PRINCE2 method, a guide to why and how it work

December 17, 2019 – 2:32 pm | by Steve

The most widely accepted project management methodology, PRINCE2 is attracting large attention from Project Managers world-over for its efficacy. PRINCE2’s latest edition was released in 2017 and its latest iteration consists of many new updates that fit very well to the modern working environment. But what makes PRINCE2 work?

The PRINCE2 ideology

The very core of PRINCE2 tackles the most herculean task in Project Management – a division of labor. PRINCE2 allows effective project management by dividing projects into manageable sized chunks. This makes team building and recruiting very simple. It’s about finding the right people right from the start. It gives a focussed, processed based approach that you can easily tailor to your project needs. Loose ends are a big no-no when it comes to the PRINCE2 method. This type of stringent planning allows for great control over time. Even successful Project managers run the risk of failure if time is not managed correctly.

The principles of PRINCE2

PRINCE2 defines a set of principles that make this best practice method stand out. Although it may seem general, the idea of putting it in writing goes a long way in ensuring success.

  1. Continued business justification: PRINCE2 teams are inherently required to constantly provide a justifiable reason for the project’s necessity. Calculating the pros and cons of initiating a project for the first time, maybe the first step towards acknowledging the requirements of the said project.
  2. Learn from experience: Good team leaders are enthusiastic learners. This same attribute is also applied to the PRINCE2 methodology as it requires continuous learning from previous work so that the best set of resources is constantly in use to provide greater outcomes.
  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: PRINCE2 project teams are required to take a delegation of authority very seriously. Having control over who does what is a key factor in determining process outcomes. A clear organizational structure must be defined prior to initiation. This gives team building exercises a more clear and concise path. Also, delegating right from the start makes for excellent trust in workmanship, providing comfort and motivation.
  4. Manage by stages: PRINCE2 projects are always structured into stages. Each stage must be monitored, controlled and planned thoroughly. Moving on to the next stage without closing loose ends only makes for deeper graveyards. Thus planning the stage-wise execution of a project prior-hand will help for easy tracking and scheduling.
  5. Manage by exception: Project board members are usually not involved in the daily activities of projects. In case of any glitches, project managers are required to report to the board and find corrective or preventive measures to mitigate the risk of delays and overrunning the budget. Every snag in the process lifecycle is considered an exception, and each exception requires careful handling from the Project Manager.
  6. Focus on products: When it comes to company goals, there is a larger room for innovation. However short deadline projects usually have a clear objective and defining the quality of the product is a crucial step towards success. A quality register must be maintained in order to keep the project goals focused.
  7. Tailor to suit the project environment: PRINCE2 is a general guideline of best practices. As PRINCE2 is applicable to many areas, tailoring to the specific needs of the project must be done by the Project Manager and the team. This crucial principle is taken to hand by considering parameters such as project environment, size, complexity, importance, capability, and risk. By tailoring the PRINCE2 foundation course, you can also allow for greater leniency in terms of stages and management across stages.

These 7 principles of PRINCE2 help provide a good viewpoint for all members of the project, including the team members, managers, and board members. It acts as the glue that can help tackle risks and any small mishaps during any stage of the project. PRINCE2 projects are usually most successful when they have a clearly defined vision with a well-tailored manual. 

The PRINCE2 processes

The PRINCE 2 Foundation certification training will also help you familiarize yourself with the processes involved in PRINCE2 projects. As the project lifecycle is clearly defined, PRINCE2 team members and project managers can easily obtain a smooth workflow, allowing for greater control over time and other constraints. The 7 processes of PRINCE2 are:

  1. Starting up a project
  2. Directing a project
  3. Initiating a project
  4. Controlling a stage
  5. Managing product delivery 
  6. Managing stage boundaries
  7. Closing a project

Given that PRINCE2 projects are the defining guide for success in any professional working environment having the knowledge-base of the PRINCE2 foundation can help team leads as well team members to better align with project goals to ensure greater success rate.


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