Project Management with Prince 2

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Prince 2 position in OGC best practice guidance

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Prince 2 Structure

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7 Prince 2 Principles:

Purpose:
To provide a project management method that can be applied regardless of project scale, type, organization, geography or culture.

Characteristics:
* Universal in that they apply to every project
* Self-validating in that they have been proven in practice over many years
* Empowering because they give practitioners of the method added confidence and ability to influence and shape how the project will be managed

Principles:
1.  P2 projects have a continued business justification.
2.  P2 projects have defined and agreed roles and responsibilities.
3.  P2 projects are managed (planned, monitored and controlled) on a stage by stage basis.
4.  P2 projects have defined tolerances to establish limits of delegated authority (management by exception).
5.  P2 projects focus on the definition and delivery of products.
6.  P2 projects are tailored to suit the projects environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.
7.  P2 projects learn from previous experience (lessons).


7 Prince 2 Themes:

Purpose:
To describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually, this will fulfill project manager role in a professional manner.

Themes:

1. Business Case (Why?)

The purpose of the Business Case theme is to establish mechanisms to judge whether the project is (and remains) desirable, viable and achievable as a means to support decision making in its (continued) investment.

2. Organization (Who?)
The purpose of the Organization theme is to define and establish the project’s structure of accountability and responsibilities (the who?).

3. Quality (What?)
The purpose of the Quality theme is to define and implement the means by which the project will create and verify products that are fit for purpose.

4. Plans (How, How much, When?)
The purpose of the Plans theme is to facilitate communication and control by defining the means of delivering the products (the where and how, by whom, and estimating the when and how much).

5. Risk (What if?)
The purpose of the Risk theme is to identify, assess and control uncertainty and, as a result, improve the ability of the project to succeed.

6. Change (What’s the impact)
The purpose of the Change theme is to identify, assess and control any potential and approved changes to the baseline.
There are numerous ways to prioritize issues, one of which is called MoSCoW where (for requests for change) the issue is rated as either:
o Must have, The change is essential for the viability of the project
o Should have, The change is important and its absence weakens the Business Case
o Could have, The change is useful but its absence does not weaken the Business Case
o Won’t have, (for now) The change is not essential nor important and can wait.

7. Progress (Where are we now? Where are we going? Should we carry on?)
The purpose of the Progress theme is to establish mechanisms to monitor and compare actual achievements against those planned; provide a forecast for the project objectives and the project’s continued viability; and control any unacceptable deviations.


7 Prince 2 Processes:

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Purpose:
To provide the set of activities required to direct, manage and deliver a project successfully.

Processes:

1. Starting up a Project
The purpose of the Starting up a Project process is to ensure that the prerequisites for Initiating a Project are in place by answering the question: do we have a viable and worthwhile project?

2. Initiating a Project
The purpose of the Initiating a Project process is to establish solid foundations for the project, enabling the organization to understand the work that needs to be done to deliver the project’s products before committing to a significant spend.

3. Directing a Project
The purpose of the Directing a Project process is to enable the Project Board to be accountable for the project’s success by making key decisions and exercising overall control while delegating day-to-day management of the project to the Project Manager.

4. Controlling a Stage
The purpose of the Controlling a Stage process is to assign work to be done, monitor such work, deal with issues, report progress to the Project Board, and take corrective actions to ensure that the stage remains within tolerance.

5. Managing Product Delivery
The purpose of the Managing Product Delivery process is to control the link between the Project Manager and the Team Manager(s), by placing formal requirements on accepting, executing and delivering project work.

6. Managing a Stage Boundary
The purpose of the Managing a Stage Boundary process is to enable the Project Board to be provided with sufficient information by the Project Manager so that it can review the success of the current stage, approve the next Stage Plan, review the updated Project Plan, and confirm continued business justification and acceptability of the risks. Therefore, the process should be executed at, or close to the end of, each management stage.

7. Closing a Project
The purpose of the Closing a Project process is to provide a fixed point at which acceptance for the project product is confirmed, and to recognize that objectives set out in the original Project Initiation Documentation have been achieved (or approved changes to the objectives have been achieved), or that the project has nothing more to contribute.


Production Description Outlines (Project Documentation):

Purpose:
Project Documentation, to define management products and should be tailored to the requirements and environment of each project.

