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The 7 processes

The processes

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach to project management. There are 7 processes, which cover the activities to direct, manage and deliver a project successfully.

A process is a structured set of activities, designed to accomplish a specific objective. It takes one or more defined inputs and changes them into defined outputs.

The PRINCE2 process model

Project management with PRINCE2 is based on 4 levels of management, which are reflected in the process model.
Corporate or programme: the highest level (external to the project).
Directing: making decisions and providing guidance by the Project Board.
Managing: day-to-day management and control by the Project Manager.
Delivering: managing product delivery by the Team Manager.

In the beginning, there is someone with a problem, idea, vision or certain need. This trigger is called project mandate, can vary in form and is provided by corporate or programme management.
Prior to the activity to fully scope the project, it is important to verify if the project is worthwhile and viable.
These activities are covered by the Starting up a Project process and result in a Project Brief and Stage Plan for the initiation stage. The Project Board reviews the Project Brief and decides whether to give the Project Manager the authority for the initiation stage.

Initiation stage
Once there is a decision to go ahead with a project, it needs to be planned with more detail.
Based on the Project Brief, the Business Case is refined and strategies and controls for the further project management are determined. This is done in the Initiating a Project process.
The initiation stage results in the Project Initiation Documentation (PID), which is used as input by the Project Board to authorize project execution. This version of the PID should be archived to enable later reviews.

Subsequent delivery stage(s)
The Project Board delegates the day-to-day management to the Project Manager on a stage-by-stage basis.
Within a stage the Project Manager assigns the work, ensures work results meet specifications and gains approval when necessary.
The Project Manager assesses progress with regard to the plan and makes forecasts in terms of cost, time, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The progress is reported to the Project Board through regular Highlight Reports.
The process Controlling a Stage contains the activities to control a stage.

The assigned work, defined in Work Packages, is executed by the Team Manager(s) in the Managing Product Delivery process. Progress is reported to the Project Manager by Checkpoint Reports.

Towards the end of each stage the Project Manager requests authorization to proceed to the next stage. A report concerning the current stage's performance is prepared, the Business Case is actualized and a next Stage Plan is prepared.
The activities to prepare each stage boundary are carried out in the Managing a Stage Boundary process.

Final delivery stage
A project is of a temporary nature. During the last delivery stage (after the Project Manager gains approval for all of the project's products) the project is decommissioned and project closure is prepared.
The activities for decommissioning the project include the planning of benefit review(s), which take place after the project, and a formal project evaluation. These activities are carried out in the Closing a Project process.

Processes, activities and actions

PRINCE2 processes consist of a number of activities, which also consist of a number of recommended actions.
The way these activities and actions are passed through, and if these are carried out separately or combined, strongly depends on the nature of the project.

Figuur 11.3 Relationship between processes, activities and actions
For each activity the different responsibilities are concluded. These responsibilities are linked to products to deliver, and provide for each role their responsibilities:
Producer - the creator of the product.
Reviewer - the person, independent of the producer, who reviews the product.
Approver - the person who is confirming approval of the product.
A responsibility shown in parentheses indicates that the responsibility is covered by another process.

Used sources

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, 2009 edition