PRINCE2® - The Method

There are six variables involved in any project, and therefore six aspects of project performance to be managed:

  • Costs
  • Timescales
  • Quality
  • Scope
  • Risk
  • Benefits

PRINCE2 is an integrated framework of processes and themes that addresses the planning, delegation, monitoring and control of all these six aspects of project performance.

The Structure of PRINCE2

The Structure of PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 method addresses project management with four integrated elements of principles, themes, processes and the project environment:

1. The Principles - These are the guiding obligations and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2. There are seven principles and unless all of them are applied, it is not a PRINCE2 project.

2. The Themes - These describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually and in parallel throughout the project. The seven themes explain the specific treatment required by PRINCE2 for various project management disciplines and why they are necessary.

3. The Processes - These describe a step-wise progression through the project lifecycle, from getting started to project closure. Each process provides checklists of recommended activities, products and related responsibilities.

4. Tailoring PRINCE2 to the Project Environment - This chapter addresses the need to tailor PRINCE2 to the specific context of the project. PRINCE2 is not a 'one size fits all' solution; it is a flexible framework that can readily be tailored to any type or size of project.

Benefits of PRINCE2

PRINCE2 embodies established and proven best practice and governance for project management. It can be applied to any type of project - and can easily be implemented alongside specialist, industry-specific models ('engineering models' or 'development lifecycles').

The method is widely recognized and understood, and therefore provides a common vocabulary for all project participants - promoting effective communication. The method also provides for the explicit recognition of project responsibilities - so that participants understand each other's roles and needs. There is a defined structure for accountability, delegation, authority and communication.

PRINCE2:

  • Promotes consistency of project work and the ability to reuse project assets; it also facilitates staff mobility and reduces the impact of personnel changes/handovers.
  • Is an invaluable diagnostic tool, facilitating the assurance and assessment of project work, troubleshooting and audits.
  • Plans are carefully designed to meet the needs of the different levels in the management team, improving communication and control.
  • Ensures that participants focus on the viability of the project in relation to its Business Case objectives - rather than simply seeing the completion of the project as an end in itself.
  • Defines a thorough but economical structure of reports.
  • Ensures that stakeholders (including sponsors and resource providers) are properly represented in planning and decision making.

Adopting PRINCE2 promotes learning and continual improvement in organizations. Its product focus clarifies (for all parties) what a project will deliver, why, when, by whom and for whom. It is based on a 'management by exception' framework, providing for the efficient and economic use of management time (whether at corporate, programme, Project Board or project management levels).

There are scores of accredited training and consultancy organizations (ATOs and ACOs) operating worldwide, who can supply expert support for PRINCE2 projects or for organizations planning to adopt PRINCE2.