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Prince 2

PRoject IN Controlled Environments

The success of PRINCE2 as a method for managing a project is due to its generality and therefore the possibility of being applied in different contexts.

It is fundamentally based on

  • Principles
  • Control themes
  • Project life cycle
  • Guide to customization to adapt it to the project environment itself
  • process models

Unlike old methods, the PM in this methodology is not a single project accountant with all the burdens and honors.

This is because he often does not have control or decision-making power over some aspects.

The PM is a facilitator, and expert in processes, communication, information circulation, and simplifying decision-making by the project committee.

7 Principles

Those are the guidelines as part of the best practices.

1. Continued business justification

The project must make sense for the company, which means that the benefits must be greater than the costs and must be measurable. There must be a reference Business Case that must be constantly updated.

2. Learn from the experience

It is essential to report what is learned during the project, not at the end.

Equally important is to create a Knowledge Management that allows you to learn from other projects and to which you can contribute your experience.

3. Defined roles and responsibilities

There is a Project Board that includes representatives from the company, users, and suppliers. Each member has specific and individual responsibilities.

The Board then assigns the PM the execution of one or more phases, while always retaining responsibility for the project as a whole.

4. Manage by stages

Each project is divided into independent portions, separately financed, each of which is called a phase.

After each phase, the project is stopped and a new authorization is required to restart.

Note: There must be at least 2 phases.

5. Manage by exception

Company ➡️ Executive ➡️ 1 phase to PM ➡️ 1 or more packages to Team Leader

There are different teams that carry out different products, aimed at completing the project. The PM manages the various Team Leaders who in turn are responsible for the team.

6. Focus on products

Typically, a project is a set of activities and is broken down into a Work Breakdown Structure.

In PRINCE2, the project is instead composed of several products that must be completed to achieve a final product.

The corresponding Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) is therefore defined.

7. Tailor to suit the project environment

Once the principles are clear and rooted, they must be adapted to the project in question in the best possible way to avoid the extremes of the overhead of inefficient structures or lack of structure in project management.

It may still be useful to set a set of minimum criteria to consider a PRINCE2 project.


PRINCE2 states that themes are aspects of a project that must be applied throughout its entire cycle.

The themes describe:

  1. How to establish reference parameters for benefits, risks, scope, quality, costs, and times
  2. The method by which the project management team monitors and controls the work during the project’s progress
  • The 7 Themes are:
  • Business Case
  • Change
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Progress
  • Quality
  • Risk


The model is the guideline for understanding and managing the set of phases and activities necessary to release the different products of the project.

Starting up a project

This phase is the preliminary one that answers the question: “Is the project feasible, is it justified?

In case of a positive answer, the Board is committed to the proceeding.

Directing a project

These are all the activities of the Project Board, they are essential as they are all related to the decision-making part, necessary for the board members to fulfill their tasks.

The board members then delegate the daily management of the project to the PM.

Initiating a project

This represents the start-up phase of the project, an activity carried out by the PM.

In this phase, the project start-up documentation must be drawn up.

In the document, the success criteria must be defined in the 6 fundamental performance objectives: time, cost, quality, scope, risks, and benefits.

Managing a stage boundary

This phase represents the PM’s activity regarding project management, providing information on the progress of work to the board (to stakeholders) who must approve the progress to move on to the next phase, review the project plan.

In this phase, the Board confirms the business justification of the project and accepts its resulting risks.

Controlling a Stage

This is the process by which the PM manages the various execution and delivery activities of the project during a specific phase.

In the control phase, the PM must also report progress and exceptions to the board.

Managing Product Delivery

This process is the glue between the PM and the Team Managers who manage the various teams that carry out the different products.

Closing a Project

Project closure phase.

  • Acceptance of the result
  • Closing documentation
  • Project delivery

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