progress. There should be a mechanism to manage the work done during the stage. Usually, the ‘Controlling a Stage’ process is first used after the Project Board authorises the project, however it may also be used during the initiation stage for large or complex projects with a lengthy initiation.

15.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: ?State the purpose and objective of ‘Controlling a Stage’ process ?List the activities in the ‘Controlling a Stage’ process

15.3 Purpose of Controlling a Stage

The purpose of the ‘Controlling a Stage’ process is to assign work to be done, monitor such work, deal with issues, report progress to the Project Board, and take corrective actions to ensure that the stage remains within tolerance.

15.4 Objective of Controlling a Stage

A formal process should be established for accepting, executing and delivering the project work. The work is performed by teams. These teams include Team Managers, team members and suppliers. The Project Manager should receive accurate progress information on a regular basis and that the work allocated to the team is formally agreed upon and authorised. The team should be clearly aware of the product, cost, timeline, effort estimates and tolerances. While the teams produce the products of the project, the Project Manager receives accurate progress information on a regular basis. The number of Work Packages developed during a stage depends on the project, it can be one or more. The ‘Controlling a Stage’ process describes the work of the Project Manager in handling the day-to-day management of the stage. This process will be used for each delivery stage of a project. Towards the end of each stage, except the final one, the activities within the ‘Managing a Stage Boundary’ process will occur. The objective of the ‘Controlling a Stage’ process is to ensure that: attention is focused on delivery of the stage’s products. Any movement away from the direction and products agreed at the start of the stage is monitored to avoid uncontrolled change (‘scope creep’) and loss of focus. It ensures that risks and issues are kept under control and the Business Case is kept under review. ‘Controlling a Stage’ process also ensures that the agreed products for the stage are delivered to stated quality standards, within cost effort and time agreed, and ultimately in support of the achievement of the defined benefits. The project management team is focused on delivery within the tolerances laid down.

15.5 Controlling a Stage—Overview

The image shown describes the interaction between ‘Controlling a stage’ process and other processes such as ‘Managing Product Delivery’, ‘Managing a Stage Boundary’ and ‘Directing a Project’. This process uses two PRINCE2® principles, which are ‘manage by exception’ and ‘manage by stages’. The Project Manager handles the controlling stage, while managing a project. Only when an exception arises, as per ‘manage by exception’ principle, the Project Board will come into picture to manage the exception. By following this framework, it is ensured that the time of Project Board is effectively and efficiently utilised. The Project Board does not manage the day-to-day work of the project; however the Project Manager must provide the Project Board with summary of the status of the stage and the project. The status is provided to the key stakeholders including Project Board at a frequency documented in the Communication Management Strategy, as defined by the Project Board. The Project Manager assembles the information from the Checkpoint Reports, Risk Register, Issue Register, Quality Register, Lessons Log, Product Status Account and any significant revisions to the Stage Plan for the current reporting period and prepares the Highlight Report. The Project Managers then distribute the Highlight Report to the Project Board and any other recipient identified in the Communication Management Strategy. During the project, the issue or risks may arise any time. Each issue or risk should be registered and then assessed for its impact and then the action should be taken to respond to the risks or issues.

15.6 Controlling a Stage—Activities

‘Controlling a Stage’ activities are Project Manager oriented. The Project Manager may receive multiple Checkpoint Reports during a stage. The Project Manager authorises a Work Package, reviews Work Package Status through Checkpoint Report and receives completed Work Packages. In case the work has been allocated to individuals or teams, there should be a matching confirmation that the work has been completed and approved. The Project Manager reviews the stage status. Once approved, any subsequent changes to the product(s) must pass through change control. This should be an automatic part of any configuration management method used. The Project Manager collects and reviews progress information from the Checkpoint Report for the Work Package being executed. The Project Manager reviews the stage status and reports the progress of the stage by submitting Highlight Reports and also updates the Stage Plan for the current stage with actuals to date, forecasts and adjustments. The Project Manager may request a Product Status Account from Project Support to identify any variation between planned, reported and actual progress. The Project Manager must capture and examine issues and risks, check for any quality issues shown in the Quality Register and Check the Risk Register for any new or revised risks and assess their impact on the Business Case, Stage Plan or the Project Plan. During this stage, the Project Manager also checks the Benefit s Review Plan to see whether any benefits review is due and execute them as necessary. After detailed analysis of the information gathered about the current stage and progress, the Project Manager may escalate issues and risks if tolerances are threatened and take corrective action. During this stage, the Project Manager may seek Project Board’s advice. The Project Manager may enter informal issues in the Daily Log. One of the PRINCE2® principles is ‘learn from experience’. Individuals learn from their experience and the Project Manager may Log what went wrong and which steps or actions were correct during the stage from any lesson that have been identified. It is recommended that the Project Manager revise the Risk Register and Issue Register as necessary. When the current stage is approaching an end then the Project Manager prepares a Stage Plan for the next stage. If the final stage is about to end, the Project Manager starts closure activities for the project.

15.7 Controlling a Stage Process—Exercise

Three exercises are given in the screen to test the comprehension of ‘Controlling a Stage’ process. Please take some time to understand the questions and note the answers.

15.8 Quiz

The quiz section will help to check your understanding of the concepts covered.

15.9 Summary

Here is a quick recap of what we have learnt in this lesson: ?The purpose of the ‘Controlling a Stage’ process is to assign work to be done, monitor work, deal with issues, report progress to the Project Board, and take corrective actions to ensure that the stage remains within tolerance. ?‘Controlling a Stage’ activities are Project Manager oriented and are related to handling Work Packages, monitoring and reporting and managing issues.

15.10 Thank You

In the next lesson, we will discuss the next process, which is ‘Managing a Product Delivery’.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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