PRINCE2 & its 7 Core Principles for Effective Project Management
Recently, an increased number of companies and business houses have realized the value and significance of successful project management, as an organization and a communication strategy. However, there are companies that are reluctant to assess the causes as to why their projects fail and how the “lessons learned” can prevent them from committing the same mistakes again. This is where effective or novel project management methodologies such as PRINCE2 come into use.
Simply put, PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology that helps in executing all government commissioned projects. It provides guidance and a collection of best practices all aiming towards effective project management, from the inception to the final project delivery stage.
The 7 crucial principles of PRINCE2 to abide by
Any company that wants to implement the PRINCE2 methodology needs to apply all its 7 core principles.
Sustained business justification:This indicates that every project has a valid reason to commence and stays the same all through the project life-cycle. Furthermore, this justification needs to be documented in the Business Case as well as approved. This documentation results in effective decision-making and makes sure that the projects stay in sync with the company’s business goals and benefits.
Outlining the roles and responsibilities: The PRINCE2 projects delineate roles and responsibilities that involve all the elements of internal and external organization i.e. the user, business as well as the supplier. To be successful all the 3 stakeholder interests needs to be presented to the project management team. The roles and the team structure can be outlined by answering a simple question - “What is expected of an individual team player?”
To learn from the experience: The teams in PRINCE2 projects must learn from earlier experiences. These lessons are further recorded, sought as well as responded across the project life cycle. Lessons can be applied from the earlier projects to be able to enhance project management and execution techniques. PRINCE2 entails that all these lessons get documented in Lesson Log and is a part of the Lessons Report, generated by Project Manager towards the end of every stage and the project.
To monitor by exception: PRINCE2 projects outline the tolerances for cost, scope, time, quality, benefits and risks in order to create the restrictions of the entrusted authority all through the management levels. This leads to effective decision-making and accountability, thereby putting into action the theory of “management by exception”.
To manage by the stages: Usually, the PRINCE2 projects get planned in management levels that generate control points across the project. This enables the projects to be controlled and managed by its stages. Towards the end of every stage, the project gets assessed to check if it is still going to carry out the Business Case. This is done via the “rolling wave” planning and using two plan stages, utilizing a detailed Stage Plan and a complete Project Plan for the present stage where the work gets done.
Concentrating on the products: The PRINCE2 best practices concentrates on outlining and delivering the products that cater the defined quality criteria. This comprises that the final product along with other core specialist and management products generated all through the project life cycle. This output based way of projects leads to outlining a series of “agreed-upon projects” and then strategizing a way to achieve the same, i.e. through product descriptions and product-oriented planning procedures.
Customized to cater to the project environment: PRINCE2 needs to be customized in such a way that it is favourable to the project size, environment, relevance, complexity, risks and abilities. Here, it is crucial not to cancel out any aspect as they get designed as web interlinked parts. The ultimate objective here is to acclimatise the method of your environment and company and avert setting up a “template-driven” project management process where everything gets done without any concerns. PRINCE2 concentrates on the decisions and details, instead of meetings and documents
Catering to all the 7 principles of the PRINCE2 project management technique ensures project success and improvement.
Summary: PRINCE2 is the road-map for starting a project successfully and completing it perfectly as well. However, the application of PRINCE2 techniques means adherence to its 7 principles that ensures project efficacy and success.