Effective Project Management: The Prince 2 Principles

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PRINCE2 (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a de facto process-based method for effective project management. The methodology encompasses the management, control and organization of a project.? Prince2 is based on 7 principles, 7 themes and 7 processes in which each process is defined by main input and output, together with specific objectives to be reached and activities to be done. These principles are the bedrock and foundations upon which everything else in the framework is based.

The Prince 2 Principle Free EbookThis set of seven principles that guide the project manager and the project team during the PRINCE2 project life cycle must be applied to every project if it?s to be called a PRINCE2 project:

  1. Continued Business justification ? A PRINCE2 project must always be a viable Business Case driving the project. If there is no business benefit, then why start a project in the first place?
  2. Learn from Experience ? As humans, we are inclined to repeat our mistakes. PRINCE2 addresses this tendency with its requirement for reporting the lessons which we learn from projects.? For example, if a similar project went over budget because of a ?scope creep? then what were the lessons learned from that project to bear in mind for the new project?
  3. Defined Roles and Responsibilities ? The PRINCE2 principle ?De?ned roles and responsibilities? emphasizes that each person involved in a project should be aware of the particular contribution that he/she is expected to make to that project.? For example, if only the senior management team can sign off on a budget, it would be inappropriate for the project manager to sign off on the budget.
  4. Manage by Stages ? A PRINCE2 project must be, for each stage, planned, monitored and controlled. PRINCE2 requires that there should be a minimum of two management stages and shorter stages offer more control while longer stages reduce the burden on senior management.
  5. Manage by Exception ? A PRINCE2 project has defined tolerances for each project objective and also established ground rules on delegated authority. This could be allowing the extra week for project completion or extra budget that?s pre-approved before going back to justify more. By working in this way, the Project Board “manages by exception” i.e. only gets involved when key decisions need to be taken (when an issue exceeds agreed tolerances) and hence is a very efficient use of senior management time.
  6. Focus on Products ? PRINCE2 recognises the importance of delivering products that meet their agreed quality criteria, hence the ‘focus on products’ principle. When products are successfully delivered, they lead to project bene?ts, and so it is extremely important that they are planned and executed effectively.
  7. Tailor to suit the Environment ? The PRINCE2 methodology should be tailored to suit the project?s size, environment, complexity, importance, capability and risks.? The verb to “tailor” refers to the appropriate use of PRINCE2 so that it matches the needs of a particular project. PRINCE2 recognises that all projects are different in terms of their cultural context, geographical location, level of complexity and scale. Tailoring to suit the project environment allows you to adapt the PRINCE2 methodology to suit the needs of your project – and still comply with the PRINCE2 approach to project management.

The key to success with PRINCE2 is to remember a workable set of best practices which can be applied to any project, no matter what scale, type or level of complexity. ?Implementing PRINCE2 is more than providing staff with training – it is about establishing project management best practice into the working culture.

Project Management: The Prince 2 Principle Free EbookIf you?d like to:

  • Understand the building blocks upon which PRINCE2 is based
  • Help prepare for your PRINCE2 Foundation exam
  • Learn whether your organization is managing their projects according to PRINCE2
  • Use PRINCE2 on your projects or are
  • Revising your PRINCE2 exam

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