An Insight into Project Methodology – PRINCE2 (20-Mar-2010)
PRINCE is a project Management methodology that expands into projects in controlled Environments. It is a registered trademark belonging to the Office of the Government Commerce (OGC). OGC is an autonomous office of HM Treasury of the United Kingdom. The second major version was released in 1996 as PRINCE2 and has now become a popular standard for project management in the UK. The latest version was released in June 2009 under the name of “PRINCE2:2009 Refresh”. There are two manuals associated with this version. They are ‘Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 Edition’ and ‘Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 Edition’.
The main advantages pertaining to PRINCE2 is the technique of structured approach it provides to project management. It says that a project should have an organized and controlled start, an organized and controlled middle and an organized and controlled end. Basically it implies that things have to be organized and planned before initiation, continue to be organized and controlled and when the project delivers the desired outcome and is completed any loose ends should be tidied up. The PRINCE2 2009 gives definition to 40 separate activities and these are further organized into seven processes.
Directing a project is a process that spans from project initiation to closure. This process is managed by the Project Board. The key processes for the Project Board consists of Initiation, Stage Boundaries, providing Ad hoc direction and Project closure.
Starting up a Project (SU) is the first process in PRINCE2. It is to make certain that the pre-requisites for initiating the project are prepared. The work done in this process ensures that the information essential for the project team is on hand, the Project Management team is appointed and the Initiation Stage plan is formed.
Some of the objectives of Initiating a project (IP) are to decide on the sufficiency of justification to proceed with the project, establishing a stable management basis, Confirmation of Acceptable Business Case, Agreeing on the commitment of resources, Project board taking ownership of the project and ensuring that time and effort are invested wisely.
Managing Stage Boundaries (MSB) is process that focuses on providing the Project Board with key decision points such as assurance on the deliverables status, providing information to assess and approve current stage and authorize the continuance into the next stage and record measurements that can serve at a later stage.
Controlling a Stage (CS) is a process wherein the Project Manager manages and controls the stage by handling day-to-day management activities. For all the stages activities like authorization of work, gathering information about progress, monitoring changes and reviewing the situation, reporting and taking corrective action are all part of the process. Risk management and Change control being imperative, are on-going integrated inclusions.
The main objective of Managing a Product Delivery (MP) is to ensure that planned products are created and delivered as per requirements and quality.
The process also ensures on obtain of necessary approvals and assessment of forecasts and work progress.
The purpose of the process, Closing a project (CP) is to execute a systematic and controlled closure. The chief work goes towards preparation of input to the Project Board on getting acceptance of closure. The activities consist of checking the extent to which project objectives were met, confirming customer satisfaction and receiving formal acceptance and confirm on the maintenance and post implementation operations. Following this will be the preparation of Lessons Learned Report if any, Project End report and releasing of resources.
Planning (PL) is a repeatable process and an important criterion in all other processes. PRINCE2 has a planning framework that is useful for any type of project.
This involves studying the need of products, determining the order of production, defining form and content, deciding the activities that are required for the conception and delivery.
The PRINCE2 Project Management Roles require a Project Manager, Customer, User and Supplier and also a Project Board consisting of the Customer and someone on behalf of the User and Supplier.
The Project Management Techniques followed take care to providing Project Assurance, Project Support and a way to control the impact of changes. PRINCE2 is a proven method for managing projects, but does not guarantee success as successful projects depends largely upon the quality of the whole team.