PRINCE2 is based on the seven principles, seven themes (business case, organization, quality, plans, risk, change and progress) and seven processes. The principles and themes come into play in the seven processes.
One of the seven PRINE2 Principles is “Manage by Stage”. The project is split up in stages that must be planned, monitor and controlled – one at a time.
Some pre-project work is done before a project is formally approved. This work is focusing on collecting and aligning needed to approve the project. Plans and rule sets for the project are developed in the first stage after approval, the “Initiation stage”. The rest of the project is split up in manageable stages and closed in a final delivery stage.
PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management, and there are seven processes, which provides the set of activities needed, to successfully take a project from “Pre-project” through “Final delivery stage”:
Starting up a project (SU)
In this process the project team is appointed and a project brief (describing, in outline, what the project is attempting to achieve and the business justification for doing so) is prepared. In addition the overall approach to be taken is decided and the next stage of the project is planned. Once this work is done, the project board is asked to authorize the next stage. Read more about Starting up a Project..
Initiating a project (IP)
This process builds on the work of the start up process, and the project brief is augmented to form a business case. The approach taken to ensure quality on the project is agreed together with the overall approach to controlling the project itself (project controls). Project files are also created as is an overall plan for the project. A plan for the next stage of the project is also created. The resultant information can be put before the project board for them to authorize the project itself. Read more about Initiating a Project (IP)...
Directing a project (DP)
This process dictates how the Project Board (which comprises such roles as the executive sponsor or project sponsor) should control the overall project. The project board can authorise an initiation stage and can also authorize a project. Directing a Project also dictates how the project board should authorize a stage plan, including any stage plan that replaces an existing stage plan due to slippage or other unforeseen circumstances.
Controlling a stage (CS)
PRINCE2 suggests that projects should be broken down into stages and these sub-processes dictate how each individual stage should be controlled. Most fundamentally this includes the way in which work packages are authorised and received. It also specifies the way in which progress should be monitored and how the highlights of the progress should be reported to the project board.
Managing stage boundaries(SB)
The Controlling a Stage process dictates what should be done within a stage, Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) dictates what should be done towards the end of a stage. Most obviously, the next stage should be planned and the overall project plan, risk register and business case amended as necessary. The process also covers what should be done for a stage that has gone outside its tolerance levels. Finally, the process dictates how the end of the stage should be reported.
Managing product delivery (MP)
The Managing product delivery process has the purpose of controlling the link between the Project Manager and the Team Manager(s) by placing formal requirements on accepting, executing and delivering project work.
Closing a project (CP)