Type:

1. Baseline, management products are those that define aspects of the project and, once approved, are subject to change control.

a. Benefit Review Plan

b. Business Case

c. Communication Management Strategy

d. Configuration Management Strategy

e. Plan (cover Projects, Stage and, optionally, Team Plans)

f. Product Description

g. Project Brief

h. Project Initiation Documentation

i. Project Product Description

j. Quality Management Strategy

k. Risk Management Strategy

l. Work Package

2. Records, dynamic management products that maintain information regarding project progress.

a. Configuration Item Records

b. Daily Log

c. Issue Register

d. Lessons Log

e. Quality Register

f. Risk Register

3. Reports, management products providing a snapshot of the status of certain aspects of the project.

a. Checkpoint Report

b. End Project Report

c. End Stage Report

d. Exception Report

e. Highlight Report

f. Issue Report

g. Lessons Report

h. Product Status Account


Prince 2 Actors:

1. Project Board
The Project Board is accountable to corporate or programme management for the success of the project, and has the authority to direct the project within the remit set by corporate or programme management as documented in the project mandate.
The Project Board is also responsible for the communications between the project management team and stakeholders external to that team (e.g. corporate and programme management).|
According to the scale, complexity, importance and risk of the project, Project Board members may delegate some Project Assurance tasks to separate individuals. The Project Board may also delegate decisions regarding changes to a Change Authority.

2. Executive
The Executive is ultimately responsible for the project, supported by the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The Executive’s role is to ensure that the project is focused throughout its life on achieving its objectives and delivering a product that will achieve the forecast benefits. The Executive has to ensure that the project gives value for money, ensuring a cost-conscious approach to the project, balancing the demands of the business, user and supplier.
Throughout the project, the Executive is responsible for the Business Case.

3. Senior User
The Senior User(s) is responsible for specifying the needs of those who will use the project’s products, for user liaison with the project management team, and for monitoring that the solution will meet those needs within the constraints of the Business Case in terms of quality, functionality and ease of use.
The role represents the interests of all those who will use the project’s products (including operations and maintenance), those for whom the products will achieve an objective or those who will use the products to deliver benefits. The Senior User role commits user resources and monitors products against requirements. This role may require more than one person to cover all the user interests. For the sake of effectiveness, the role should not be split between too many people.
The Senior User(s) specifies the benefits and is held to account by demonstrating to corporate or programme management that the forecast benefits which were the basis of project approval have in fact been realized. This is likely to involve a commitment beyond the end of the life of the project.

4. Senior Supplier
The Senior Supplier represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring and implementing the project’s products. This role is accountable for the quality of products delivered by the supplier(s) and is responsible for the technical integrity of the project. If necessary, more than one person may be required to represent the suppliers.
Depending on the particular customer/supplier environment, the customer may also wish to appoint an independent person or group to carry out assurance on the supplier’s products (for example, if the relationship between the customer and supplier is a commercial one).

5. Project Manager
The Project Manager has the authority to run the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project Board within the constraints laid down by them.
The Project Manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the required products within the specified tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The Project Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case.

6. Team Manager
The Team Manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure production of those products defined by the Project Manager to an appropriate quality, in a set timescale and at a cost acceptable to the Project Board. The Team Manager role reports to, and takes direction from, the Project Manager.

7. Project Assurance
Project Assurance covers the primary stakeholder interests (business, user and supplier).
Project Assurance has to be independent of the Project Manager; therefore the Project Board cannot delegate any of its assurance activities to the Project Manager.

8. Change Authority
The Project Board may delegate authority for approving responses to requests for change or off-specifications to a separate individual or group, called a Change Authority. The Project Manager could be assigned as the Change Authority for some aspects of the project (e.g. changing baselined Work Packages if it does not affect stage tolerances).

9. Project Support
The provision of any Project Support on a formal basis is optional. If it is not delegated to a separate person or function it will need to be undertaken by the Project Manager.
One support function that must be considered is that of configuration management. Depending on the project size and environment, there may be a need to formalize this and it may become a task with which the Project Manager cannot cope without support.
Project Support functions may be provided by a project office or by specific resources for the project. Refer to OGC’s guidance Portfolio, Programme and Project Support Offices (2008) for further information on the use of a project office.

 

Health Check:

The following are process-oriented checklists that can be used at various points in the project to assess that the key aspects of PRINCE2 are adequately addressed. The checklists are not exhaustive but should provide reasonable confidence as to whether a project is being managed in accordance with PRINCE2.

