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PRINCE2 Quick Reference Guide

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Process Fundamentals

Theme Fundamentals

Starting Up a Project (SU)

Business Case

There must be a business requirement that triggers a project.
The question ‘Do we have a worthwhile and viable project’ needs to
be answered. This process clarifies this answer and sets up an
organization structure to manage the project throughout its life.

The project starts with an idea which is considered to have potential
value for the organization concerned. This Theme addresses how the
idea is developed into a viable investment proposition for the
organization and how project management maintains the focus on the
organization’s objectives throughout the project.

Directing a Project (DP)

Organization

This process is conducted by the Project Board, above the Project
Manager. The Project Board manages by exception, monitors via reports
and controls through a small number of decision points. These are the DP
activities.

The organization sponsoring the project needs to allocate the work to
managers who will be responsible for it and steer it through to
completion. Projects are cross-functional so the normal line
management structures are not suitable. This theme describes the
roles and responsibilities in the temporary PRINCE2® project
management team required to manage the project effectively.

Initiating a Project (IP)
A project needs planning and setting up properly. IP plans the project
at high level and sets up all the controls and files. The main document
for the project is created - the Project Initiation Document (PID). The PID
forms the basis of a ‘contract’ which ensures there is a common
understanding of the project and encourages the Project Board to take
ownership of the project.

PRINCE2®
Quick Reference
Guide

Controlling a Stage (CS)

Quality
The initial idea will only be understood as a broad outline. This
Theme explains how the outline is developed so that all participants
understand the quality attributes of the products to be delivered – and
then how project management will ensure that these requirements are
subsequently delivered.

Plans
PRINCE2® projects proceed on the basis of a series of approved
plans. This theme complements the Quality theme by describing the
steps required to develop plans and the PRINCE2® techniques that
should be applied. In PRINCE2®, the plans are matched to the needs
of the personnel at the various levels of the organization. They are
the focus for communication and control throughout the project.

Once a decision has been made to proceed with work, and the
appropriate resources have been committed, the project management
team must be focussed on delivering within the tolerances agreed. CS
describes the work of the Project Manager in handling the day-to-day
management of the project. It starts after the Project Board approves the
Stage Plan. It is closely linked with the MP process.

Risk
Projects typically entail more risk than stable operational activity.
This theme addresses how project management manages the
uncertainties in its plans and in the wider project environment.

Managing Product Delivery (MP)
This process allows a ‘controlled break’ between the Project
Manager, Team Manager and the creation/provision of the products. In
MP products are created, quality checked and delivered.

Managing Stage Boundaries (SB)
All projects, need to be focussed on delivering business benefit, either in
their own right, or as part of a larger programme. At each stage end, the
continuing viability of the project should be confirmed. If needed, the
project can be redirected or stopped to avoid wasting time or money.

Change
CIPFA
3 Robert Street, London WC2N 6RL
[email protected]
www.cipfa.org.uk/training/accredited

Closing a Project (CP)
One of the defining features of a project is that it is finite – it has a start
and an end. Just as SU and IP ensure a controlled start to the project,
this process ensures a controlled end (closure). All loose ends are tied
off and lessons identified.

CUPE Limited © 2012 – Version 5.July 2009
PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office.
The Swirl Logo™ is a Trade mark of the Cabinet Office.

This theme describes how project management assesses and acts
upon issues which have a potential impact on any of the baseline
aspects of the project (its plans and completed products). Issues may
be unanticipated general problems, requests for change or instances
of quality failure.

Progress
This theme addresses the ongoing viability of the plans. The theme
explains the decision-making process for approving plans, the
monitoring of actual performance and the escalation process if events
do not go according to plan. Ultimately, the Progress theme
determines whether and how the project should proceed.

Based upon PRINCE2® Manual 2009 Edition

Processes & Activities
Starting Up a Project (SU)
• Appoint Executive and Project Manager
• Capture Previous Lessons
• Design & Appoint PM Team
• Prepare the Outline Business Case
• Select Project Approach & Assemble Project Brief
• Plan the Initiation Stage

Directing a Project (DP)
• Authorise Initiation
• Authorise the Project
• Authorise a Stage or Exception Plan
• Give Ad Hoc Direction
• Authorise Project Closure

•Plans
•Quality
•Risk
•Organization
•Business Case

Stages

Business Case

Themes Used

The key philosophy of PRINCE2® is that the project is driven by the
Business Case. The focus on the Business Case should be on its totality of
business change, not just one element of it. The following diagram shows
where the Business Case is created and updated throughout the project
life-cycle.
Project
Mandate

