PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology developed by the UK government in the late 1980s. It is widely used by organizations in various industries and countries worldwide.
PRINCE2® provides a structured approach to managing projects, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and a set of principles, themes, and processes that should be followed. The methodology is flexible and can be adapted to suit the specific needs of different projects.
PRINCE2® is based on seven principles:
- Continued business justification: The project should have a clear business justification, which should be reviewed throughout the project to ensure that the project remains viable.
- Learn from experience: Lessons learned from previous projects should be used to improve the current project.
- Defined roles and responsibilities: Everyone involved in the project should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Manage by stages: The project should be divided into stages, each planned and reviewed separately.
- Manage by exception: The project manager should only be involved in issues that require their attention.
- Focus on products: The project should deliver high-quality products meeting stakeholders' requirements.
- Tailor to suit the project environment: PRINCE2® is flexible and can be adapted to suit the specific needs of different projects.
The PRINCE2® methodology is divided into two main parts: the PRINCE2® framework and the PRINCE2® processes.
The PRINCE2® framework provides a high-level view of the methodology, including the seven principles, themes, and processes. The PRINCE2® processes to provide a step-by-step guide to managing a project, from initiation to closure.
There are seven themes in PRINCE2®:
- Business case: The business case outlines the justification for the project, including the expected benefits and costs.
- Organization: The project team's roles and responsibilities are defined in the organization theme.
- Quality: The quality of the project deliverables is managed in the quality theme.
- Plans: The project plan is created and maintained in the plans theme.
- Risk: Risks to the project are identified and managed in the risk theme.
- Change: Changes to the project are identified and managed in the change theme.
- Progress: The progress of the project is monitored and reported in the progress theme.
The PRINCE2® methodology is organized into seven processes, each with its own activities and outputs. These seven processes are:
- Starting up a Project (SU): This process ensures that the prerequisites for a project are in place before it begins. This includes creating a project brief, appointing a project manager, and determining whether the project is feasible.
- Initiating a Project (IP): This process involves establishing a solid foundation for the project by defining its objectives, scope, deliverables, and timelines. A detailed project plan is created and approved in this process.
- Directing a Project (DP): This process is used by the project board to provide overall direction and control. The project board sets key objectives and approves major decisions, while the project manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project.
- Controlling a Stage (CS): This process is used to manage each individual stage of the project. It involves monitoring progress against the project plan, identifying and managing risks, and ensuring quality standards are met.
- Managing Product Delivery (MP): This process involves ensuring that the products or deliverables created by the project team are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
- Managing Stage Boundaries (SB): This process ensures that each project stage is properly completed before the next stage begins. The project board reviews the completed stage to determine if the project is still viable and if the project plan needs to be updated.
- Closing a Project (CP): This process involves formalizing the closure of the project, including archiving project documentation, conducting a post-project review, and ensuring that all outstanding issues are resolved.
PRINCE2® is a widely recognized project management methodology that strongly focuses on project governance and control. It is particularly suitable for large and complex projects and for projects where multiple stakeholders are involved. By following these seven processes, project managers can ensure that their projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.