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PRINCE2 Overview
The Management Processes.

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology for the organisation, management and control of projects using a process based approach. It comprises eight high level processes. These are:

  Directing a project 
  Starting up a project 
  Initiating a project 
  Controlling a stage 
  Managing product delivery 
  Managing stage boundaries 
  Closing a project 

Each process is defined with its key inputs and outputs together with the specific
objectives to be achieved and activities to be carried out.

Directing a Project

Directing a Project runs from the start-up of the project until its closure. This process is
aimed at the Project Board. The Project Board manages by exception, monitors via reports and controls through a number of decision points.


Planning is a repeatable process, and plays an important role in other processes, the main
ones being:

  Planning an Initiation Stage 
  Planning a Project 
  Planning a Stage 
  Updating a Project Plan 
  Accepting a Work Package 
  Producing an Exception Plan. 

Starting up a Project

This is the first process in PRINCE2. It is a pre-project process, designed to ensure that
the pre-requisites for initiating the project are in place. The process expects the
existence of a Project Mandate which defines in high level terms the reason for the project
and what outcome is sought. The process of starting up a Project should be very short.

Initiating a Project

The objectives of Initiating a Project are to:

  Define how the required product quality will be achieved 
  Plan and cost the project 
  Revise the Business Case and confirm it remains valid 
  Ensure the investment of time and effort by the project is justified, taking into account the risks to the project 
  Enable and encourage the Project Board to take ownership of the project and commit to the next stage 
  Provide the baseline for the decision-making processes required during the project's life 

Managing Stage Boundaries

This process provides the Project Board with key decision points on whether to continue with the project or not.

The objectives of the process are to:

  Assure the Project Board that all deliverables planned in the current Stage Plan have been completed as defined 
  Provide the information needed for the Project Board to assess the continuing viability of the project 
  Provide the Project Board with information needed to approve the current stage's completion and authorise the start of the next stage, together with its delegated tolerance level 
  Record any measurements or lessons which can help later stages of this project and/or other projects.

Controlling a Stage

This process describes the monitoring and control activities of the Project Manager involved
in ensuring that a stage stays on course and reacts to unexpected events. The process forms the core of the Project Manager's effort on the project, being the process which handles day-to-day management of the project.

Throughout a stage there will be a cycle consisting of:

  Authorising work to be done 
  Gathering progress information about that work 
  Watching for changes 
  Reviewing the situation 
  Taking any necessary corrective action. 

Managing Product Delivery

The objective of this process is to ensure that planned products are created and delivered

  The Team Manager negotiating details of Work packages with the Project Manager 
  Making certain that work on products allocated to the team is effectively authorised and agreed 
  Ensuring that work conforms to the requirements of interfaces identified in the Work Package 
  Ensuring that the work is done 
  Assessing work progress and forecasts regularly 
  Ensuring that completed products meet quality criteria 
  Obtaining approval for the completed products. 

Closing a Project

The purpose of this process is to execute a controlled close to the project. The process
covers the Project Manager's work to wrap up the project either at its end or at a premature
close. Most of the work is to prepare input to the Project Board to obtain its confirmation
that the project may close.

The objectives of Closing a Project are to:

  Check the extent to which the objectives or aims set out in the Project Initiation Document (PID) have been met 
  Assess to what extent all expected products have been handed over and accepted by the customer 
  Confirm that maintenance, operation and training arrangements are in place (where appropriate) 
  Make any recommendations for follow-on actions 
  Capture lessons resulting from the project and complete the Lessons Learned Report
  Prepare an End Project Report 
  Archive the project files 
  Produce a Post-Project Review Plan 
  Prepare a recommendation to the Project Board to notify the host organisation of the intention to disband the project organisation and resources. 

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