PRojects IN Controlled Environments
Prince2 is a process-based method for effective project management and is the de facto standard in use by the UK Government. It is also a widely used and recognized standard throughout the private sector and is used internationally in businesses of all levels and sizes.
Prince2 is NOT a software solution (like Microsoft Project) although software can be used in its implementation but rather a set of processes, policies and procedures that help in formalizing the structure of a project from implementation to completion. Prince2 is based on the experiences of many, many different projects, project managers and teams and is a standardized framework about which projects of all levels of complexity may be draped.
WHY DO YOU NEED PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
I’m sure that there are instances of projects being handled correctly simply by pulling out Microsoft Project and hacking away – however these are few and far between and for those larger projects involving significant budgets a method that must be avoided at all costs!
The simplest reason to use a proper methodology in regards to your project is to minimize the risk of failure – nothing unfortunately can guarantee the risk of failure! Some of the common reasons for failure are as follows:
- Insufficient attention to detail at the beginning phase of the project when determining what it is you are trying to accomplish and why. In addition a lack of involvement of the impacted parties in the decision making process right at the start.
- Insufficient definition of the outcomes that you are trying to achieve – its all well and good that you are running a project buy why? You must have some sort of end point in mind (unfortunately sometimes a successful completion of your project will actually demonstrate to you that your reasoning was flawed but regardless you must always define what it is you are trying to accomplish).
- Lack of communication between different stakeholders and interested parties throughout the course of the project and at each significant milestone.
- Poor estimates of costs or time frames as well as lack of resources at key milestones.
- Lack of quality control and review of delivered products to ensure that they are actually within scope.
As you can see, there are many different ways a project can fail (and many, many more that I have not even listed!) and the reason for utilizing a Project Management methodology like Prince2 is to minimize wherever possible those failure points so that you have the best possible chance for success you can reasonably expect.