Project
Brief

PID

Stages are divisions of the project for management purposes. Each stage is
reviewed by the Project Board who approve them one at a time (at an End
Stage Assessment). Stages are major decision making points in PRINCE2®.
Management stages equate to commitment of resources and authority to
spend. Technical stages are groups of specialist skills / activities required
to create the specialist products.
Technical Stages
PID

Outline Business Case
Refined & Approved
Business Case

Reasons for the Project

Specification
Design

Business
Case

Build

•Progress
•Business Case
•Risk

Expected Benefits

Updated Business Case

Test

Reviewed Business Case

Benefits
Review
Plan

Implement
End
Stage
Report

Project
Issues

End-Stage
Assessments
(Project Board
Decision Points)

Controlling a Stage (CS)
• Authorise Work Package
• Review Work Package Status
• Receive Completed Work Package
• Review Stage Status
• Report Highlights
• Capture & Examine Issues and Risks
• Escalate Issues & Risks
• Take Corrective Action

Management Stages

Products
•Progress
•Plans
•Quality
•Risk
•Business Case
•Change
•Organization

•Progress
•Change
•Risk
•Quality

In PRINCE2® there are three types of management products, “Baseline”,
“Records” & “Reports”. Specialist products are the unique outputs of the
project.
A.1
A.2
A.3
A.4
A.5
A.6
A7
A.8
A.9
A.10
A.11
A12
A.13

Benefits Review Plan
Business Case
Checkpoint Report
Communication Management Strategy
Configuration Item Record
Configuration Management Strategy
Daily Log
End Project Report
End Stage Report
Exception Report
Highlight Report
Issue Register
Issue Report

A.14
A.15
A.16
A.17
A.18
A.19
A.20
A.21
A.22
A.23
A 24
A.25
A.26

Lessons Log
Lessons Report
Plan
Product Description
Product Status Account
Project Brief
Product Initiation Documentation
Project Product Description
Quality Management Strategy
Quality Register
Risk Management Strategy
Risk Register
Work Package

Managing Product Delivery (MP)
• Accept a Work Package
• Execute a Work Package
• Deliver a Work Package

•Progress
•Business Case
•Quality

From Customer

Project Response

Customer’s Quality
Expectations

Acceptance Criteria

Project Product
Description

Quality Management
Strategy

Quality Components
Quality Criteria &
Tolerances

Product Descriptions
PRINCE2®
Product-based
Planning Technique

Quality Methods

Quality Responsibilities

Quality Register

COMMUNICATE

PRINCE2®
Quality Review
Technique

Risk Assessment evaluates the risk using
the probability of it happening & the impact
if it does. Responses are considered to
decide the best way forward.

PRODUCT

Quality & Approval
Records

CONTROL

Closing a Project (CP)
• Prepare Planned Closure
• Prepare Premature Closure
• Hand Over Products
• Evaluate the Project
• Recommend Project Closure

•Progress
•Plans
•Business Case
•Risk
•Organization

Risk
Project management must control and
contain risks if a project is to stand any
chance of being successful. Assumptions
about risk have to be regularly revisited
and reconsidered, for example at each
End Stage Assessment. Risk requires,
identification prior to assessment
leading to a plan which is implemented.
This Risk Management Cycle diagram
shows the relationship between them.

• Identify all the Project’s Products.
• Define the products in Product Descriptions
• Implement and track the Quality Methods employed throughout the
Project.

QUALITY

Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)
• Plan the Next Stage
• Update the Project Plan
• Update the Business Case
• Report Stage End
• Produce an Exception Plan

•Progress
•Change
•Plans
•Quality

The specific treatment for quality in PRINCE2® is the focus on products from
the outset, requiring systematic activities to:

QUALITY

•Management products – shown in Appendix A of the manual.

The Quality Approach

PLANNING

Initiating a Project (IP)
• Prepare the Risk Management Strategy
• Prepare the Quality Management Strategy
• Prepare the Configuration Management Strategy
• Prepare the Communication Management Strategy
• Set up the Project Controls
• Create the Project Plan
• Refine the Business Case
• Assemble the Project Initiation Documentation

Acceptance Record

Crown Copyright 2009.
Reproduced under license from OGC

Crown Copyright 2009.
Reproduced under license from OGC

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