PRINCE2 is a process driven project management framework that has 40 different activities organised into seven processes.
These processes are:
- Starting up a project
- Initiating a project
- Directing a project
- Controlling a stage
- Managing stage boundaries
- Closing a project
- Managing product delivery
Advantages of PRINCE2
PRINCE2 is a structured way to approach project management by the use of a framework that is in use all over the world. PRINCE2 describes best practices in how to coordinate people and their activities, how to design and supervise projects and how to realign projects that are starting to slip. Because PRINCE2 is fully scalable it means that the methodology can be used in multi million contracts and also very small and simple projects.
From a business perspective PRINCE2 provides a common and consistent approach with a controlled, organised start, middle and end with regular reviews of progress against the original project plan. There are also flexible decision points within the project with full management control of any deviations from the original plan. There is a good communication structure with the involvement of management and stakeholders at the correct times during the project and a means of capturing and sharing the lessons learned.
Disadvantages of PRINCE2
There is a lot of paperwork and documentation involved as would be required for large scale projects but they wouldn’t necessarily be useful or important in smaller scale projects. Also because various roles and responsibilities are involved there could also be a blame culture because everybody would blame everybody else if the project failed. As with most methodologies there is also the danger that it is too closely followed in a rigid way and not think about how it can be adapted to any particular project.
So why did I choose it?
I enjoy managing projects and expectations but felt I didn’t have the skills or understanding required to do it well. I had heard of PRINCE2 and PMP but when I investigated them further I found that PRINCE2 is more widely accepted in the UK. I am now able to apply the principles and processes of the methodology in my projects and as a result I have been able to complete more projects within the agreed time scales and without going over budget. I have also been able to take on more projects at any one time because I have a structured process that I can follow and tailor for each type of project to ensure that communication between sponsors and team members is maintained throughout the project lifecycle.
I am interested in what experiences you have with PRINCE2 or any other project methodology and how you found your experiences were with it compared to before you were certified. Please add your comments below.