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Project management has lately multiplied its acknowledgment as one of the best techniques for planning and directing the execution of projects. It represents the application of knowledge, experience, methods and tools to the project’s work to meet the requirements for the project, and the expectations of the participants. To fulfil these necessities and prospects, it is necessary to find the optimum amalgamation between all the features of the plan. Project management follows a clear logic that connects different areas of knowledge and project administration processes. One of the most innovative and useful project management methods is considered to be PRINCE2. Separately, every project is supposed to lead to the construction of a distinctive product, provision and/or effect. The project unavoidably has to possess one or more goalmouths. The goals embrace not only the final results of the project, but also the chosen ways to achieve these results (for example, the technologies used in the project and the project management system). Therefore, the principles of work, advantages and lack of disadvantages made PRINCE2 project management the most successful way of running the projects, as it produces the best outcomes.
General Information on PRINCE2 Project Management Method
PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2 (generally abbreviated as PRINCE2) is a controlled and organized project management method. It is commonly accepted by the UK government as a standard of project administration. As a rule, the PRINCE2 method consists of the methodologies to the control and organization of projects. Thus, this methodology includes approaches to the management and coordination of projects. PRINCE2 coordinates the activities of the project team in the design and monitoring process, and is also used in the event of significant changes to the project (González‐Marcos, Alba‐Elías, & Ordieres‐Meré, 2016). Each separate process has its main inputs and outputs, set goals and measures for their implementation, which allows to control the project in case of any deviations from the plan (González‐Marcos, Alba‐Elías, & Ordieres‐Meré, 2016). Processes are divided into manageable stages, which provides for effective distribution of resources.
PRINCE2 is known to be an obligatory standard for all UK government projects. To assess the level of implementation of the PRINCE2 standard for project management, as well as to improve the organization’s design practice based on a comparison with the best industry practices, the PRINCE2 Maturity Model (P2MM) was developed. PRINCE2 is an arranged tactic to project administration. It means and presupposes that it is a way of managing projects within a visibly defined background. PRINCE2 describes the procedures for coordinating the activities of the project team when developing and monitoring the project, as well as the procedures that are used when the project is changed or if there are significant deviations from the original plan (González‐Marcos, Alba‐Elías, & Ordieres‐Meré, 2016). According to the method, each process is defined with its main inputs and outputs, with the specific goals of the Requirements Design Implementation Verification Maintenance and the activities to be performed, which gives automatic control over any deviations from the plan (González‐Marcos, Alba‐Elías, & Ordieres‐Meré, 2016). The method empowers efficient resource management by separating the processes into practicable phases. Processes in the PRINCE2 concept include the diagram, which shows the procedures of the PRINCE2 method. The arrows indicate directions of information flows.
The Circle of PRINCE2 Project Management Method
In the official documentation, the methodology of PRINCE2 is described as the actions which go from top to bottom, i.e. from the abstract levels to their concrete filling. Primarily, there are 8 stages of the process (for example, strategic project management, project start, etc.) and 8 components/aspects (planning, change control, etc.). Then, each stage is divided into the activities (or sub-steps) (there are already 45 of them), incoming and outgoing artefacts, and criteria that allow the activity to begin (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017). After that, the relationships between the activities are outlined (eventually one gets a certain ‘three-dimensional network’) (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017). Hence, it is necessary to indicate which of the 8 components (aspects) is relevant to which sub-stages (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017). Each of the 45 sub-stages has a unique identifier formed of one letter (the first in the title of the stage) and the numbers (sequence number in the stage) (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). Finally, for the three important components (Planning, Change Management and Quality Management), step-by-step instructions on how to do it are given (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017). In fact, the techniques specify that detailed instructions can be different within the framework of the stages. In the course of describing the processes, all the important points to remember are provided, as well as the choice (or inventing) of a particular technique (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). It is very similar to interfaces and implementation: the processes are interfaces, the techniques are implementation (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). It is important to note that the representation of stages and sub-steps is not a pure criterion. They do not reply the query of what is to be attained, but the enquiry of how to accomplish the objective. It acts without supplying specific details (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). For example, it is stated that a plan must be devised and a critical path has to be identified, but it does not specify how exactly the plan is to be compiled.
