The word "effective" is generally associated with action that gets the intended results. In the context of project management, "effective" means the world. Experts and experienced folks in the domain of IT projects make notable mentions. They state that most IT projects are neither managed well nor delivered on time.
Some even go further to state that IT is not the key reason for this state of affairs. Given this context, any tools that promise effective project management are a welcome. Do you know of anyone who is not a big fan of effective project management? No, right! I thought so too.
A PRINCE2 certification helps you effectively manage IT projects. We will look into the various aspects of PRINCE2 and how it helps to manage projects.
According to Axelos, “PRINCE2 provides guidance that gives individuals and organizations the essentials of running a project. PRINCE2 is easy to learn and a flexible method that can adapt to all types of project.”
This means is that PRINCE2 is a flexible framework that any organization can use for any type of project. It helps them bring a project to a successful conclusion. This is something that every IT manager dreams of.
Below is an image that shows the structure of PRINCE2
Source: Axelos website – What is PRINCE 2?
This structure of PRINCE2 has every aspect of a project mapped to it through its four key elements.
Each of these elements has a bearing on the effective management of a project.
The 7 principles of PRINCE2 are:
Continued business justification
Learn from experience
Defined roles and responsibilities
Manage by stages
Manage by exception
Focus on products
Tailor to suit the project environment
These principles when followed set a strong foundation for project execution. Each of these principles paves the path to define project objectives for work stages. This clarity brings forth a plan that is easy to follow, track and measure. Anything that is measurable is easy to correct than an abstract thought. This is an important aspect of effective project management.
There are two key aspects that make or break a project. They are communication and clarity in roles and responsibilities. Based on the principles of PRINCE2, communication is easy as the vocabulary used by all is the same. This adds to effective communication. There is the extra benefit of learning from experience which builds better communication.
Roles and responsibilities are identified in a clear manner. There is no scope of misunderstanding or misinterpreting. This is a huge boost for any project.
People are an important aspect of any project. These 7 principles address angles to supporting the people associated with a project. This ensures effective project management.
Just like the principles, there are 7 themes that a PRINCE2 brings to a project. They are:
Each of these themes is defined making it a case of clear expectations across the project life cycle. It is always better to have clarity in expectations coupled with a clear outline of what needs to be done. This is a great step towards effective project management.
Quality, risk and change are three facets in any project that have to be dealt with great care. This is done to avoid confusion and deliver on time for client satisfaction. The PRINCE2 methodology of project management helps detail the actions needed when these three facets face uncertainty.
A PRINCE 2 project has 7 processes They are:
Starting up a project
Directing a project
Initiating a project
Controlling a stage
Managing product delivery
Managing stage boundaries
Closing a project.
These processes are steps of the lifecyle of a project from the beginning till the end. Each process has checklists for activities, outcomes and responsibilities involved.
Starting something is generally easy. It is the consequent stages of maintaining, monitoring, measuring and brining something to successful conclusion that can get tricky. The processes defined in the PRINCE2 methodology help in timely check and correction at all stages of a project.
Between the principles, themes and processes, PRINCE2 maps every minute detail of project management. The mapping is done for quick recall, assessment, correction, imbibing the lessons and closure. All these point only in one direction – effectiveness; the apple of the eye for any project manager!
In a way, PRINCE2 acts like the metaphorical inner voice that corrects you from time to time in the course of project management. If you want to be effective at IT project management then a PRINCE2 certification is a definite way to go forward. Any time is a perfect time to sign up for one.