Tuesday, 31 August 2010

PRINCE2: Themes

Today we're focusing on the singular aspect of themes in the PRINCE2 project management theory method. These are atypically the most problematic elements of projects, often due to the diverse way that they can be handled and equally due to no one single solution existing.

Each organisation that encounters problems and has to solve them will have to do so in a different manner. As said before, while PRINCE2 is generic and can fit a wide range of projects- it is limited in that to effectively use it you have to view it more as a framework than a checklist.
Therefore, when problems arise even this method has no concrete answer for them.

The seven themes are:
  • Business Case
  • organisation
  • quality
  • plans
  • risk
  • change
  • progress

Business Case
Business Case focuses heavily on creating mechanisms or resources to judge whether the project is desirable, achievable and whether it will continue to be. This echoes some of the previous theory, however, in this case we are looking at how not if the project is viable.
The existence of a viable Business Case is one of the reasons that a project is considered and should it cease to exist, or lessen in its effect, the project should be reconsidered.

Organisation focuses on laying out a list or hierarchy of who is responsible, accountable and which levels of management are involved with the project. As you would manage resources such as raw materials, you must also manage labour as an entirely viable project could fail without leadership.
Or without the necessary skills for this kind of work.

Quality is the next of the themes and (as mentioned before) is a rather different outlook to quality than usually found. Instead of focusing on quantitative methods of quality checking, PRINCE2 considers whether a product is fit for purpose and whether it meets all the needs of the project.
Again, should these not be met or quality is not ensuring a fit for purpose project then the project should be reconsidered or stopped altogether.

Plans is to define where and how communication exists between project staff and to provide a constant stream of feedback, information and resources on how well the project is going. This is to make sure there is no gap between the Business Case and quality, while strengthening the organisation of a project to make sure that everyone knows their role and purpose.
If this is successful the project can move along much faster and to a higher standard of quality than previously thought possible.

Risk is rather self-explanatory (and again partly covered before); this is where you analyse and assess the risks associated with a project and then decide how viable it is. It is expected that a certain amount of risk will be associated with every project, however too much or too little could mean the project could pay off large rewards or simply falter. Or it is something with very little value.

Change is another of these essential project elements. No project will stay entirely the same from start to finish and if it does there should be cause for concern, however, even if it should change, the change should be managed. Otherwise you could face changes that spiral out of control and erroneously or adversely affect the project.

Finally progress is at the heart of all good projects. This is where we monitor what progress has been made and how far along the entire project you are, much like Business Case this is not an if but a how as we need to know how/why it has progressed.
And more accurately if you're going to continue progressing in this fashion.

This concludes one of the last posts on PRINCE2 and aside from a conclusion round-up tomorrow we have shared all of the available theory. We hope this has been informative and that you have discovered more about the expansive project management.

Thank you for reading!

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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