PRINCE2 is one of the most popular project management methods widely used in projects across the globe. PRINCE2 methodology is the de facto standard in the United Kingdom and is extensively used in UK government and globally. PRINCE2 is a business approach that suggests a structure to be followed while managing projects towards effective results. It is widely used in government agencies, private companies and has emerged as a standard in managing projects. Let’s have a look at the structure of PRINCE2 and its advantages in project management. PRINCE2 certification suggests four integrated elements that build the structure of PRINCE2 to be followed in projects. The four integrated elements of PRINCE2 are 7 PRINCE2 principles, 7 PRINCE2 themes, 7 PRINCE2 processes and Tailoring.
7 PRINCE2 Principles
- Continued Business Justification: According to this principle, every project should be supported by a justification which should be valid throughout the project lifecycle. This justification should be based on cost, time, profit and reasoning.
- Learn From Experience: Every member working on a project should learn from their experience. They should not repeat the same mistakes that have already occurred in the past. This is possible through study from history of projects.
- Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Every member involved in a project should be assigned with their definite roles and responsibilities so that there are no confusions related to work distribution and process.
- Manage by Stages: PRINCE2 encourages management of project by stages. According to PRINCE2 methodology, any project should at least have two stages, the starting up of a project and the initiation stage of a project.
- Manage by Exception: Projects should be managed by exception. There should be exception plan in order to verify and ascertain that the project is in the right flow. Also any changes needs to be escalated to the reporting manager.
- Focus on Products: This principle enforces on the quality of the product. The major focus should be on developing products or services and the quality of standard should always be managed across projects and products.
- Tailor to Suit: This is the seventh principle of PRINCE2 which refers to the customization of PRINCE2 structure for different projects. Every project is different and requires different approach and PRINCE2 gives the liberty to tailor as suitable for a project.
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7 PRINCE2 Themes
- Business case: This theme goes along with the first PRINCE2 principle that says continued business justification. A business case will behold the justification for taking up the project along with defining cost and timelines for a project. The business case should be valid for a project from the beginning to its end and any point of time, the justification seems invalid, the project should be called off.
- Organization: The organization theme makes sure that a proper structure is in place and every member involved in a project knows about their job clearly. This theme is aligned with PRINCE2 principle of defined roles and responsibilities.
- Quality: The quality theme goes with the principle of focus on products. This theme ensures that the quality of product and service out of a project is of high standard and that standard should be maintained consistently.
- Plans: Planning ideally should be a process of every project and PRINCE2 enforces the same. The planning stage should ensure that there is a plan of process for a project and is maintained the same way throughout the project.
- Risks: Every project is prone to risks and needs proper risk management. According to PRINCE2 there should be a risk register and risk management plan in place to execute a project effectively.
- Change: Change is another theme of a project. According to PRINCE2, whenever a change is requested it should be recorded in a register and should be adopted following the rules mentioned in the plan and strategy register.
- Progress: Progress theme ensures that a project is controlled with time to time review and analysis. This theme is aligned with PRINCE2 principle management by stages.
7 PRINCE2 Processes
- Starting up a Project: This process ensures that there is a plan and business case in place for starting up a project
- Directing a Project: This process is the connection between the project board and executive where project plan is reviewed and analyzed
- Initiating a Project: This is the process where the project is actually initiated and the real execution of project plan is effective
- Controlling a Stage: This process ensures that the previous stage is verified and confirmed before moving on the next stage
- Managing Product Delivery: In this process, the product developed is reviewed and compared with the expected plan
- Managing a Stage Boundary: In this process, any change or escalation that occurs in the project takes place
- Closing a Project: As the term suggests, this process is all about closing the project in pen and paper. This is the final stage of every project.
Tailoring As defined above PRINCE2 approach encourages tailoring of method in order to suit projects. Different projects can have different expectations and therefore, needs to be handled uniquely. To ensure this, PRINCE2 allows tailoring of method.
Advantages of Applying PRINCE2 Methodology
- There is a defined answer to why one is taking up the project
- Each team member in a project is clearly aware of their responsibilities
- The quality of services is ensured along with timely delivery
- Larger projects can be handled easily as project is managed by stages
- Improves project performance
Thus, PRINCE2 ensures in every way that a project is delivered in an effective manner fulfilling the reasoning behind the project and maintaining quality of services while delivering services on time.
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