1.     STARTING UP A PROJECT

1 Have project management team roles been allocated for the:
  a   Executive?
  b   Project Manager?
  c   Senior User(s)?
  d   Senior Supplier(s) – if appropriate at this point?
  e   Project Support?
  f   Team Managers – if appropriate at this point?
  g   Project Assurance?
  h   Change Authority – if appropriate at this point?
2 Do the Project Board members have sufficient authority, availability and credibility to direct the project?
3 Are the project’s stakeholders sufficiently represented by the Project Board?
4 Do role descriptions exist for each key appointment?
5 Have those people appointed confirmed their acceptance?
6 Has a Daily Log been set up?
7 Has the Lessons Log been set up?
8 Have lessons from previous similar projects been identified and, where appropriate, applied?
9 If the organization has not undertaken a project like this before, have lessons been sought from comparable projects external to the organization?
10 Has the Project Brief been produced?
11 Is there an outline Business Case?
12 Has the Project Product Description been produced?
13 Has the project approach been decided upon?
14 Is there a Stage Plan for the initiation stage?

2.     DIRECTING A PROJECT

2.1     Authorize initiation

15 Has the Project Board approved the Project Brief? Specifically, has it:
  *  Confirmed the project definition and approach?
  *  Reviewed and approved the Project Product Description?
  *  Formally confirmed the appointments to the core project management team?
  *  Reviewed and approved the outline Business Case, particularly the projected benefits?
16 Has the Project Board approved the Initiation Stage Plan? Specifically, has it:
  *  Approved the plan to develop the Project Initiation Documentation?
  *  Obtained or committed the resources needed by the Stage Plan for the initiation stage?
  *  Ensured that adequate reporting and control mechanisms are in place for the initiation stage?
  *  Set tolerances for the initiation stage?
  *  Requested the necessary logistical support (for example, accommodation, communication facilities, equipment and any Project Support) from corporate or programme management?
  *  Confirmed that they have understood any risks that affect the decision to authorize the initiation stage?
  *  Confirmed to the Project Manager that the work defined in the Initiation Stage Plan may start?
17 Has the Project Board informed corporate or programme management (and other interested parties) that project initiation has been authorized?

2.2     Authorize the project

18 Has the Project Board approved the Project Initiation Documentation? Specifically, has it:
  *  Confirmed that the Business Case is viable, desirable and achievable and meets corporate or programme management expectations and standards, and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that lessons from previous similar projects have been reviewed and incorporated?
  *  Confirmed that the Quality Management Strategy will deliver the quality expectations, and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that that the Configuration Management Strategy will deliver the approach expected, and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that that the Risk Management Strategy will safeguard the project, and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that there has been a risk assessment, and that risk response actions have been planned?
  *  Confirmed the validity and achievability of the Project Plan and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that the Benefits Review Plan covers all expected benefits, and approved it?
  *  Confirmed that all members of the project management team have agreed their roles (the project management team structure, roles and responsibilities)?
  *  Ensured that the project controls are adequate for the nature of the project?
  *  Ensured that the information needs and timing of communications, as defined in the Communication Management Strategy, are adequate for the nature of the project, and approved it?
  *  Reviewed the tolerances for the project provided by corporate or programme management to ensure that they are appropriate and realistic?
  *  Considered the consistency of the various components and approved the Project Initiation Documentation overall?
19 Has the Project Board informed corporate or programme management (and other interested parties) that the project has been authorized?

2.3     Authorize a Stage or Exception Plan

20 Has the Project Board reviewed the End Stage Report? Specifically:
  *  Did the board review the performance status of the project using the End Stage Report for the current management stage?
  *  Has the board reviewed the benefits achieved and lessons learned during the stage?
21 Has the Project Board assessed overall project viability? Specifically, has it:
  *  Reviewed the Project Plan and the position in relation to project tolerances agreed with corporate or programme management?
  *  Reviewed the Business Case to ensure that the project is still justified?
  *  Reviewed the key risks to ensure that the exposure level is still acceptable and that response actions are planned?
  *  Obtained decisions from outside the project for any potential deviations beyond project tolerances? (For example, if this project is part of a programme, then programme management should have examined the impact on the programme, and taken appropriate action.)
22 Has the Project Board reviewed and approved the next Stage Plan (or Exception Plan)? Specifically, has it:
  *   Reviewed the plan for which the Project Manager is seeking approval? (This will be a Stage Plan for the next management stage or an Exception Plan.)
  *   Authorized the Project Manager to proceed with the submitted plan (Stage Plan or Exception Plan) or instructed the Project Manager to prematurely close the project?
  *   Set the tolerances for the next management stage or (in the case of an Exception Plan) revised the current stage tolerances as necessary?
23 Has the Project Board informed corporate or programme management (and other interested parties) that the next stage has been authorized (or an exception plan for the current stage has been approved)?

