PRINCE2 project checklist

prince2 project checklist

The PRINCE2 project checklist provides a road map for ensuring compliance with PRINCE2 principles.

The project manager can include the PRINCE 2 project checklist in the project brief. To qualify as a PRINCE2 project, a project needs to:

  • Apply all seven principles in the project design without any tailoring.
  • Include all seven themes by meeting their respective minimal requirements. And using theme-specific PRINCE2 recommended or equivalent techniques, albeit in a possibly tailored configuration. PRINCE2 is not prescriptive regarding the use of specific theme-related approaches and techniques. They only need to satisfy theme-specific minimum requirements.
  • Follow project processes that satisfy the purpose and objectives of the PRINCE2 processes.

The project manager ensures that the project initiation documentation prepared in the initiating a project process reflects the above criteria. However, it may be a good idea to include the following outline that summarizes at least the key chains of relationships already in the project brief. That may strengthen the executive´s position when providing authority to initiate the project.

The continued business justification principle links to the business case theme.

The project manager creates the detailed business case and benefits management approach in the initiating a project process. They are then updated in each managing stage boundary process. The executive confirms continued business justification and risk exposure in the directing a project process at each stage boundary. The realisation of the business case and the final baselining of the benefits management approach are confirmed in the closing a project process.

The project manager also observes the continued business judtification principle in the context of the progress theme by reviewing the project´s business justification when raising exceptions.

The defined roles and responsibilities principle links to the organisation theme.

The project manager includes  project team organisation chart in the project brief they create in the starting up a project process. It includes clearly defined roles and their respective responsibilities. The project manager updates them by adding theme-specific responsibilities in the initiating a project process.

The manage by stages principle links to the plans theme.

The project manager divides the project into management stages. In the initiating a project process, they prepare the project plan and the stage plan for the first delivery stage. They will then prepare stage plans for subsequent delivery stages in the managing stage boundary processes immediately preceding the stages.

The manage by stages principle also links to the progress theme.

The executive authorises management stages one at a time. At the end of a management stage, the project board will review progress to date, the state of the project plan, the business case and risk exposure, and the next stage plan to decide whether to continue with the project.

The manage by exception principle links to the progress theme.

A level of management delegates authority to the level immediately below it by setting tolerances that serve as the basis for raising exceptions. These are then escalated in the opposite direction always one management level at a time.

The manage by exception principle also links to the change theme.

The executive establishes a procedure for change control that sets limits to the delegated authority to approve requests for change and off-specification. Limits of authority also apply to managing problems and concerns, including issues raised in response to threat to tolerances.

PRINCE2 enables appropriate governance by defining distinct responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project, and clearly defining accountability at each level. The PRINCE2 project checklist highlights a most attractive PRINCE2 concept. Management by exception provides for very efficient use of senior management time as it reduces their time burden without removing their control by ensuring decisions are made at the right level in the organisation.

The focus on product principle links to the plans theme.

The project manager follows the product-based approach to planning that includes the formulation of a project product description, product breakdown structure, product descriptions for individual configuration items included in the product breakdown structure and product flow diagram.

The focus on product principle also links to the quality theme.

The project manager formulates the quality management approach in the initiating a project process. They also ensure that the project product description includes  acceptance criteria and each product description includes quality criteria. An output-oriented project agrees and defines the project’s products prior to undertaking the activities required to produce them. The set of agreed products defines the scope of a project and provides the basis for planning and control.

The learn from experience principle links to the organisation theme.

The project manager sets up the lessons log in the starting up a project process and uses it to capture relevant lessons from previous projects as well as the current project. They include relevant lessons in highlight reports, end stage reports and the end project report. The project manager acts on lessons throughout the controlling a stage process while observing the limits of delegated authority. They also reflect lessons in stage planning in the managing stage boundary process. And summarise lessons and results of lessons-related actions in the end project report.

The tailor to suit the project principle is observed by considering the need for tailoring of themes, processes, management products and the language.

Project manager´s responsibilities include agreeing the tailoring requirements as the very first task in the initiating a project process. Thanks to the possibility of tailoring, PRINCE2 can  adjust to suit each project’s specific needs and context. It takes into account the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, team capability and risk. Accordingly, the PRINCE2 project management method can suit any project type or organisational culture.

As you can see, such a PRINCE2 project checklist can serve the project manager as a helpful road map. It can ensure that the project initiation documentation reflects all applicable PRINCE2 concepts. And as a result,  provides a solid foundation for the project.

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