Sample Project Management Paper on Principles of PRINCE2

1.0 Introduction

In the recent past, the use of PRINCE2® has increased, with the construction industry being part of the main sectors where the system is used. Many international firms are known to use the method of project implementation and management. The Highways Agency, for example, has obtained PRINCE2 certifications as a standard requirement for project management. Given the many factors necessary for construction projects, such as adherence to estimated costs, budgets, risks, scope, time scale, and quality (Mishra & Mallik, 2017). The application of the system has spread across more than 150 countries across different continents. PRINCE2 is a methodology based on processes that helps draw focus on organizations and management of the entire project. The approach considers the project’s entire life cycle, with each stage-structured until completion.

1.1 Background

The PRINCE2 system was founded in 1989 through an agency dealing in telecommunications and information technology. Initially branded PROMPT, as Project Resource Organization Management Planning Technique, the scheme was used in the UK to install information systems (Hinde, 2018). The methodology was published as PRINCE in 1996 and is known for delivering projects of all sizes and complexities.

1.2 Principles of PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 technique is built on seven significant principles that must be followed in the execution of any given project

Focus on product All projects are focused on the definition and delivery of products following their requirements for quality. Project teams should check deliverables against requirements on the quality registers.

Tailor to suit project environment The method should be adjusted to suit each project’s specifics based on the level of oversight and planning according to the scope and personnel involved (Hughes, et al., 2017).

Manage by exception All PRINCE2 projects have distinct tolerances for each objective to establish limits of delegated authority. Therefore, problems forecast at a given level of management are escalated to the next management level before decisions are made.

Manage by stages The planning and control of projects are done on a staged basis while the business cases, risks, and detailed plan for preceding stages are updated in every stage.

Defined roles and responsibilities All roles and responsibilities are clearly defined for all stakeholders with a clear indication of role sharing. The structuring of roles is classified into four levels: corporate management project board, project management, and team level.

Continued business justification The requirement is that projects should produce a clear need with consumer benefits and cost analysis, which justifies the business.

Learning from experience, All projects should be learning experiences with lessons sought and recorded in every step throughout the process to improve the work.

2.0 Literature Review

The PRINCE2 methodology as a management tool has been widely adopted globally, with many organizations using the tool across different sectors. In the construction sector, many projects have been observed to use the tool to optimize and revolutionize the output. Projects of varying sizes, nature, and use have been simplified through the approach, with many benefits developing. Thousands of projects across different continents have transformed the adopted approach for project management. As a modern approach that is not based on linear processes than traditional methods, the PRINCE2 system offers an alternative for project development. Concerning other approaches of project management, the study indicates several features of similarity with PRINCE2 in that all encompass the entire life cycle for any given project. The following reviews involve research work performed before concerning the application of PRINCE2 in project management compared to the standard features and differences.

2.1 PRINCE2 compared to other approaches

Research has been performed to analyze the use of PRINCE2 as compared to other modern approaches such as PMBOK. According to the research, there are several similarities, such as focusing on improving the maturity of project processes and the development of contracting companies (Siegelaub, 2017). There are ways in which the PMBOK complements the PRINCE2 approach through the five stages of project management, namely initiation, design, execution, control, and closing. Following the research by Chin et al., (2012), the two approaches are complementary in that while PMBOK provides the project information, PRNCE2 offers the way forward on implementation (Chin, 2012). Additionally, the two are built on best practices that offer a reasonable basis for implementing projects on a global scale. According to the Cio Stuff journal (2011), PRINCE2 presents a standard approach compared to Agile (Gefen, et al., 2011). This explains why the system is prevalent in government projects and global organizations.

Table 1 Comparison between PRINCE2 and PMBOK

Project start Customer-centered project charter Business case is driven
Empowerment for the project manager Consider key stakeholders and financiers Client ownership and control by senior management (executive) above the PM
Approach to project management Descriptive Prescriptive of project process interactions but scalable
Adaptation to specific projects Some processes can be left out if need be All processes are considered but scaled according to specific requirements of projects
Control The project manager decides what to control Lays out on multi-level control schemes for progress reporting and tracking the project at different levels.


2.2 PRINCE2 in construction management

Application of PRINCE2 in construction management is not strange following the multiple projects across the world that have seen the system’s successful implementation. According to research by Rupali et al., (2017), several aspects of project management have been addressed through the use of PRINCE2 (Mahajan, 2017). Based on project managers’ experience, the methodology offers several benefits in usability and definition of roles. In their study, Vnoučková et al. (2015) assert that strategic development in the building industry is attributed to the competitiveness of business entities and human resources. The implementation of project management in the building sector through the approach is based on four main milestones. The management should satisfy themes, principles, processes, and adaptations based on the system.

2.2.1 PRINCE2 themes

These are aspects that are addressed throughout the entire project, offering a systematic approach to managing a given project. By addressing the themes, the method ensures that projects are on track with the objectives.

Table 2 themes in PRINCE2

Business case Relates with continuous business justification principle whose theme offers knowledge on the
Organization Useful for guiding managers to delegate and assign roles to teams
Quality Essential for delivery of the best quality product by defining the quality requirements of the project
Plans Creates the path along which targets for the project are achieved in parameters of cost, quality and time
Risk Threats and opportunities’ projected in the entire cycle of the project
Change Change brings the implied adaptation of the project to the requirements before incorporating
Progress Determined by the executed work against the plan





2.2.2 Roles of project managers in implementing PRINCE2

Project managers are part of the central team that runs a project in its entire life cycle. They are tasked with ensuring that a project adheres to a client’s requirements in quality, cost, and time. There are several roles that project managers are in charge of during the implementation of the PRINCE2 method (Wedekind & Philbin, 2018). Firstly, they are responsible for selecting the team that executes the project during the initiation stage. Managers should select a team of professionals on behalf of the client and oversee the work’s progression until completion. Throughout the PRINCE2 process, managers must ensure that the client’s needs are satisfied with the allocated budget. Throughout the process of implementing the method, project managers have distinct roles crucial in the delivery of any given project. As indicated below in table 3, there are several responsibilities assigned to project managers throughout the PRINCE implementation process.