2.4     Give ad hoc direction

24 Has the Project Board responded to the Project Manager’s requests? Specifically, has it:
  *  Reviewed the request? (This could be informal or formal, the latter in the form of an Issue Report.)
  *  Made a decision – for example, approved, rejected, deferred decision, requested more information?
  *  Provided guidance to the Project Manager?
25 Has the Project Board responded to reports? Specifically, has it:
  *  Reviewed the latest Highlight Report in order to understand the status of the project and satisfied itself, through a dialogue with the Project Manager, that the stage is progressing according to plan?
  *  Made decisions on Exception Reports – adjusted tolerances or approved responses to the exception as appropriate?
  *  Made decisions on Issue Reports within the board’s delegated limits of authority or sought advice from corporate or programme management?
26 Has the Project Board responded to external influences? Specifically, has it:
  *  Ensured that the project is kept informed of external events that may affect it?
  *  Ensured that the project remains focused on the corporate or programme objectives set, and remains justified in business terms?
  *  Ensured that the Project Manager is notified of any changes in the corporate or programme environment that may impact on the project and that appropriate action is taken?
27 Has the Project Board informed corporate or programme management (and other interested parties) of the project’s progress in accordance with the Communication Management Strategy?

2.5     Authorize project closure

28 Has the Project Board confirmed handover and acceptance? Specifically, has it:
  *  Verified that the handover of the project product was in accordance with the Configuration Management Strategy and in particular that records of all required user acceptance and operational/maintenance acceptance exist?
  *  Ensured that, where appropriate, the resulting changes in the business are supported and sustainable?
  *  Ensured that any customer quality expectations that cannot be confirmed until after the project closes (e.g. performance levels regarding reliability) are included in the Benefits Review Plan as a post-project check?
29 Has the Project Board Approved the End Project Report? Specifically, has it:
  *  Used the version of the Project Initiation Documentation which was approved at project initiation as the baseline to assess how the project has deviated from its initial basis, and to provide information against which the success of the project can be judged?
  *  Ensured follow-on action recommendations have been recorded correctly in the End Project Report and that the appropriate groups have been made aware of their responsibility for taking them forward?
  *  Approved the End Project Report for distribution to any interested parties, such as corporate or programme management?
30 Has the Project Board reviewed the Lessons Report and agreed who should receive it? Has the Board ensured that the appropriate groups (for example, corporate or programme management, centre of excellence) have been made aware of their responsibility for taking any recommendations forward?
31 Has the Project Board confirmed the Business Case? Specifically, has it confirmed the updated Business Case by comparing actual and forecast benefits, costs and risks against the approved Business Case within the Project Initiation Documentation? (It may not be possible to confirm all the benefits as some will not be realized until after the project is closed.)
32 Has the Project Board approved the updated Benefits Review Plan? Specifically, has it:
  *  Reviewed and gained approval for the updated Benefits Review Plan, ensuring that it addresses the expected benefits that cannot yet be confirmed?
  *  Confirmed that the responsibility for the Benefits Review Plan has been transferred to corporate or programme management?
33 Has the Project Board issued the project closure notification? Specifically, has it:
  *  Reviewed and issued a project closure notification in accordance with the Communication Management Strategy?
  *  Advised those who have provided the support infrastructure and resources for the project that these can now be withdrawn?
  *  Released the resources provided to the project?
  *  Provided a closing date for costs being charged to the project?

3.     INITIATING A PROJECT

34 Have lessons from previous similar projects been identified and, where appropriate, have they been applied?
35 Has the Risk Management Strategy been defined and documented?
36 Has the Risk Register been set up and populated?
37 Has the Configuration Management Strategy been defined and documented?
38 Have the initial Configuration Item Records been set up?
39 Has the Issue Register been set up and populated?
40 Has the Quality Management Strategy been defined and documented?
41 Has the Quality Register been set up and populated?
42 Has the Communication Management Strategy been defined and documented?
43 Have the project controls been determined and established?
44 Has the Project Plan been created?
45 Has the project management team structure been updated to reflect any new roles being appointed or any changes to responsibilities of existing roles?
46 For new appointments, do role descriptions exist and have those people who have been appointed confirmed their acceptance?
47 Has the outline Business Case been refined into a detailed Business Case?
48 Has the Benefits Review Plan been created (this may have been done by corporate or programme management)?
49 Has the Project Initiation Documentation been assembled?

