Starting Up a Project
The purpose of the first of the 7 processes in PRINCE2® is to answer whether the project is viable and worthwhile. This helps to clarify the importance of the project to the organization and stakeholders. This process begins before the project actually starts and analyzes if its execution is possible, how to share the efforts and resources of the company, gives a time frame and estimates the budget of the project.
During this process the roles of each team member are specified, an Executive and Project Manager are appointed and the Lessons Log are taken into account (we already mentioned it in one of our previous articles). The Executive is responsible for outlining a Business Case, which explains how the project fits in with corporate objectives and how the project will be funded.
The most important outcome of this process are the two documents: Project Brief that shows that the project has clearly defined goals and starting point, and Initiation Stage Plan that covers all the work to be done during the initiation stage.
Directing a Project
This process is carried throughout the whole project – from the start to closure. It is performed by the Project Board. They make key decisions and exercising overall control over the project, while delegating the daily management of the project to the Project Manager.
The Project Board as part of the process performs five activities: Authorize initiation, Authorize the project, Authorize a Stage or Exception Plan, Give ad-hoc direction and Authorize project closure.
Initiating a Project
The purpose of this process is to outline the guidelines of the management and the control during the project, enabling the customer to understand the work, time and money required to deliver the project’s products before they commit to a significant investment.
This process ensures that there is common understanding of the project objectives, timescales and costs, scope, major products, expected benefits, risks, quality requirements and standards, how baseline products will be controlled and the communication with the stakeholders. All this information is contained within the Project Initiation Documentation which also describes how and whether any corporate project management methods will be tailored for the project.
Managing Stage Boundaries
Managing Stage Boundaries is related to the activities of accomplishment of one stage and planning for the next one. This process is extremely important because it shows to the Project Board whether it makes sense to continue the project or not. It provides an updated view of the project so it can review the achievements of the current stage, approve the next Stage Plan, review the updated Project Plan, and confirm if the project is still justified and that the risks are still acceptable.
Controlling a Stage
As we have written in the previous articles, each PRINCE2® project is divided into smaller stages, allowing each of them to be observed in details. The Project Manager is the main responsible for monitoring the project daily. He also analyzes the done and remaining work, the quality of already completed stages and reports it. These activities, of course, go hand in hand with the constant risk assessment and control of changes.
This process is also closely related and similar in function to Directing a Project, with the difference that it takes place every day and is not done by the Project Board, but by the Project Manager.
Managing Product Delivery
The purpose of this process is to facilitate communication and control the connection between by the customer and supplier by placing formal requirements on the Team Manager about the work that needs to be done. The Team Managers are responsible for coordinating the work that delivers the end products of the project.
The first step in this process is to create a Work Package, whose content must be agreed between the Project manager and Team manager. It contains a description of the product that the team will deliver, its borders and resources. Once the Work Package is created, the Team Manager prepares Team Plan, which describes in details to the other members what is necessary to be done and how. Once the products as described in the Work Package are delivered, their quality is checked again by the Team Manager.
Closing a Project
After all other processes are completed, the Closing process is activated. The purpose of this process is to find the exact point at which it is confirmed that acceptance for the project product has been obtained, to review whether the objectives set out in the original Project Initiation Documentation have been achieved and that there is nothing more for the project to do. The process includes all documentation related to the overall description of the project, final control and evaluation of project activities and of the product itself, as well as documenting both the good things and bad things which happened on the project in a Lessons Report that can be used in future projects. This process includes a final assessment of the project, its benefits, whether the objectives of the client and other stakeholders have been reached. Only after all these details are specified and documented, the project can be considered as closed.
This was the third and last article of the PRINCE2® methodology. If we have unlocked your interest in this methodology and want to learn more about the method in practice, visit our training – PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Training.
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