About PRINCE2 « Resources
What is PRINCE2?

What makes projects different from business as usual?

PRINCE2 defines a project as follows: ‘A project is a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case’.

This definition describes a number of characteristics that distinguish a project from business as usual:
Change: a project is started to realise a change.
Temporary: once the change has been realised, business as usual can be resumed.
Cross-functional: to realize the change, different skills, divisions and perhaps organisations are involved.
Unique: every project is unique, even when used procedures and results are similar (e.g. another customer, location or team).
Uncertainty: the characteristics listed above introduce threats and opportunities to a project.

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 is the official acronym for PRojects IN a Controlled Environment, 2e version and is a process-based method for effective project management. The method describes the managing of projects in changing environments.
Therefore, PRojects IN a Changing Environment would also be a good synonym.

During the management of the project the focus lies on the delivery of specific products with a clear added value to the business.
The public domain method provides therefor a clear description of the required principles, themes and processes.
The principles determine of a project is indeed managed as a PRINCE2 project.
The themes describe the PRINCE2 idea concerning 7 important components of projects.
The processes provide a step by step guide to run a project, from the first activity to a proper closure of a project.

PRINCE2 offers among other things an answer to frequently asked questions of people involved in project management:
What is expected from me?
What exactly does a Project Manager do?
What should I do when certain things don't go according to plan?
What decisions am I expected to take?
What information do I need or what information do I have to supply?
Where can I go for support? For direction?
How can I tailor the use of PRINCE2 for my project?

Over the years PRINCE2 has become de facto standard for project management. It is built on many years of best practice in the area of project management and offers a flexible and adaptable approach, suitable for all projects.

Managing projects with PRINCE2

The aim of PRINCE2 is to provide the right information to the right people at the right time, to make the right decisions.

To manage a project in successful manner, there are 6 variables in each project to be controlled:
Costs: the project is bound to a certain budget.
Timescale: when will the project be completed?
Quality: the project's products must be fit for purpose.
Scope: what exactly will the project deliver?
Risk: uncertainties must remain within acceptable limits.
Benefits: why exactly are we doing the project?

To control these 6 variables there are 4 important aspects: plan, delegate, monitor and control.

From the Project Manager point of view, this means:
Plan: in order to control a project, there must be a plan.
Delegate: to be able to control the plan, the work is partly or entirely delegated to others.
Monitor: to be able to control the work, the progress is monitored against to plan.
Control: when the work progress deviates from the plan, adjustments must be made.

PRINCE2 offers for projects a framework of processes and themes that addresses the planning, delegation, monitoring and control of these 6 variables.

Used sources

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, 2009 edition