4.     CONTROLLING A STAGE

50 Have Work Packages been created and issued?
51 Have all the Team Managers agreed all their Work Packages?
52 Have completed products been produced in accordance with the Work Package and Product Description?
53 Have the relevant Configuration Item Records been created/updated?
54 Has the Quality Register been maintained?
55 Were any products handed over as part of a phased delivery? If so, were they handed over in accordance with the Configuration Management Strategy?
56 Has the Risk Register been maintained?
57 Has the Issue Register been maintained?
58 Has the Stage Plan been updated with actuals and revised forecasts?
59 Has the Daily Log been maintained?
60 Have Checkpoint Reports been received for each issued Work Package at the frequency and in the format agreed?
61 Was progress (actual and forecast) checked against agreed tolerances?
62 If tolerances were forecast to be exceeded, were they escalated to the Project Board?
63 If corrective actions were required, were they logged, implemented and tracked?
64 Was the Business Case periodically checked for ongoing viability?
65 Were Highlight Reports created and issued in accordance with the agreed reporting format and frequency?
66 Do Issue Reports exist for all issues being handled formally?
67 Do Exception Reports exist for all exceptions raised to the Project Board?
68 Has the Lessons Log been updated with any new lessons?

5.     MANAGING PRODUCT DELIVERY

69 Did the Work Package and Product Description(s) contain sufficient information, including cross-references, to enable the Team Manager to produce the products required?
70 Has a Team Plan been created that demonstrates that the Work Package could be completed within agreed tolerances?
71 Has the Team Plan been updated with actuals and revised forecasts?
72 Was progress (actual and forecast) checked against agreed tolerances?
73 If tolerances were forecast to be exceeded, were they escalated to the Project Manager?
74 Were Checkpoint Reports issued to the Project Manager at the frequency and in the format agreed?
75 Did the Team Manager notify the Project Manager of any issues and risks?
76 Do approval records exist for each completed product?
77 Did the Team Manager notify Project Support of any required updates to Configuration Item Records and the Quality Register?
78 Did the Team Manager notify the Project Manager that all the products in the Work Package had been delivered?

6.     MANAGING A STAGE BOUNDARY

79 Have all products that were planned to be completed within the stage been approved?
80 Has a Product Status Account been created to verify the status of the stage’s products?
81 If there was a product handover during the stage, were related outstanding issues documented as follow-on action recommendations ready for distribution subject to Project Board approval?
82 Has the Lessons Log been reviewed and updated?
83 If required, has a Lessons Report been created ready for distribution, subject to Project Board approval?
84 Has the Stage Plan been updated with actuals?
85 Has the Risk Management Strategy been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
86 Has the Risk Register been reviewed and updated?
87 Has the Configuration Management Strategy been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
88 Have the Configuration Item Records been reviewed and updated?
89 Has the Issue Register been reviewed and updated?
90 Has the Quality Management Strategy been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
91 Has the Quality Register been reviewed and updated?
92 Has the Communication Management Strategy been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
93 Have the project controls been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
94 Has the Project Plan been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
95 Has the project management team structure been updated to reflect any new roles being appointed or any changes to responsibilities of existing roles?
96 For new appointments, do role descriptions exist and have those people who have been appointed confirmed their acceptance?
97 Has the Business Case been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
98 Has the Benefits Review Plan been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
99 Has the Project Initiation Documentation been reviewed and (if necessary) updated?
100 Has an End Stage Report been produced showing actual against planned performance, and summarizing lessons and follow-on action recommendations?
101 Has the End Stage Report been issued to the Project Board in accordance with the project controls?
  For the next stage
102 Has a Stage Plan for the next stage been created?
103 Have Product Descriptions been created for the next stage’s products?
104 Has the Project Board been requested to authorize the next stage?
  For exceptions
105 Has an Exception Plan been created (if requested by the Project Board)?
106 Have Product Descriptions been created/updated for the Exception Plan?
107 Has the Project Board been requested to approve the Exception Plan?

7.     CLOSING A PROJECT

108 Have all products been completed and approved?
109 Has a Product Status Account been created to verify the status of all the products?
110 Have all outstanding issues been documented as follow-on action recommendations ready for distribution subject to Project Board approval?
111 For premature closure, has the means for recovering products that have been completed or are in progress been approved by the Project Board? If requested, was an Exception Plan created and approved?
112 Is there an acceptance record for the handover of the project product?
113 Does the acceptance record include operational and maintenance acceptance?
114 Has the Lessons Log been reviewed and a Lessons Report created ready for distribution subject to Project Board approval?
115 Has the Project Plan been updated with actuals?
116 Has the Business Case been updated with actuals?
117 Has the Benefits Review Plan been updated with actuals?
118 Has an End Project Report been produced showing actual against planned performance and summarizing lessons and follow-on action recommendations?
119 Has the End Project Report been issued to the Project Board in accordance with the project controls?
120 Has a draft project closure notification been created for Project Board approval and onward distribution?
121 Have all registers and logs been closed?
122 Has all project documentation been archived?
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