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What is PRINCE2®?
PRojects IN a Controlled Environment version two is a project management methodology that provides Practitioners of the method with the tools to manage their projects more effectively. By delivering projects on time, on budget and to the right specifications allows organizations to ensure that they will get real value back from the investment decisions they make. PRINCE2 was released by the UK Government back in 1996. The method is a generic methodology that can be applied on projects of all sizes and from any industry. It is able to do this by separating the project management activities from the actual specialist skill sets needed to deliver the projects outputs.

How does PRINCE2® do this?
PRINCE2 consists of four key elements. These are the seven Principles, seven Themes and seven Processes that are the structure of the method. The final element is ensuring that you tailor the Processes and Themes to the organisations own environment.


What are the 7 Principles?
The Principles are the foundation of the method. By supporting these Principles your project is a PRINCE2 project.

The Principles are:
Continued Business Justification – every project should have a valid reason for starting and continuing. As an organization you should only invest in projects that will allow you to add value and achieve your strategic objectives. PRINCE2 helps you achieve this with its Business Case focus.

Learn from Experience
– you can always learn from what has happened previously and you should always be learning as you go. PRINCE2 gives you the tools to do this.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities – quite simply make sure the members of the team know what their role is and what they are responsible for. PRINCE2 provides a generic team structure and role descriptions to make this happen.

Manage by Stages
– break the project up into manageable chunks of work. This allows for more accurate planning and control of the project.

Manage by Exception – the right people should be involved at the right times. PRINCE2 provides ensures this by setting limits of delegated authority for each role in the project.

Focus on Products
– it is key that the project delivers the right products (outputs). PRINCE2 has a focus on understanding what the customer wants delivered and then working towards delivering a fit for purpose product.

Tailor to Suit the Project Environment – it is key that PRINCE2 aligns with the way your organization works. As PRINCE2 is generic it can be aligned to work alongside your HR, finance and management systems etc that your organization has in place. PRINCE2 can be used on any type or size of project and can be applied in any type of organization.


What are the 7 Themes?
The Themes are key project management topics that as a Project Manager you would need to address continually throughout the project lifecycle. PRINCE2 gives you guidance on how the approach these key topics.

The Themes are:
Business Case – answering why is the project needed?

Organization – answering who needs to be involved in the project?

Quality – answering what does the project need to deliver?

Plans – answering how the project will be delivered, how much it will cost and when it needs to be delivered by?

Risk – answering the what if?

Change – answering what’s the impact if things don’t go to plan or if you decide to do things differently?

Progress – answering where are we now, where are we going and should we carry on?


What are the 7 Processes?
The great thing about PRINCE2 is it tells you what activities to carry out at specific points in a project lifecycle. It does this by providing seven processes that should be carried out from pre-project preparation to project closure.

The Processes are:
Starting up a Project – the pre-project activities to see if the project is worth starting.

Directing a Project – the activities of the key decision makers in the project throughout the project lifecycle.

Initiating a Project – the activities the Project Manager will take to plan the project in detail.

Managing a Stage Boundary – the activities the Project Manager will take to provide information to the Project Board at the end of each stage so they can decide on whether the project should carry on or be stopped.

Controlling a Stage – the day to day activities of the Project Manager.

Managing Product Delivery – the activities the Team Managers will take to deliver the products of the project.

Closing a Project – the activities the Project Manager will take to ensure the project is closed properly.


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