PRINCE2 Methodology

PRINCE2® is a flexible methodology (a system of methods, processes, practices used in a particular area of study or activity) that can be used for Project Management. It is adaptable so PRINCE2 can be used to found any type of project  (some people think that PRINCE2 can only be used for ICT projects). PRINCE2 can be used on the following types of projects:  
  • Company acquisition 
  • A television show called The Apprentice (popular in US & UK) 
  • Construction Industry (build a house, bridge  nuclear plant)   
  • Olympic Games 

The PRINCE2 methodology splits the management level (Project Board and Project Manager) from the product creation level (this is where the team works to create the products required by the customer).   Project Management works directly with the Organisation of the project such as: Project Board, Project Manager, and the teams. 

The PRINCE2 methodology is grounded on principles, which means that any PRINCE2 project should includes 7 principles is project do not include the these principles it can not be considered as PRINCE2® Project, the principle are:
  1.  Continued business justification:  Does the business case remain valid during the project? 
       2.  Learn from experience: Learn from all stakeholders and learn from each stage 

       3.  Defined roles and responsibilities: Everyone ones what is expected off each other 

       4.  Manage by stages: Break the project up into parts 

       5.  Manage by exception: Let the level below get on with their work  

       6.  Focus on products: Have good product descriptions before work is started  

       7.  Tailor to suit the project environment:  Use on the the parts of PRINCE2 that bring value 

PRINCE2 Methodology - Six Project Variables

The 6 variables / performance targets are: Timescales, Costs, Quality, Scope, Benefits and Risk.  

A good way to remember these is to use the words TeCQuila SoBeR with Tequila spelled with TeCQ. This will give you Timescales, Costs, Quality, Scope, Benefits and Risks or you can also use BC QRST.  

  1. Timescale: The question here is: when will the project end and are we on schedule with the current plan

  2. Cost:  Projects have to give a return on investment; therefore, the questions to ask are: Are the costs being controlled? And are we within budget? Also will we get a return for these costs?     

  3. Quality: Will the product fit the purpose at the end of the project?   In other words, can the product be used as expected? 

  4. Scope: The scope is well defined and clear to all members? The Project Manager should avoid scope creep, which means to incorporate new requirements throughout the project as it is easy for this to happen.  

  5. Benefits: What are the reasons for doing this project and what are its benefits? The benefits should be clear and known by the project manager and the necessary project stakeholders.    

  6. Risk: Each and every projects is unique, therefore the project is doing something for the first time and therefore there are risks. Some questions the Project Manager can ask are: How much risk can we accept? or How can it be handled? For instance, in a project of building a House, what if a sub-contractor will not go to work?

PRINCE2 Methodology Structure & Elements

The PRINCE2 method consists of four main parts and PRINCE2 has chosen the word elements (also called Integrated Elements) to represent these parts. These four elements are 1) Principles, 2) Themes, 3) Processes and 4) Tailoring. Use the structure of the manual to help you remember these. First, you have the Principles, then the 7 Themes, then the 7 Processes and finally the last chapter which is Tailoring.

  1. Principles: PRINCE2 says that each project must follow the bests practices. This is also a good simple health check that you can do on each project.   

  2. Themes: PRINCE2 Themes answers the questions in relation to items that should be continuously dealt with on an ongoing project, For example: Business Case, Organisation, Progress, Risk and Configuration Management. 

  3. Processes: Processes answer the questions about which activities are carried out throughout the project, and by whom. Also answers the question on "what management products should be created and when?" 

  4. Tailoring: Answers the questions by Project Managers, what is the best way to apply PRINCE2 in the settings of my project?  A Project Manager will need good PRINCE2 and Project Management experience to do this.  

PRINCE2 Methodology Project Team  

There are three levels in a PRINCE2 project team, they are:  Direction, Management and Delivery  

PRINCE2 Methodology - Project Team

       1.  Level: Directing (Project Board)
The Project Board is responsible for directing the project and they do the following:
    • Approve all resources and major plans, e.g., Project Plan, Stage Plans, Business Case, ..
    • Authorise any big deviation if agreed tolerances are forecasted to or have exceeded.
    • Approve the completion of each project stage (e.g. 2 months) and authorize each new stage.
    • Communicate with stakeholders outside the project
       2.  Level: Managing (Project Manager)
The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and their primary responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the required products in accordance with the goals, which are time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits (these are the six project variables mentioned above) 

       3.  Level: Delivery (Team Manager)
The Team Members are responsible for delivering the project’s products to the agreed level of quality, and within a specific timescale and cost. A Team Manager can have the authority and responsibility of creating plans and managing a team to create and deliver the required products. The process Managing Product Delivery is where the teams produce the specialists products (these are the products what will be used by the users).   

Related Links 
- PRINCE2.Wiki  PRINCE2 Methodology 
- PRINCE2.Site:  PRINCE2 Blog Site  
- PRINCE2 Introduction Video on Youtube