Prince2 (acronym for PRojects in Controlled Environments) is a process-based methodology for effectively managing a project. It is a method widely used by the UK’s public and private sector that offers best practices when managing projects of all sizes in companies.
Organization, both in personal and professional life is fundamental. Dealing with demand, deadlines and expectations is a big responsibility.
When we transfer this to the context of a company that deals with customers, it becomes even more essential. After all, without consumers, a brand is nothing.
Managing projects, doing them intelligently and assertively is a strategic issue for any business. But not just to maintain the current customer base.
Whoever is needed in this mission undoubtedly has an important competitive advantage and, yes, begins to pave the way for growth.
The Prince2 methodology helps companies in this regard. It gives the precise guidelines and good practices to make this task much easier on a daily basis.
Today’s article talks about what this tool is, what are the advantages, the structure and the best practices for managing projects internally in an organization.
Stay with us and check it out.
What is Prince2?
Prince2, or PRojects IN Controlled Enviroments (Projects in controlled environments), is a methodology focused on project management.
Its objective is to assist everyone involved in any type of project – regardless of the size and the environment in which they are inserted.
The aim is to ensure the best practices to meet the needs of quality, costs, scope, risks, scalar and benefits.
So much so that its origin was due to a wide consultation from the empirical knowledge of dozens and dozens of companies.
Because it is a standardized methodology, it helps one or more companies to be able to work intelligently and directly on the same project.
It is, without a doubt, something that helps a lot in productivity and also motivation of all involved – something fundamental in project management.
Its origin goes back to 1989. It was created by CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency).
The methodology was originally based on PROMPT. This is a method for managing projects created by Simpact Systems Ltd in 1975.
The CCTA, in 1979, ended up adopting it and, through it, established a standard for all the projects of the information system of the government of Great Britain.
With the honors of Majesty
Prince2 has been used for many years by the government of Great Britain and has been officially maintained by OGC – Office of Government Commerce, since 2010.
Its copyright, moreover, belongs to the British crown. However, the method is still used by more than 150 countries around the world.
To maintain the quality of the methodology, the British government created 3 levels of certification and left it to the APM Group to give the following certifications:
This certification confirms that the professional has knowledge and is able to use the methodology properly.
Prince 2 Practitioner
Up one level, the credential says that the professional has the knowledge to use and adapt the method to any type and complexity of projects.
To have it, you must previously have the Prince2 Foundation.
Prince 2 Professional
To achieve the highest certification it is necessary to prove the skills in project management through the methodology.
It is essential to comply with all aspects that the method contains in the complete life cycle of a project.
To have this certification, obviously, you need to have Prince2 Practitioner before.
The 5 features of Prince2
To better understand what this methodology is and how it works, we need to observe the 5 main characteristics that the methodology has.
- Change – projects inevitably introduce changes and aim to improve something for those involved;
- Temporariness – there should always be a beginning and an end to the project. This should end as soon as the last step occurs. Maintenance is not considered here;
- Interfunctionality – the project involves different people and areas and requires experienced professionals who know how to work together;
- Exclusivity – each project will always be exclusive and unique, as there will be peculiarities that make it different from the others;
- Uncertainty – those interested in the project may have opinions that differ and reflect on aspects such as costs, deadline, among others.
The benefits of the Prince2 methodology for companies
Organize yourself and focus on being productive and acting within the best practices. Although managing projects is not an accurate science – and the Product Owner knows this well – discipline is essential.
The application of the methodology is something that a good practice of intrapreneurship can bring to companies.
And from there, the benefits can be seen.
1 – Constant improvement
As it is a methodology that has been used for at least 3 decades, the method has continued to evolve.
The feedback that has been obtained historically has made Prince2 in fact the guardian of best practices.
Because of this, its continuous application guarantees companies a constant improvement and that can be replicated in different contexts – even in their personal lives.
2 – Easy application
Any type of project, anywhere and in any company can have the methodology at work.
In other words, Prince2 is present from small things like preparing a meeting to developing software.
Best practices can be applied at all times and serve to guide people to a more assertive path when it comes to work.
