Saturday, December 27, 2014
If this scenario sounds familiar, you should read on, because the PRINCE2 Organization and Planning Themes are really a great help in these situations – especially if you understand how to utilize them. The key trick is to get the Senior Supplier to take ownership of the realism of the plan – and this is how you do it:
Friday, December 26, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
The PRINCE2 Business Case captures the reasoning for initiating a project. The Business Cases is created to help decision-makers ensure that the proposed initiative will have value and relative priority compared to alternative initiatives based on the objectives and expected benefits laid out in the business case.
There is a couple of business case traps you should avoid:
- You build a project kingdom where the project manager is the King.
- You build a project and line organization matrix where the project manager is the facilitator.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
PRINCE2 recommends for completeness the Project Board should include representation from each of the business, user and supplier interests at all times. The Executive is looking after the business interests and is the single point of accountability. By definition, there should be one, and only one, Executive as you cannot have multiple single points of accountability.
In a PRINCE2 project, the Executive appoints the rest of the board and needs to evaluate completeness and balance of user and supplier interests. The members appointed should be senior enough to make strategic decisions, with the authority to make those decisions and with sufficient control of resources to provide the solutions. According to PRINCE2, can and should the Executive appoint more than one Senior User if multiple user groups need to be represented? And should the Executive appoint more than one Senior Supplier if groups of specialists in the project come from different parts of the organization (or from different organizations)?
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
One of the PRINCE2 strengths is the clarity of the roles. One of the seven PRINCE2 principles is to make sure you have defined and agreed roles and responsibilities.
In some PRINCE2 projects, it is tempting to have one single person covering more than one role. This can make sense if the project is of limited size or a certain individual has a unique combination of skills you want to get the most out of. But be aware, there are some traps:
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Argument 2: There are too many processes, sub-processes, themes and roles. You drown the organization in process.
Argument 3: Why fool ourselves? We cannot control the environment.
Argument 4: PRINCE2 does not embrace change.
Argument 5: PRINCE2 does not address requirement management.
Argument 6: The PRINCE2 Project Board dilutes accountability. We don’t need more boards and committees, we need clarify of responsibilities.
Heard any of these? Well, here is why they are wrong:
Monday, December 15, 2014
One of the most interesting sections of the CHAOS Manifesto is the rating of success factors for projects. The result is not surprising as it is in line with other research done on success of projects:
A PRINCE2 product can be anything produced in a project. A product is the same as a deliverable, and it includes everything made by the project manager and specialists throughout the project. Is someone writing a requirement document? That document is a PRINCE2 product. Is someone making a list of users to be training to use whatever you are building? Well, that list is a product.
To put is simple, PRINCE2 is guiding you on how to govern and manage a project. There are no project templates and not really any tools and tactical techniques in PRINCE2, so why bother? You do need your project templates, tools and techniques, but your project will not succeed unless you can execute it is a smart way.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
PRINCE2 Highlight Reporting is one of the easiest and most useful PRINCE2 concepts to implement early. If your organization is not running PRINCE2 yet, highlight reporting is something you can introduce without even mentioning PRINCE2.
The PRINCE2 Highlight reports lose some of their objective value without having Project Briefs, PIDs and Stage Plans to report against, but getting a standardized report in place for all projects has a value regardless. So what does a good PRINE2 Project Highlight Report look like?
- Business – The Executive representing the business needs
- User – The Senior User representing the users of the project output.
- Supplier – The Senior Supplier representing those who will create the project’s output.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Do I need generic and extensive PRINCE2 document templates, or can I simplify and use one page tables or PowerPoint slides? PRINCE2 doesn’t give you a direct answer, but a clear hint is given: Tailor to suit the environment
Friday, December 12, 2014
Are you working with new technologies on a strict timeline reporting to a nervous Project Board? If so, you need to put extra effort into controlling you environment. Here are your and the Project Board’s options:
Here are four advices:
Your success as a Project Manager is depending on others – first and foremost your Team Managers. Without your teams, nothing is produced. But how do you get commitment from your Team Managers to produce what is needed, with the quality agreed, in time and on budget? PRINCE2 has a clear recommendation:
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Large, complex deliveries are often broken down into manageable, inter-related projects. For those managing this overall delivery the principles of programme management are key to delivering on time and within budget.
- Organize the organization’s project portfolio in a single place.
- Establish a portfolio delivery plan and monitor progress.
- Track project performance and compare to forecast. Store results and learnings.
- Review and identify dependencies
- Establish clear governance structures for stakeholders to understand governance of the project portfolio.
- Define a standard set of investment criteria to be used to appraisal and prioritization.
- Apply phased releases of funding based on project life-cycle
The Project Mandate triggers a controlled Starting Up process in a PRINCE2 project. The Project Mandate doesn't officially start the project. This sounds like a paradox, but the project doesn't start until the Starting Up process is completed and Project Brief, Outline Business Case and Initiation Stage Plan are all approved.
|PRINCE2 Project Brief Template|
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Spend some extra time on this chapter in the start up, and you will benefit later. So what are examples of acceptance criteria? Maybe you have some of these:
- Technical requirements verified by the test lab.
- User requirements confirmed by executing a validation protocol at the beta sites
- 10 successful sales transactions validated.
- Internal users are trained and have been granted access.
- Operation and maintenance documentation has been reviewed and approved.