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in project management today
The History of PRINCE2
It's true to say the public sector has hardly covered itself in glory with their ability to deliver projects on time, within budget and scope and to the right quality. PROMPTII, PRINCE and PRINCE2 were all introduced to address the common causes of project failure.
Project Resource Organisation Management and Planning Techniques
A project management method developed by Simpact Systems Ltd., PROMPTII was a response to an outcry that computer projects were overrunning on time estimated for completion and original budgets as set out in feasibility studies. It was not unusual to experience factors of double, treble or even ten-times the original estimates. PROMPTII was an attempt to set down guidelines for the stage flow of a computer project as follows:
- Feasibility Study: to decide whether the project should and can be done and whether it will work if it is done.
- Initial Stage: where the project organisation is setup.
- Specification Stage: the development of the user specification.
- Design Stage: where the logical and from this the physical design of the computer system is developed.
- Development Stage: when the system is built and tested.
- Installation Stage: where the user accepts a working system.
- Operation Stage: when the system is tuned for the work in hand.
In 1979 the UK Government's Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) adopted the method for all information systems projects. This led to PRINCE's development ten years later.
PRojects IN Controlled Environments
Published by the UK Government agency CCTA, Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE) became the UK standard for all government information systems projects.
The main features are:
- A defined management structure.
- A system of plans for resourcing and technical issues.
- A set of control procedures.
- A focus on products; deliverables to the customer and project deliverables used for managing the project.
A feature in the original method, not seen in other methods, was the idea of "assuring progress" from three separate but linked perspectives:
- Business Assurance Co-ordinator (BAC): whose role is to oversee the project is in line with the business mission of the company, and to report at progress meetings. This assures the project stays in the best interests of the company.
- Technical Assurance Co-ordinator (TAC): who oversees the technical aspects of the project and assures it does not get into technical difficulties.
- User Assurance Co-ordinator (UAC): who represents the eventual user.
However, the PRINCE method developed a reputation as being too unwieldy, too rigid and applicable only to large projects, leading to a revision in 1996.
PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2
An upgrade to PRINCE was considered to be in order and the development was contracted out, but assured by a virtual committee spread among 150 European organisations. The BAC, TAC and UAC were removed in the official version. Most companies who adopt a PRINCE approach to project management adapt the method to their commercial environment and use those parts of PRINCE that work for them. This is acceptable as the puritanical days of sticking rigidly to a method are seen now as undesirable and unnecessary.
Originally developed for IS and IT projects to reduce cost and time overruns; the second revision was made more generic an applicable to any project type.
In 2002 and 2005 PRINCE2 was updated in consultation with the international user community.
2009 PRINCE2 Major Revision
A major revision has seen the method made simpler and more easily customisable, a common request from users. The updated version has seven basic principles (not in the previous version) that contribute to project success:
- Business Case
- Issues & Changes
Overall the updated method aims to give project managers a better set of tools to deliver projects on time, within budget and to the right quality.
PRINCE2 2009: What's Changed?
PRINCE2, the UK's most widely used project management framework is being refreshed. The name remains the same, i.e. it will not be called PRINCE3, but there will be some fundamental enhancements. The refresh is being led by the UK's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and also involves OGC's two main partners for its Best Practice portfolio: TSO, the official publisher, and the APM Group, the official accrediting organisation.
Better Risk Management With PRINCE2
In my experience risk management is something that is talked about a lot but rarely done. One problem is that people don't know who should be doing what. PRINCE2 has always had a solid, but simple way of dealing with risk. With the latest version, released in June, a number of excellent ideas and concepts have been introduced. This article describes the best seven.
Implementing PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology
PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is an effective process-based method for project management. This article will briefly discuss PRINCE2 and how to ensure the methodology is implemented into the workplace.
PRINCE2 Training Myths & Misconceptions
As more and more people undertake PRINCE2 training so the myths and misconceptions around it seem to grow. This article looks at five aspects of PRINCE2 to give you the clear, concise information you need if you're considering investing in this valuable training.
Common Cost Management Mistakes
- Not understanding what is involved to complete an item of work.
- Starting with an amount of money and making the project cost fit it.
- Assigning resources at more than 80% utilisation.
- Failing to build in contingency.
- Providing estimates under pressure in project meetings.
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