What Is PRINCE2 Project Management?

PRINCE2 (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is an actual process-based methodology for effective project management. Used extensively by the UK Government, PRINCE2 is also widely recognized and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally. The PRINCE2 method is in the public domain, and offers non-proprietorial best practice guidance on project management.

Key features of PRINCE2:.

  • Focus on business justification.
  • Defined organization structure for the project management team.
  • Product-based planning approach.
  • Emphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stages.
  • Flexibility that can be applied at a level appropriate to the project.

PRINCE2 outlines eight processes, which are summarized as follows.

  1. Startup: The decision-makers gather and appoint a Project Manager. Together, these people all define the need for the project and outline the processes by which it is to be executed.
  2. Direction: A Project Board is responsible for the overall success of the project, but an individual called the Project Manager, who reports to the Project Board, is charged with the responsibility of managing the details.
  3. Initiation: The Project Manager prepares a Project Initiation Document. This document is submitted to the Project Board for approval.
  4. Stage control: The project is broken down into manageable stages, the number of which depends on the project size and risk level. Each stage contains plans for the succeeding stage. Before a new stage can be begun, the current stage must be fully executed.
  5. Stage boundary management: The current stage is reviewed, and the process for the next stage is developed. The project can continue only after the Project Board has approved the execution of the current stage and the plan for the next stage.
  6. Planning: This includes decisions as to what products will be produced, the activities that will be required to produce the products, estimates of the cost, time, and other resources that will be necessary, risk analysis, activity scheduling, and process streamlining.
  7. Product delivery management: The Project Manager must make sure that the right products are produced according to the planned schedule.
  8. Closing: After the project has been completed, the Project Manager conducts a Post Project Review, which is an evaluation of the project’s outcome. Once this document has been approved by the Project Board, the project is closed down.