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Established in 1974

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What is PRINCE2?


PRojects IN Controlled Environments, more commonly known as PRINCE2, is a process-based system for managing projects. It is a set of guidelines that you can apply to help you bring your project to a successful completion. It can be used for all kinds of projects – small, large, simple or complex.

The seven main processes in PRINCE2

PRINCE2 takes you through the project from start to finish using a series of processes. Some of the processes will not be relevant to your project and others can be running simultaneously.

Each process has a set of activities that need to be completed, which help you think about what you need to do. The seven processes are shown briefly below so that you have a basic understanding of how PRINCE2 works.

1.Starting up a project

This process assesses whether what needs to be done is a project at all and who should be involved. Next the project brief is written – this does not contain much detail, but is enough for the project board to decide if the project should go ahead or not. If the board decides the project should go ahead it moves to the initiation stage.

2.The Initiation Stage

This part of the process is all about planning and should culminate in two plans: a project initiation plan and a detailed plan of the first stage of the project. The project initiation document is used to decide if the project will go ahead. The detailed plan of the first stage of the project gives an in-depth look at what will be completed in the first stage.

3.Directing the Project

This is an ongoing process. It is concerned with how the Project Board will control the project, make decisions and ensure things get done. They will oversee the project from the start, making sure that it is delivering what it is supposed to deliver and clearing any obstacles that may get in the way of the Project Manager successfully completing tasks.

4.Managing a Stage Boundary

When one stage comes to an end and another begins the transition needs to be managed, the projects progression assessed and the next stage agreed upon. At this point the Project Board will assess whether to continue the project or decide to close it down.

5.Controlling the Stage

This process is continuously applied by the Project Manager, making sure that work is done correctly and on time and that problems or issues are dealt with quickly or passed upward to the relevant people.

6.Managing Product Delivery

This is closely connected to the previous stage and is concerned with how the project manager will achieve the jobs he has to carry out each day.

7.Closing Down The Project

This happens when the project is either completed or it is decided that it needs to be shut down. Its priority is to ensure that the project, if successful, has achieved all its aims and objectives and, if not, why not. All of this information is gathered together in an End of Project Report for the Project Board.

In reality PRINCE2 is much more involved than this brief overview and if you wish to use it for a project you’ve got planned it is advisable to find further, more in-depth information on the subject.

Business Training can help you with becoming a Project Manager, including an explanation of and instruction in the use of PRINCE2. To find out more request a prospectus for our Project Management course.