Monday, 23 August 2010

PRINCE2: Introduction to project management.

It is widely accepted that PRINCE2 is the best generic project management theory available, this is because it allows the manager flexibility and versatility where they need it most. Instead of some project management theories which try to pigeon hole projects, staff and resources- PRINCE2 is truly generic and can suit any project, organisation or idea.

Why is project management important?
Efficiency is the only way to ensure consistent profitability, or, more simply, in order to make the most of the resources and staff available they need management. If resources are wasted or initial risks or considerations are not taken into account then the project could be a failure.
And a costly failure, at that.
Project managers are employed for just this reason- to manage the project. However, corporate structure denotes that sometimes there's less transparency than there should be. Anyone involved with the project will have different ideas about what is most important, what should be completed first, what should be considered and when the end product should be delivered.
Without a method it becomes an incredibly difficult task as there is no way to assure that certain aims or considerations have been met. Nor will there be an indication of when (or if) it will be done.

Is PRINCE2 as flexible as you say it is?
Widely accepted as one of the most useful project management methods available, it isolates the individual and specialist considerations for a project and focuses on the heart of the project. For instance, it can be used as easily for an organisation in construction as it could be for one in medicine.
The smaller, specialist aspects are not as important to PRINCE2 as they can be easily intergrated.
What is important is narrowing down the particular aspects to create universal transparency for managers, staff and anyone else involved in the process. Not to mention creating a strong framework which allows the organisation to continue to function, yet equally develop.
Any organisation that simply stops functioning at the start of the project management process will face two problems: lack of resources and the inability to change, as change should be controlled not done in real time.

What exactly is controlled change?
While innovation and staying one step ahead is always a good organisation practice, sometimes this eagerness can be equally harmful. When a new project or system is introduced it is important that it works and any errors are only minor.
Introducing this change in real time will be harmful as any errors (or complete failures) will be costly, frustrating and will require a period of further development.
Simply put, should you spend more time introducing a new project in a controlled environment and routing out any errors or complications- it will save time, money and resources in the long run. Therefore it's best to see if it works and if it doesn't, well, no harm done as no-one has seen it yet. It's still "in development."
It can be equally cost-effective as you can save repeated implementation costs.

What are the derived benefits?
If you use a singular generic project management method it can provide many benefits, such as:
  • a repeatable and understandable approach
  • an approach that can be taught easily
  • a proactive outlook which identifies problems and other factors quickly
  • an approach built on collected knowledge and previous experience
  • understanding who is in charge of what, where and why this is

This is all for the first part of our series of posts on PRINCE2 and project management theory.
Be sure to check back soon for the next part in which we will explore some of the more specialised qualities of this exciting project management method.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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