Table 3 Roles of the project manager in implementing PRINCE2

Stage of PRINCE2 Implementation Role of project managers
Starting up a project ·       Appointment of the executive project board

·       Preparation of project brief

·       Defines the outline of a business case

·       Assigning roles to the project team

Initiation of a project ·       Production of management strategies based on risk, configuration, and communication

·       Documentation of acceptable business case

·       Project controls and files

·       Assembly of project initiation document

Directing a project ·       Authorization of initiation of a project

·       Authorization of exception plan

·       Project culture activities

Stage control ·       Overseeing and reporting on the progress of the project

·       Stepping in to correct on errors

·       Coordinating daily work

·       Communication with the project team

Product delivery management ·       Execution of work package

·       Delivery of work package

·       Approval for completion of work package

Management of stage boundaries ·       Planning the stage

·       Authorizing start of next stage

·       Reporting to project board on stage end progress

·       Production of an exception plan

Project closure ·       Closing remarks

·       Documentation and reporting on project closure

·       Handing over



3.0 Discussion

Based on the literature review earlier described, there are several ways in which the use of PRINCE2 project management meets clients’ expectations of projects and requirements. The following discussion presents a critical assessment of the demands of the method and the satisfaction of these demands. Besides, several benefits arise from the use of the approach and disadvantages of the same.

3.1 Quality expectations and acceptance criteria in PRINCE2

Following the review of research materials and customer feedback, several expectations are due for any given construction project with the use of PRINCE2. Firstly, the critical requirements of quality for any particular project based on the specifications must be considered, including measurements for products. Besides that, the proposed cost for improvement or damage correction should be sufficient to fund the repairs. Another expectation deals with the influence on the planned time, cost, scope, and risk management (Radka, 2017). There should be a priority set on customer requirements which influence the management system. For the mentioned demands, the approach has criteria for achieving quality based on the measurable attributes of PRINCE2 products. These may be in measures of ease of use, maintenance, significant functions, costs, and functionality. The acceptance criteria should be based on an agreement between the client and the PM. The PID’s approval is under the project board, which signifies the acceptance of the project obligations. Besides that, based on the methodology’s themes, the project management gets to decide on the worth of availing the project accordingly. The organization, design, change, and level of risk affect the progress of the project.

3.2 Benefits of using PRINCE2 in project management

The application of PRINCE2 is linked to several advantages in project management. Firstly, there is optimal use of resources, including human resources. Besides that, the entire framework is flexible and hence has a wide range of products under which it can be applied (Murillo Gomez & Jim{\’e}nez, 2018). The approach offers quality communication and accountability in the management of projects concerning consumer needs. Additionally, there is a better strategy for understanding and maintaining project viability with a clear direction by stages for control of project operations with a clear understanding of roles. This can be ascertained by the principle of role specification among stakeholders in projects. Another advantage is related to the stable governance that maximizes efficiency through communications. Following a principled approach, the use of PRINCE2 offers certification and training of project personnel, which promotes a structured approach to boost the confidence of achieving the desired outcome. This can be attributed to the theme constructs that restrain the level of progress for a given project. They help ensure that projects meet their minimum requirements, considering the critical elements of cost, time, and quality.

3.3 Disadvantages of using PRINCE2 in project management

Despite the many benefits earlier mentioned, there are negative impacts that result from the application of the PRINCE2 methodology. Firstly, based on the extensive application of themes, the process involves a lot of documentation, a risk factor for big projects. One of the critical elements is documentation, which varies from the business case, quality register, project product description, risk register, and change control approach (Hinde, 2018). Besides that, there is an increased need for maintenance and updates following the bulk of documentation and project requirements. Consequently, updating files and maintaining has a cost implication, which may add extra costs to the budget. This may discourage most clients, considering the high costs incurred on the direct expenses of a project for labor and material (Coppola, et al., 2016). Another disadvantage is the lack of involvement and ample time for senior management, which may slow down the project. This may result from members’ linked roles and, therefore, a collision of multiple roles assigned to a party. Also, the increased documentation calls for increased care in recording and dispersing information on the project, which may be adversarial for members.

Conclusion and Recommendations

From the above discussion, we can conclude that the use of PRINCE2 methodology in project management has multiple benefits. This depends on the observance of the main principles and themes, as outlined for the effective implementation. Different studies have indicated that the use of PRINCE2 offers benefits concerning the output of a project. Thus, the report argues that for the implementation to be successful, the entire process must adhere to the seven principles and the themes based on customer requirements. For instance, for effective delivery, a project must be process-based systematic, enriched with transparent processes, self-assessable, and conditional on the business case. This is to imply that the level of success in the completion of a project is dependent on the implementation of project management practices based on the organization with clear roles, quality development, change, and risk management, among other principles. Conclusively, project management through PRINCE2 gives guidance to organizations through a flexible approach based on the four elements discussed earlier. There are, however, several recommendations for the effective implementation of the system by project managers. Firstly, the submission of on-time progress reports is essential for more transparent operations. Besides that, planning quality control by using a quality register is useful for improving quality requirements for the project. Additionally, the manager should establish a project culture that promotes workflow and better relationships among stakeholders.



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