The PRINCE2 structure is an essential part of this project management method. Made of different elements which are used side by side within a project, they make up a coherent system allowing any customer to manage a project globally in a more efficient way.
These elements are referred to as the 4 integrated elements of PRINCE2.
This means that they are useless individually. The strength of the method lies in their combined use.
These elements are :
the 7 Principles
the 7 Themes
the 7 Processes
the tailoring (of the method to the project’s environment).
We describe briefly each of those elements in each of the tabs below.
Click on each separately to discover them.
The PRINCE2 method uses the notion of Principles to identify concepts necessary to the good application of PRINCE2 in your projects.
These Principles are self-validating which means that they constantly verify to be true whatever the project.
There are 7 Principles :
Continued business justification
Defined roles and responsibilities
Focus on products
Management by Stages
Management by Exception
Learn from experience
The Themes are the major elements of any project. Each one of them cover a particular subject.
The 7 Themes are :
the Business Case
The Processes explain one after the other and step by step what happens during a PRINCE2 project.
Each Process contains activities which relate to a particular moment of the project.
Each activity defines some necessary and recommended actions.
Theses are the 7 Processes :
(SU) Starting Up a Project
(DP) Directing a Project
(IP) Initiating a Project
(CS) Controlling a Stage
(MP) Managing Product Delivery
(SB) Managing a Stage Boundary
(CP) Closing a Project
It is essential to adapt the use of the method to the project and its environment.
Each element will be done adequately and in relation to the specific need of the project
When PRINCE2 is used throughout an organisation (business or institution) it is then referred to as Embedding the method.
Whatever the Project Manager does during a PRINCE2 project,
one essential question must always come to mind :
To what measure must I apply this to my project ?
You must never apply the method to the letter but on the contrary, always use it appropriately to keep its logic and meaning.
They are two main reasons why Principles are important in PRINCE2.
1. It makes it easy for an observer to see if PRINCE2 is used appropriately.
Is an organisation following PRINCE2 or is it not?
As it stands, there are many ways to manage projects and PRINCE2 is by far not the only one and some company may prefer to use their own method, and that is perfectly fine. In most cases we find that even then there are many similarities with PRINCE2 and it would be a close match.
2. It enables teams to know where they stand.
By following the Principles you will stand a better chance to succeed with your projects.
That's a fact.
Experience over many years has shown that projects which stick to those principles increase their levels of success.
This is reassuring for those who are in charge of projects and they should stand behind the principles as it allows them to know how projects are progressing and if they are on the right track.
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