Term Definition PRINCE2, (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, 2nd major revision), is a project management methodology which stresses a structured approach to managing projects within a clearly defined framework. History PRINCE was initially established by the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1989 to standardize the government’s IT project management. In response […]
PRINCE2, (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, 2nd major revision), is a project management methodology which stresses a structured approach to managing projects within a clearly defined framework.
PRINCE was initially established by the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1989 to standardize the government’s IT project management. In response to the widening adoption and application of PRINCE to projects outside the sphere of IT, the more generic PRINCE2 was released in 1996. PRINCE2 is still the standard used by the UK government,
and the method has gained widespread recognition and adoption in the global private sector.
PRINCE2 is a process-driven method of project management, and defines 8 distinct project stages containing 45 unique sub-processes. This approach is in contrast to adaptive or reactive methodologies such as Scrum or Agile.
- Directing a Project (DP)
Directing a Project runs from the start of a project through its close out.
The project is directed by a Project Board which monitors it through reports and controls the project through authorization powers and ad hoc direction.Sub-processes: Initiation (starting the project off on the right foot); Stage boundaries (commitment of more resources after checking results so far);
Ad hoc direction (monitoring progress, providing advice and guidance, reacting to exception situations); Project closure (confirming the project outcome and controlled close).
- Starting up a Project (SU)
Typically a very short stage, Starting up a Project is when a project’s reason and objective is defined, and to put in place the project team and manager.Sub-processes: Ensuring that the information required for the project team is available; Designing and appointing the Project Management Team; Creating the Initiation Stage Plan.
“Product-based” planning is a central idea to the PRINCE2 methodology. What is meant by product-based planning is that all the work products necessary to the successful completion of a project are identified and analyzed. The purpose of this effort is to be able to estimate the effort, schedule and risk associated with each work product to more accurately arrive at an overall project plan.Sub-processes: Designing a plan; Defining and analyzing products; Identifying activities and dependencies; Estimating; Scheduling; Analyzing risks; Completing the plan.
- Initiating a Project (IP)
This process proceeds naturally from the SU process. Project files are created, detailing the business case, project controls and overall plan.
These documents are used by the Project Board to authorize the launch
of the project.Sub-processes: Agree whether or not there is sufficient justification to proceed with the project; Establish a stable management basis on which to proceed; Document and confirm that an acceptable Business Case exists for the project; Ensure a firm and accepted Foundation to the project prior to commencement of the work; Agree to the commitment of resources for the first stage of the project; Enable and encourage the Project Board to take ownership of the project; Provide the baseline for the decision-making processes required during the project’s life; Ensure that the investment of time and effort required by the project is made wisely, taking account of the risks to the project.
- Managing Stage Boundaries (MSB)
In PRINCE2, projects are broken down into logically defined stages which progress in a linear fashion through to the completion of the project. The process of Managing Stage Boundaries enables the Project Board to determine if the project should be continued or not, and what steps to take if a stage has exceeded its tolerance levels.Sub-processes: Assure the Project Board that all deliverables planned in the current Stage Plan have been completed as defined; Provide the information needed for the Project Board to assess the continuing viability of the project; Provide the Project Board with information needed to approve the current stage’s completion and authorize the start of the next stage, together with its delegated tolerance level; Record any measurements or lessons which can help later stages of this project and/or other projects.
- Controlling a Stage (CS)
It is in this stage that the efforts of the Project Manager are most in demand as the person who handles the day-to-day needs of the project.Sub-processes: Authorizing work to be done; Gathering progress information about that work; Watching for changes; Reviewing the situation; Reporting; Taking any necessary corrective action.
- Managing Product Delivery (MP)
This process addresses the manner in which a work package is assigned, executed and delivered.Sub-processes: Making certain that work on products allocated to the team is effectively authorized and agreed accepting and checking Work Packages; Ensuring that work conforms to the requirements of interfaces identified in the Work Package; Ensuring that the work is done; Assessing work progress and forecasts regularly; Ensuring that completed products meet quality criteria; Obtaining approval for the completed products.
- Closing a Project (CP)
Closing a Project is the process of wrapping up all activities involved with the project, such as preparing an end of project report, freeing up allocated resources, ensuring deliverables, etc.Sub-processes: Check the extent to which the objectives or aims set out in the Project Initiation Document (PID) have been met; Confirm the extent of the fulfillment of the Project Initiation Document (PID) and the Customer’s satisfaction with the deliverables; Obtain formal acceptance of the deliverables; Ensure to what extent all expected products have been handed over and accepted by the Customer; Confirm that maintenance and operation arrangements are in place (where appropriate); Make any recommendations for follow-on actions; Capture lessons resulting from the project and complete the Lessons Learned Report; Prepare an End Project Report; Notify the host organization of the intention to disband the project organization and resources.
To become an accredited, registered PRINCE2 professional, an individual must pass the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam administered by the APM Group. This objective-testing multiple choice exam lasts 3-hours, and must be re-taken every 5 years to retain PRINCE2 Practitioner status. A preliminary PRINCE2 Foundation exam is available, testing the participant’s knowledge of the method’s basics and terminology.