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PRINCE2 Methodology

PRINCE2, PRojects IN Controlled Environments (version 2) is a generic project management methodology that describes the key elements for controlling a project, regardless of its type or size.

Some main advantages of applying the PRINCE2 methodology include:

  • Proven management practices to facilitate a controlled start, execution and closure of a project
  • A standard project management methodology that supports both inexperienced and experienced project teams
  • Driving continuous learning and improvement in project management
  • Improved transparency and project governance

Today, over 2 million people hold a PRINCE2 certification and thousands of organisations have adopted PRINCE2 or a tailored version as their standard for project management.

Overview

PRINCE2 is recognized as a good practice framework.  The methodology comprises of 4 project management elements referred to as Principles, Themes, Processes and the Project Environment.


PRINCE2 Principles

There are seven core principles on which PRINCE2 is based on:

  • Continued business justification
  • Learn from experience
  • Defined roles and responsibilities
  • Manage by stages
  • Management by exception
  • Focus on products
  • Tailor to suit the project

The PRINCE2 processes and management themes are designed with consideration of these principles and guide their application throughout the life of a project.

PRINCE2 Themes

There are seven management themes described by PRINCE2.  These 7 themes are seen relevant for all projects. Each themes outlines aspects of project management that must be addressed continually.  To assist with their application each theme introduces project management concepts, documents, roles and responsibilities that support its application.

The management themes include:

  • Business Case – defining an approach for the continued justification of a project
  • Organization – providing a model for establishing a project management team
  • Risk – details a procedure for risk management
  • Quality – outlines an approach for delivering ‘fit for purpose’ project products
  • Plans – defines a process for planning at the project, stage and team levels
  • Change – details an approach for controlling changes to the project and its products
  • Progress – outlines monitoring, reporting and review mechanisms to control the development of a project

PRINCE2 Processes

At the centre of the PRINCE2 model is a series of project management processes that detail the activities and responsibilities to support the application of each principle and theme. The processes also provide an order for the application of management activities.

The PRINCE2 method process diagram as shown below:

PRINCE2 Methodology chart

In summary, many project management standards are designed to explain ‘what’ project management is, but often do not provide a comprehensive approach illustrating how to apply project management activities.

PRINCE2’s focus is on the application of its principles.  However, as it also shows ‘how’ and ‘when’ important aspects of project management should be applied and importantly, who is responsible for each project management activity, this is why PRINCE2 describes itself as a project management methodology.

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