Behind every successful project is excellent project management: the process of planning and executing an undertaking to achieve organizational goals, with control of the available resources. The reality is that there is never one way to accomplish a mission, which gives rise to the many methods project managers can use to implement each stage. This is not to deny, however, that some are more effective than others, depending on the industry, the objectives, and sometimes, the team itself. That is why approaches like the PRINCE2 Methodology exist—to ensure efficacy regardless of the project’s type and scale.
What is the PRINCE2 Methodology?
PRINCE2, or Projects IN Controlled Environments, is a process-based method for effective project management, aimed at enhancing the manager’s control of every phase and its risks from beginning to end. At the core of this approach is structure, as steps are clearly defined to produce a logical roadmap, which extends to the identification of the relevant roles and responsibilities. Though like any method, it requires the answers to the following:
- What are you trying to do?
- When will you start?
- What do you need to execute it?
- Do you need help?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost?
This pre-assessment results in the building blocks of project management, which provides managers a vision of the series of steps to complete.
Who are involved in the PRINCE2 Methodology?
- Project Manager
The one responsible for organizing and controlling the project and its processes. This includes: drawing up the project plans, forming the team that will execute the project, and supervising their work to ensure quality and timely completion.
- Customer, User, or Supplier
The customer is the one who pays for the project, while the user is the one who will use the outcome of the project or who will be impacted by it. For some cases, the customer and user may be the same person. The supplier is the one who provides the expertise needed to accomplish the quality work.
Those who fill these roles must be as coordinated as the project team to ensure that the project produces the desired result on time and on budget.
- Project Board
Those who represent the users and the suppliers involved in the project. They are composed of the customer and executives, who the project manager reports to regarding progress and problems. In turn, they resolve these issues and decide how the project will proceed.
How does the PRINCE2 Methodology go?
- Start Up the Project
Upon finding that the project is viable, it must receive the approval of the project board. The project brief, or the proposal, contains the business case, the best execution strategy, the names of the people involved, and a detailed stage plan. This includes the “trigger,” the document stating the project’s mandate.
- Initiate the Project
The project manager will define the project scope (e.g. the project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines), and determine how to monitor progress (e.g. who needs to know and how they’ll be informed). After, he/she will construct risk, quality, and communications management strategies, then set up project controls and plan.
- Direct the Project
The project board will authorize the initiation of the project and its stages. Upon reviewing post-project benefits, they may offer other directions as needed until project closure is authorized.
- Control Stages
The project manager will assign tasks and confirm the work package, or the sub-project within the larger project, with the team. While monitoring their status, he/she will review and compare progress to the project plan and capture any issues and risks to report to the project board.
- Manage Product Delivery
The team will accept and execute the work package, then deliver the project product.
- Manage Stage Boundary
The project manager will give the project board an overview of performance, then update the project plan and business case. With the given information, the project board will then assess the current stage, approve the next, and review the updated plan.
- Close the Project
Project managers and the team will hand over the product, and evaluate the project. They will then recommend its closure to the project board to officialize project closure.
Originating from the government of the United Kingdom, the PRINCE2 Methodology is now prevalent in the private sector around the world because of its reliability. The seven processes of the method convey where control is emphasized, outlining the needed information, the work flow, and each person’s accountability. Unlike other methods, PRINCE2 also includes three views of assurance: business, customer (or user), and supplier. Each one reflects the different interests that project managers need to consider in order to achieve the project’s holistic success. Above all, the PRINCE2 Methodology enables the control of change—an ability extremely relevant today. Despite continued uncertainties in the business environment, teams can remain confident throughout the life of the project, as any advancement is not without the calculation of risks and the greenlight of dependable perspectives.
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