The term “project management” refers to a set of principles meant to help managers identify and apply the most appropriate method to manage and control the work in every stage of a project. As there are more ways than one to complete a given task, it stands to reason that you can apply different methods for project management.
Project management methodologies often differ according to the industry, project, or even the team within a given organization. You can use a single methodology or even merge two to get the best results; the goal is to make it work for your organization and needs. But if you don’t know the method, you won’t be able to apply it successfully. That’s why it’s so essential for people in project management to keep learning about various methods.
If you work in an industry that applies project management methods, it is crucial to have the right credentials and certification. PRINCE2 is one of a select group of core certifications. The following will help you understand why PRINCE2 is such a popular and widely used methodology in the world of project management.
What Is PRINCE2?
PRINCE2, an acronym for Projects IN Controlled Environments, is one of the most widely used project management methodologies in the world today. This well-structured methodology makes it easier to control the entire work process. Originally developed by the UK government in 1989 for its information technology projects, it was released as a methodology for non-governmental projects in 1996. AXELOS Ltd. currently has ownership of PRINCE2.
PRINCE2 helps project managers divide projects so that each stage is more manageable and controllable, regardless of the type and scale of the project. It’s quite flexible and can be tailored according to your specific requirements. With the help of PRINCE2, you can thoroughly plan your project before you begin working on it. Every stage of the process is structured from start to finish. It also allows you to tie up any loose ends after you’ve finished the project.
Seven Principles of PRINCE2
There are seven principles of PRINCE2 methodology that support its value and focus:
- Every project must have a business justification. This means that the project has to have some value for customers, which will result in a good return on investment. It should lay out a proper cost assessment and practical benefits.
- The team should learn lessons from every stage of the process, and record them to use for improving future project work.
- All roles and responsibilities should be defined clearly. Everyone on the team should know their place in the project and also be aware of what their teammates are doing.
- The work must be planned in stages, with the project divided into individual phases. Also, you must have periodic reviews to help learn lessons for future use, track the work’s progress, and make sure deadlines and milestones are being met.
- The project board has the authority to manage by exception. Board members are not usually involved in the actual work of a project; they establish the baseline requirements such as time, cost, and risk. Instead, work is delegated to the project manager, who, in turn oversees the project. Issues may arise that affect the established requirements, in which case the board members have the authority to intervene and manage the project and as they see fit.
- The team must continuously be focused on quality throughout the project to achieve the best results. A quality register is used to check deliverables against requirements.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The PRINCE2 method has to be adjusted to suit the requirements of every individual project. This means that the size of the team, the planning, and other factors may be different.
Roles Defined Under PRINCE2 Methodology
PRINCE2 defines seven roles for any team working on a project. The defined roles ensure that all requirements are met and the work goes as planned.
The three principal roles are:
- Project board
- Project manager
- Project team
However, it’s crucial to also define the supplemental roles to establish a proper structure. The seven roles are:
This is the person who will be paying you for the project.
Sometimes, the customer and user are the same. But a more precise definition of the user is the person who will be using the project deliverables or someone who will be impacted by the end result of the project.
A supplier offers its expertise to complete the project successfully.
- Project Manager
They are responsible for planning and organizing. They oversee the work being done on the project and manage the team that’s working on it. They have to ensure that the work is done well, and the project is completed successfully.
- Project Team
They are responsible for the actual work or tasks being done on the project.
- Team Manager
The team manager oversees the work of the team and is answerable to the project manager.
This person sets up meetings, updates everyone working on the project, and tracks documentation. These responsibilities are taken up by the project manager when the project is small, but larger-scale projects require this to be a separate role.
The Work Phases of a PRINCE2 Process
It should come as no surprise that the process is broken into seven phases as well! They are:
- The Start of a Project
A project mandate—a request for a new project—is submitted. This mandate is assessed to make sure the company can deliver on it. If it’s approved, a more detailed brief on the project will be submitted to the company.
- Directing the Project
Project briefs are reviewed and evaluated by the project board. They will decide how to execute and organize the approved projects.
- Initiating the Project
The project manager creates the project initiation documentation, which includes a plan and baseline for primary targets like cost, benefits, risk, quality, and scope. The board decides if this documentation meets with everyone’s approval.
- Controlling Stages
The project is now divided into smaller work phases by the project manager and passed on to the rest of the team. Each stage is overseen by the project manager, who will step in when required. The team manager coordinates the daily work.
- Product Delivery Management
The deliverables must meet PRINCE2 expectations on quality before they’re passed on to the customer, a task that falls to the project manager. The board then evaluates whether the results get approval or require changes.
- Stage Boundary Management
Every stage of the project is reviewed by the board and project manager to ensure that everything is going as planned and the requirements are being met. The board can decide whether the project should continue. The lessons learned at any review have to be recorded by the project manager for future use.
- The Closing of The Project
Once the work on the project is complete; the project manager must wrap things up cleanly.
You can see just how well-structured the PRINCE2 methodology is, but you’ll only understand its real benefits once you start applying it to your projects.
The key benefits of the PRINCE2 project management methodology are:
- It is a well-known, globally established methodology that allows you to expand your network while increasing the demand for the services you offer.
- It is the perfect starter qualification for anyone who wants to get into project management. It will teach the fundamental principles and how to work on a wide variety of projects in the best way possible.
- Its practices are agreed on by the majority of organizations around the world, recognized as one of the vital core tools of project management.
- It is very flexible—generic and non-proprietary in the best way possible. PRINCE2 projects don’t have limitations on company size or projects, making it a smart choice for any company.
- It is built for uncertainty. If a project faces a crisis, PRINCE2’s principles allow you to make things right. It can do this thanks to the methodology’s emphasis on learning lessons throughout the process and planning accordingly.
Become an Effective Project Manager with PRINCE2 Certification Training
There’s a lot to be gained from learning PRINCE2, and we recommend it to all project managers. PRINCE2 functions at a higher level than other offerings, such as PMP, with a more standardized approach. It spells out the roles for every individual in your team and imbues clarity in the work process. PRINCE2 focuses on both the project and the process in a synchronized manner, making it a valuable tool in today’s corporate world.