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
The number 7 PRINCE2 principle is telling you to scale the project framework to the level needed to stay in control. So what does that tell us about which style of templates to use?
We should have a look at where efficiency can be gained before answering the template question. There is only one Project Brief, one Project Initiation Document (PID) and one Business Case, but multiple reports, product descriptions and work packages. So, a natural conclusion would be to not start simplifying the Brief, PID and Business Case, but rather have a look at what can be done with reports, PDs and WPs.
If your project members were all very experiences experts, led by flawless Team Managers consistently
a) understanding and following detailed, perfect Standard Operating Procedures for their respective domains
b) delivering 100% to the Project Board’s expectations
then your Product Descriptions and Work Packages could be limited to a couple of paragraphs in an e-mail. Unfortunately, this is usually not the environment you are asked to control.
If there are types of products your project organization is consistently delivering on time, using the correct format and without any disputes on quality/content, then it is time to start simplifying the templates and introducing one-pager product descriptions and work packages. You can then use the simplified templates for this type of products and keep a more elaborate template for the rest. Before that, stick to content rich PD and WP documents.
One domain where it is easier to simplify is reporting. Highlight reporting can be done in various simplified ways, and checkpoint reports can easily be done in emails. Logs and registers can be tabs on an Excel spread sheet.
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