PRINCE2 The Reigning Project Management Methodology

Controlled Environment Projects (better known as PRINCE2) is the most widely used project management methodology worldwide, used by teams in more than 150 countries.

But what is PRINCE2 and why is it so popular? And more importantly, is it the right approach for your projects? These are tough questions to answer without going through endless articles and vague definitions, so we've saved you some Googling by gathering the essentials of PRINCE2 project management in one convenient place.

The basics of PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach that focuses on organization and control over the entire project, from start to finish. That means projects are thoroughly planned before they start, each stage of the process is clearly structured, and any loose ends are neatly tied up after the project is finished.

You may be wondering: what's with the 2? The PRINCE methodology was initially developed in the late 1980s as a way for the UK government to manage IT projects. In 1996, the approach was revised and updated by a team of project management specialists and a review panel of 150 public and private organizations to make it more widely applicable in a variety of industries. Thus, the new and improved PRINCE2 was born.

The 7 principles of PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 method is based on the following 7 principles:

1. Projects must have a business justification.

Each project must have a clear need, a defined customer, realistic benefits and a detailed cost analysis.

2. Teams must learn from every phase.

Lessons are sought and recorded at every step in the PRINCE2 process and then used to improve future work.

3. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.

Everyone needs to know exactly what they are responsible for - and what their teammates are responsible for.

4. The work is planned in stages.

PRINCE2 projects are broken down into separate work phases, with periodic reviews to record lessons learned and confirm that the project is still on track to meet requirements.

5. Project boards "manage by exception."

Since board members are typically senior executives who do not have time to manage the day-to-day activities of a project, they establish basic requirements for things like time, cost, risk and scope, and then delegate day-to-day oversight to the project manager. The project manager has the authority to get the project back on track if it comes too late or goes over budget. However, if issues arise that affect the established requirements, that is an 'exception' and the steering committee will determine the best way to proceed.

6. Teams have a constant focus on quality.

Products to be delivered are continuously tested against the requirements by means of a quality register.

Visit Also: Prince2 Agile

7. The approach is tailor-made for each project.

The PRINCE2 method itself should be adapted to the needs of each project, adjusting the amount of supervision and planning according to the size of the project, the number of people involved, the delegation of the work package, etc

The 7 roles in PRINCE2

There are 3 main roles for PRINCE2: the steering committee, the project manager and the project team. But there are many additional roles that ensure that the requirements and standards are met and that the work runs smoothly.

PRINCE2 The prevailing project management methodology 2

The customer is the person who pays for the project to be completed.

The user uses the project results or is influenced by the outcome of the project. (For some projects, the customer and user can be the same person.)

The supplier is a subject matter expert who provides the knowledge necessary to complete the project by designing or building the final result.

The project manager is responsible for organizing, planning and overseeing the work on the project. They select and manage the people who complete project tasks and are responsible for ensuring that the work is done correctly and on time.

The project team and the team manager actually roll up their sleeves and get project tasks done. Team managers oversee the detailed aspects of daily work and report directly to the project manager.

The manager organizes meetings, keeps everyone informed, keeps documentation, etc. In small projects, project managers often take over this responsibility, but if several projects are running simultaneously or the project is large / complex, there is a project support office. usually set up to manage these tasks.

One of the 3 most important roles, the project board typically includes several people: the customer (usually a senior executive), the end user (or a representative), and the supplier. It checks for project security from three unique perspectives:

The client ensures that the project is still financially viable, usually through a cost benefit analysis.

The user ensures that user needs are met.

The supplier checks whether the project is working towards a realistic, practical solution.

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