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PRINCE2 principles, themes, and processes

PRINCE2 is the most commonly used project management method in the world. It is used by organizations and people from a wide range of sectors and industries. PRINCE2 is a structured Project Management methodology which guides through the necessary steps required for leading successful projects, regardless of scale or type. This methodology is built on 7 themes, principles and processes and can be modified to meet particular necessities.

The PRINCE2 methodology includes 4 combined components of principles, themes, processes, and the project environment.

The 7 Principles

PRINCE2 methods are obtained from seven fundamental principles. Collectively, these principles provide a structure for convenient practice:

1. Continued Business Justification

The first principle of PRINCE2 indicates that the project must forever remain beneficial, viable and attainable, else, it must be blocked. 

2. Learn from Experience

PRINCE2 addresses the inclination of us humans to repeat our mistakes. It covers the entire existence of the project, from its initiation, its progress and until it is closed and any lessons learned during this time are documented and passed on for future projects. 

3. Define Roles and Responsibilities

Every individual associated with the project must know what their roles and responsibilities are as well as an idea of what their fellow-workers are doing. 

4. Manage by Stages

Complicated tasks can be managed easily by breaking them into sub-tasks. 

5. Manage by Exception

This principle is used by every level in the Project Organization to run the level below. The panel underneath must only report the higher administration panel if there is a prominent concern that is beyond their understanding. The PRINCE2 term for a prominent concern is Exception, which means the problem is beyond the accepted limit.

6. Focus on Products

The Focus on Products principle states that the description of the project must be clearly defined so that the customers have an idea of what to expect.

7. Tailor to the Environment

PRINCE2 understands that all projects vary in terms of the level of complexity, geographical location, cultural context, risk, and scale. This principle allows an organization to modify the methodology to meet the needs of the project. 

The 7 Themes

PRINCE2 states that themes are a part of the project that needs to be constantly discussed during the entire project lifecycle. These themes can also be defined as knowledge areas, or how principles are put in use. They are arranged at the start of the project and observed throughout. By addressing these themes constantly, the projects are kept on track. 

1. Business Case

This theme is linked to the principle “continued business justification”. It gives a brief understanding of whether a project is valuable and attainable.

2. Organization

This theme is linked to the principle “define roles and responsibilities”. Project Managers must have a clear record of the roles and responsibilities of everyone included in the project.

3. Quality

This theme is linked to the principle “focus on products”. Defining the quality of the project at the beginning is essential to keep the work on track.

4. Plans

A plan defines how objectives will be reached. It concentrates on timescale, products, quality, benefits, and cost.

5. Risk

The objective of this theme is to recognize, evaluate and regulate unpredictable issues during a project. These risks are documented in a risk log. Positive risks are called opportunities whereas negative risks are called threats.

6. Change

The main purpose of this theme is to handle requests or issues regarding change and agreeing to them before their execution.

7. Progress

This allows the Project Managers to keep track of the project. 

The 7 Processes

PRINCE2’s processes are structured actions that produce outputs with the help of one or more inputs. They are the tasks needed to lead, handle, and produce a successful project.

1. Starting Up a Project (SU)

The initial process includes the activities required to ensure a viable and useful project. After this process is complete, the decision to continue with the project is made.

2. Initiating a Project (IP)

This process is about understanding how the project must be completed and managing its performance based on cost, time, scope, benefits, risks, and quality.

3. Directing a Project (DP)

Directing a project is a continuous project which focuses on the initiation, guidance, stating boundaries and closing the project. 

4. Controlling a Stage (CS)

This process includes guaranteeing that a management stage resides within the limit.

5. Managing Product Delivery (MP)

The communication between the team manager and the project manager is controlled by Managing Product Delivery. This process consists of three activities namely accepting, executing and delivering a work package. 

6. Managing Stage Boundaries (SB)

Project managers and the committee evaluate each stage. The committee decides whether to proceed with the project. Also, all the important documents are evaluated and approved.

7. Closing a Project (CP)

Wrapping up the project. This process is associated with any type of closure of the project.

PRINCE2 guarantees that the end projects are effective and sustain the quality of services while catering them on time.

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