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Management stages

Management stages provide senior management with control points. The project's status is assessed at each of these control points. A PRINCE2 project is planned, monitored and controlled on a stage by stage basis. Once again with all of these principles it's important to remember the definitions.

The level of management control can be varied according to current priority, risk and complexity. In PRINCE2 detail planning only covers the short term and an outline plan is sufficient for the longer term. And this is how PRINCE2 address is what's called the planning horizon issue how far ahead to plan in detail. PRINCE2 divides the project into management stages and we have a high-level plan for the whole project this is what's called the project plan. We have a detailed plan for the current stage and that's called the stage plan then we plan, delegate, monitor and control the project on a stage by stage basis. Every project must have at least two stages:

  • It must have an initiation stage

  • It must have at least one other management stage

Manage by Exception

A PRINCE2 project has defined tolerances for each project objective to establish limits of delegated authority. In PRINCE2 governance is enabled by defining distinct responsibilities and accountability for directing, managing and delivering a project at each level. Within PRINCE2 we have the levels of management and authorities delegated from each level of management to the next by setting tolerances for the six objectives as follows:

  • Time

  • Cost

  • Quality

  • Scope

  • Risk

  • Benefit

Controls are established such that if any of these tolerances is forecasted to exceeded the situation is referred up to the next level of management. For example, there may be a threat to stop production or impacting production business as usual in some way then you would need to escalate that up to the next level of management for the situation to be dealt with. So effectively each level of management should really need to be involved.

Focus on Products

A PRINCE2 project focuses on the definition and delivers the products in particular with their quality requirements. It's very important to recognize that everything in PRINCE2 is focused on outputs, not activity. When planning a PRINCE2 project the outputs are identified first and then the activities required to produce the outputs are determined. The purpose of the project is to fulfill stakeholder expectations, so there must be a common understanding not only of the products to be produced but also the quality requirements for those products. A PRINCE2 project uses productive descriptions to define the products in terms of their purpose, composition, derivation, formats and the quality requirements in terms of criteria to be met and the quality method that will be used to determine whether the product outputs have met the quality requirements. These product descriptions are also used when planning and estimating PRINCE2.

The principle of "focus on products" applies throughout PRINCE2. It affects planning, responsibilities, quality, risk management and so on. Without a clear focus, their risk of issues of the acceptance scope change user satisfaction rework and so on. If the scope of the project is not well defined will get notorious a scope creek where we finish up producing things which we don't think we were going to produce in the first place. Consequentially, will take more time all will spend more money etc.

Tailored to suit the project environment

PRINCE2 is tailored to suit the projects environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk. It is a universal method that can be applied to any type of project in any organization geography or culture and this is possible because it can be tailored to specific needs. One criticism that sometimes aims at PRINCE2 is that it's very complicated but in fact, that's not really true all fair because the strength of PRINCE2 is in the ability to tailor it.

So there are two major reasons for tailoring the method:

1. The first is to make sure that the method relates to the project's environment in terms of business processes such as human resources, finance and procurement. PRINCE2 for example, says very little about the actual management project finance. So as far as possible you should follow your local approach. You should also make sure that controls are appropriate for the projects scale, complexity, importance, capability and risk.

2. The project board and the project manager need to decide how the method will be applied and is therefore, important that the project board and the project manager have the experience to do this. And the project initiation document should clearly state how all the methods are being tailored.

A PRINCE2 project has defined and agreed roles and responsibilities within an organization structure that engage the business user and supply stakeholder interests. It's important that the right people should be involved in a project. To some other people working on a project related to Molinari production of business, a usual type of environment with a manager and colleagues that had been used to work by understanding exactly who does what. This can actually be quite unnerving to move into a project environment, where they are reporting to and whom they are working with. Not only the relationships are different but the responsibilities are very different as well.

The users who won the people will ultimately use the products of the project and need to make sure the benefits are real eyes and then there are suppliers who resupply the resources.

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