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It is possible to define the following stages of the PRINCE2’s functioning. The first one is named the ‘pre-project.’ It provides for the expected results of the project as well as justification of the viability and feasibility of the project. The second stage is referred to as the beginning of the project. From the initial idea of the project (reflected in the mandate for the project), it goes directly to the implementation of these ideas. An organization is established, at least the project manager and the chairman of the project committee are appointed. It expresses a short-term explanation of the project and the method of its application. The project launch phase is planned in detail. The project product encompasses planning of the implementation of the project, schedule, resources, risks, approval and approval procedures. Thirdly, a phase of introducing the project presupposes that project planning is conducted, including the development of a quality plan. A business case is created, a risk journal is opened, and project risks are assessed. Milestones, project control points are considered. The gates of decision-making by the Project Committee (with account of the early completion of the project), the situational settlement of significant problems and deviations are also incorporated. The method directs the stages and immediate work of the project manager on daily project management, issuance and acceptance of tasks, fixing of complexities and risks, decision-making on escalation, reporting to the Committee. An approach is determined to ensure the quality of the project, manage its implementation, the overall plan and the plan for the next phase of the project. Plans are reviewed and approved by the Project Board, after which the project is launched. Fourthly, the stage is production management. It embraces the measures that developers and working groups should take to arrange the scope of work, reports on progress and the transfer of work done (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). Moreover, the stage defines how the Project Board (management) will monitor the overall project, allocate responsibilities, review and approve the project phase plans, introduce changes, make decisions on the procedure for closing the project and terminating the project (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). The fifth phase is the control of stage boundaries, which covers an analysis of the execution of the stage plan, intermediate planning for the next stage, reserve plans, a review of risks and a business plan. It comprises to move between stages. The sixth stage is the completion of the project. It includes the data on how to conclude the project, how to administer follow-up actions, and how to disassemble the reviews of project benefits. Herein, there is a process of planning, which identifies how to plan, regardless of the period when planning is conducted (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). It involves sub-processes: the division of project into stages, the management of each individual stage, the identification of those responsible for each stage, the ways to monitor the progress of the project, the content of information to be submitted to the Project Board, development of corrective actions, and methods for transferring decision-making on deviations to the Project Board (González-Marcos, Alba-Elías, Navaridas-Nalda, & Ordieres-Meré, 2016). The seventh stage is the product creation management. It consists of the definition of duties of the person accountable for designing, advancing, implementing or purchasing products (González-Marcos, Alba-Elías, Navaridas-Nalda, & Ordieres-Meré, 2016). The process is performed at the start of each work package. Therefore, the boundary management of the stage includes the determination of work scope within the phase, what should be done by the end of the phase, clarification of the next stage plan and project plan, project risks, specification of the content and form of the stage report (González-Marcos, Alba-Elías, Navaridas-Nalda, & Ordieres-Meré, 2016). Finally, the eighth step is closing of the project, wherein the conclusions of the project, procedures for utilizing and releasing resources, and formal evaluation of project results are provided (Martens & Carvalho, 2016). PRINCE2 is a feature of the release of successful project-based management executives, direct project administration, and leadership successful projects based on project committees’ managers, board members and project sponsors (Martens & Carvalho, 2016). Additionally, it is important for the standard to determine the requirements for the qualification of project sponsors. The standard focuses on the management of one project.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the PRINCE2 Project Management Method
Similarly to any other project management methods, there are certain positive and negative sides of PRINCE2. Hence, the advantages of the PRINCE2 methodology incorporate a structured method that provides a standard approach to project administration, as well as proven and established practices in project administration (Alvarez-Dionisi, Turner, & Mittra, 2016). Secondly, PRINCE2 offers common terminology for project participants (Alvarez-Dionisi, Turner, & Mittra, 2016). Thirdly, PRINCE2 ensures regulation of the resource use and risk management (Alvarez-Dionisi, Turner, & Mittra, 2016). Fourthly, PRINCE2 allocates projects, namely supervised and organized beginning, intermediate stage and completion, regular reviews of development concerning the strategy and commercial situation. In addition, it possesses flexible control points, automatic operation of all deviations from the plan, as well as involvement of management and stakeholders at the proper stages (González-Marcos, Alba-Elías, Navaridas-Nalda, & Ordieres-Meré, 2016). Furthermore, it is categorized by the reassuring communication channels between the project, project organization and shareholders (Martens & Carvalho, 2016). Finally, PRINCE2 provides benefits to individual projects, including the identification of roles and responsibilities at each level, ensures reduction of meetings and bureaucratic activities, governs appropriate levels of planning from the long-term to the short-term ones; contributes to the separation of management actions from technical ones, as well as to better evaluation of project risks by all parties, and the ways to administer conversions to minimize risks.
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The limitations and shortcomings of the PRINCE2 are as follows. The method does not cover contract management and personnel management. Furthermore, the disadvantages embrace the lack of any regulation with regard to the methodology of approaches to the control of supply contracts, project participants and other processes that the creators have undertaken beyond the framework. It is believed that each project manager chooses his own methods and strategies to such a work.
PRINCE2 provides project managers with the benefits that are manifested in the ability to administer the use of resources, as well as business and project risks more effectively. PRINCE2 captivated the approved and established best practices. Hence, this is an extensively recognized mutual language for all project participants. PRINCE2 indices formal assignment of obligations within the project. Therefore, PRINCE2 directs all stages of projects, particularly manageable and organized beginning, middle and completion; correct and timely information on the progress of work on the project in temporary control points by automatic operation of any deviations from the plan; involvement of managers and executors at the right time and place; worthy communication channels in the project, along with project organization and other arrangements.
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