3 – Accountability
Everyone involved in the project needs to be very clear about what is expected of them. This is good practice for the administrative management of any business, by the way.
When we talk about a project, with deadlines and costs, then we don’t even talk about it. After all, it is necessary to check if each one fulfilled what he was responsible for doing.
It also helps to prove ROI during management – without waiting for the project to end to find out if the return was the desired one.
If, at any stage, it is noted that the expected return can no longer be achieved, then the project must be stopped.
4 – Problem management
The methodology, by using Exception Management, is able to deal with problems that will inevitably arise during a project.
This management, moreover, allows the upper level to manage the lower level, thus optimizing the steps.
Of course, there is a margin of tolerance. And, if it is overcome, there must be a specific project to combat this defection.
The Theory of Constraints, in fact, can serve as a complementary tool to identify and solve problems that arise.
Prince2 benefits people
Not only can companies take advantage of applying the method. This also occurs in personal life.
It serves people who:
- seek to develop diverse skills (especially in project management);
- manage teams;
- develop skills to work together with other people.
Having this methodology present in everyday life brings more efficiency and effectiveness to the day-to-day work and also to challenges that the routine imposes.
They also qualify any professional who aims to have better job prospects or to move up within the company that is already there.
Prince2: 7 principles, themes and processes
Principles, themes and processes guide the Prince2 methodology. Unlike other methodologies like Scrum, this one won’t tell you exactly what to do.
It will talk about best practices, requirements and the “terms” in which the work needs to take place.
That is why it is so important to understand how it works and, above all, what it holds.
Knowing this, you will be able to make an intelligent strategic planning, which is focused on the customer and which delivers ever more efficient solutions.
Check out the aspects of the methodology:
The 7 principles
- Continued business justification – there must always be a clear (and profitable) reason for the project to exist (to be executed and managed);
- Learning from experience – teams should always seek to learn lessons from each completed project;
- Defined responsibilities – the organizational structure must be clear to guarantee the professional engagement of each person with their tasks;
- Step management – projects need to be planned, monitored and also, step by step, to be controlled;
- Exception management – as we talked about earlier, it serves to identify problems, but also to give the right amount of work per person;
- Focus on the product – definition, delivery and quality of the product or service developed are essential and non-negotiable within the method;
- Adaptation to the environment – the methodology must always adapt to the work environment, as well as the people of the teams. The complexity, importance and risk of the project are taken into account.
The 7 themes
- Business case – create and maintain a record of the project’s financial justification;
- Organization – have defined the roles and responsibilities of the team as a whole and of each member of it;
- Quality – quality requirements and measures and how this will be reflected in the final result of the project;
- Plans – all the necessary steps to develop what was planned and what techniques will be used;
- Risk – identification of risks and opportunities that can have a decisive impact on the project;
- Change – how the project manager will evaluate and act upon the necessary changes along the way;
- Progress – how should the project proceed at the end of each stage? Time to evaluate performance and understand its feasibility.
The 7 processes
- Starting a project – initial step that occurs before putting your hands in the dough. It seeks to ensure that the prerequisites for starting a project are available;
- Directing a project – time to serve the project committee and provide the necessary information for any kind of decision making before the start;
- Starting a project – the kick is taken. Here planning takes place and Prince2’s controlled environment appears;
- Controlling a step – this process provides information regarding the progress of the project and feeds decisions if there is a need for realignment;
- Managing the limits – guarantee and control of the project so that pre-defined limits are met and aimed at delivery quality;
- Managing delivery – process that guarantees the creation and delivery of products or services within the terms previously established;
- Closing a project – the end point. here, the delivery of what was developed exactly as planned was guaranteed.
In this way, you will always have a routine of work and development of assertive projects, as well as the methodology preaches.
This will be essential for you to keep the focus on the customer and ensure an ever better consumer experience with your brand.
So, how can we help you?
If you have any doubts about the article or want to share any pain in the management of your company with us, talk to a consultant.
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The first talks about the importance of applying the 5S methodology in companies and how it helps in productivity.
The second addresses how the use of agile methods makes everyday life more efficient in organizations.
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