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Learn the PRINCE2 Approach to Manage Projects

Learn the PRINCE2 Approach to Manage Projects

Effective management of projects is a crucial aspect of any business, regardless of its nature and size. PRINCE2 is a popular project management technique that is being adopted by businesses all over the world. The size of the project itself may vary within the organization, and each project deserves equal attention and effort for it to succeed.

Let us see how one can take up the PRINCE2 approach to manage most projects.

The PRINCE2 Approach

The PRINCE2 methodology provides a framework on how to conceive and manage projects. This methodology integrates three different elements that shape the framework through which users can approach any project. These elements are:

- Principles

- Themes

- Processes

Each of these elements is further divided into seven sub-categories. Let us understand these elements in detail.

Principles:

Seven PRINCE2 principles are a part of this system’s framework. If all of them are not up to the standard in every project, then it cannot be considered as a genuine PRINCE2 project. These principles are:

1. Business Justification - It states that every project should have continued business justification, without which its purpose may get lost.

2. Learn from experience - This principle emphasizes on learning from mistakes, through the life of a project. The results of these learning processes should be recorded and acted upon immediately.  
3. Roles and responsibilities – The roles/ responsibilities should be defined clearly and assigned to all concerned team-members.

4. Manage by stages - All the steps in a project should be planned in stages. After planning, they should be monitored and controlled stage-wise to ensure efficient results.

5. Manage by exception - Every business objective should have defined tolerances and the associated limit of authority should be clearly defined and implemented.

6. Focus on products - In the end, what matters is the quality of products and this is exactly what this principle focuses upon. PRINCE2 emphasizes on the delivery of well defined and high quality services/products.

7. Tailored to suit the environment - The approach should be tailored according to the size, nature, risk factors, and the complexity of a project. The user’s approach will differ on the basis of these factors.

Themes:

There are seven themes in PRINCE2 that describe how some of the project management disciplines need to be treated to determine their importance. These themes need to be addressed continually, and in parallel, throughout the life of the project.

1. Business Case - This focuses on the objective of the project, whether it is viable, and if it is worthwhile to continue with the project or not.  

2. Organization - The structure of the project should be clearly established and its accountability well defined.

3. Quality - It has to be determined if the quality of the products being delivered is up to the standard or not.

4. Risk -All risks that can be a part of the project should be identified, assessed and controlled at every stage.  

5. Planning - All the questions that revolve around the project planning, such as where, when and how. should be clearly answered.

6. Change - If any changes take place in a project, they should be identified and controlled to minimize negative outcomes.

7. Progress - The progress of a project should be continuously monitored and evaluated.

Processes:

Finally, there are seven processes that complete the framework of PRINCE2 which defines its approach towards managing various projects.

1. Starting a project – This is all about preparing the project brief, assigning responsibilities, and defining the approach.

2. Initiating the project – The planning of the project begins at this stage and relevant documents are prepared.

3. Directing a project –Effective supervision of a project, through its journey from the beginning to the end, is a must.

4. Controlling a stage – The different factors at every stage of the project should be adequately controlled to give good results.

5. Managing stage boundaries – Planning of project stages, evaluation of risks, updating of the project module, and creation of alternative plans are integral parts of managing stage boundaries.

6. Managing product delivery – The delivery of products needs to be managed carefully.

7. Closing a project – Once the project is completed as required, it should be closed in the right manner. Users then move on to the next project.

PRINCE 2 goes a long way in aiding the cause of projects and their profitability quotient—provided its methodologies are approached in the right way.

Author : Uma Daga

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