PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) is also a structured approach to project management. It is one of the most popular methodologies and is extensively used in the private sector, as well as in the government of the United Kingdom. PRINCE2 is a process-driven project management method that focuses on high-level activities, such as management, organization and control — but not lower level activities, such as work breakdown or scheduling. It is based on seven principles, seven themes and seven processes. Principles are the core of PRINCE2 methodology — if only one of them is not applied, the project is not a PRINCE2 project.
The PRINCE2 principles are:
- Continued business justification - is there a justifiable reason for starting the project that will remain consistent throughout its duration?
- Learn from experience - PRINCE2 project teams should continually seek and draw on lessons learned from previous work.
- Defined roles and responsibilities - the PRINCE2 project team should have a clear organizational structure and involve the right people in the right tasks.
- Manage by stages - PRINCE2 projects should be planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis.
- Manage by exception - PRINCE2 project have defined tolerances for each project objective to establish limits of delegated authority.
- Focus on products - PRINCE2 projects focus on the product definition, delivery and quality requirements.
- Tailor to suit the project environment - PRINCE2 is tailored to suit the project's environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk.
Themes are the aspects of project management that need to be addressed during the project. The PRINCE2 themes are as follows:
- Business case - What value would delivering the project bring to the organization?
- Organization - How will the project team's individual roles and responsibilities be defined in order for them to effectively manage the project?
- Quality - What the quality requirements and measures are and how the project will deliver them.
- Plans - The steps required to develop the plans and PRINCE2 techniques that should be used.
- Risk - How the project management will address the uncertainties in its plans and the project environment.
- Change - How the project management will assess and act on unforeseen issues or requests for change.
- Progress - The ongoing viability and performance of the plans and how and whether the project should proceed.
Finally, the seven processes divide the project lifecycle into different phases, where each phase has its own recommended activities, products and responsibilities. The PRINCE2 processes are:
- Starting up a project
- Directing a project
- Initiating a project
- Controlling a stage
- Managing product delivery
- Managing stage boundaries
- Closing a project
PRINCE2 is a good methodology because it standardizes the procedures to coordinate people and activities in a project, how to design and supervise the project, what to do if the project is not being executed according to plan, etc. However, it is not a good solution for small projects or projects where requirements and scope of work are expected to change.