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Prince2 Process Map – A Quick Overview

Eric McConnell
December 23, 2010

Best practices of agile-based development

Prince2 Process Model

Prince2 Process Model

Among a variety of project management (PM) methodologies, Prince2 is one of the most popular ones for organizing, managing and controlling projects. There are eight high-level Prince2 processes that characterize the PM methodology. The processes are the framework for planning Prince2 projects and dividing the project management process into four Prince2 phases. In this article we will talk about the Prince2 process model for planning and managing successful Prince2 projects.

The Prince2 PM methodology comprises of eight high-level processes which are combined into a Prince2 process map (model). Let’s briefly review each of the processes.

  1. Directing Project (DP). During this Prince2 process the Project Board makes all high-level decisions on the project. The goals of the “Directing Project” Prince2 process are to ensure that:
    • Authority necessary for initiating the Prince2 project is established.
    • Authority necessary for delivering the Prince2 project’s products is established.
    • Management guidelines and control tools are available throughout the Prince2 project’s life, so that the project remains feasible and effective.
    • Programme management has an interface to the Prince2 project.
    • Authority necessary for closing the Prince2 project is established.
    • Management plans for realizing the post-project benefits are managed and reviewed.
  2. Planning (PL). Within the Prince2 process map, the Planning provides a planning framework for product-based start. The major goal is to ensure that:
    • Produce the project plan, stage plans, exception plans and team plans.
    • All the plans are modified if necessary.
  3. Starting Up Project (SU). This Prince2 process is designed to ensure that the prerequisites for initiating the project are in place. The process aims at establishing the following:
    • There’s a business justification (according to the Business Case) for initiating the Prince2 project.
    • All the necessary authorities are established for initiating the project.
    • Necessary information is available to determine and approve the scope of the Prince2 project.
    • Various ways for delivering the project are evaluated and a Prince2 project approach is selected and approved.
    • Team members are appointed to the work required in the initiating the project, and roles are assigned.
  4. Initiating Project (IP). The process aims at establishing solid foundations for the Prince2 project and enabling the organization to understand the work to be completed during the project.
    • The definition of the Prince2 project’s products.
    • Timing for delivering the project’s products.
    • Participants of the project decision making.
    • Requirements for the project quality.
    • Guidelines for monitoring and controlling of the Prince2 project.
    • The project baseline.
    • Requirements for assessing and controlling risks.
  5. Controlling Stage (CS). The “Controlling Stage” within the Prince2 process model is a series of activities to monitor the work don, deal with captured issues and risks, report each stage’s progress to the Project Board, and take corrective actions to ensure that each stage of the Prince2 project remains within tolerance. The process is dedicated to monitoring and control of the following activities cycle for each Prince2 stage:
    • Authorize a work package and review its status
    • Monitor completed work packages
    • Review status of each Prince2 stage
    • Summarize the information on work packages
    • Capture and analyze issues and risks
    • Apply risk response strategies
    • Take corrective actions
  6. Managing Product Delivery (MP). The “Managing Product Delivery” within the Prince2 process model is designed to control the link between the project manager and team leaders. The major goal of this element of the Prince2 process model is to ensure that:
    • The team works on the allocated products as agreed.
    • Team leaders, team members and procurers clearly understand what is to be produced by the project and what is the expected effort, budget or timeframes.
    • The products are delivered according to expectations and within tolerance
    • Accurate information in the Prince2 deliverables progress is regularly provided to the project manager to ensure that expectations are met.
  7. Managing Stage Boundaries (SB). The key goals of this Prince2 process is to ensure that:
    • All the project’s products have been completed and approved.
    • The Stage Plan for the next stage has been developed.
    • Project Initiation Documentation is reviewed and updated.
    • Information on assess the continuing viability of the project is provided to the Project Board for further decision making.
    • Authorization to start the next stage is requested
  8. Closing Project (CP). This Prince2 process is performed to confirm acceptance for the project product and recognize that the project objectives are met. The goals of the “Closing Project” Prince2 process are to:
    • Confirm user acceptance of the Prince2 project’s products.
    • Compare project performance against the baseline.
    • Review realized benefits and update the forecast of unrealized benefits.
    • Ensure that Prince2 project implementation has been achieved to address all open issues and risks.

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