Some business owners misjudge the importance of using a formal project management methodology such as PRINCE2 if the projects within their organisation are small in scale – spending time on training and implementing project management may seem like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.
This analogy is misguided. The beauty of the PRINCE2 methodology is that it can be scaled and applied to projects of different scales, in different industries, and it is thus proven to be beneficial at all levels. Our PRINCE2 training leads to formal qualifications and applicable knowledge of how to apply PRINCE2 to projects of all sizes.
Embedding and Scaling PRINCE2
The practice of adopting PRINCE2 across your organisation is known as embedding. The process of embedding will include how the terminology and methodology can be adapted to suit a business’s organisational structure, current practices, and different size projects.
PRINCE2 can be scaled down to suit the individual needs of a project while still providing the necessary control and without losing sight of the inherent principles.
The Principles of PRINCE2
The 7 principles of PRINCE2 cannot be tailored – they are fundamental to the success of the project. We’ve gone into much more detail in our article about the 7 PRINCE2 principles, but here they are as a reminder:
- Continued business justification
- Learn from experience
- Defined roles and responsibilities
- Manage by stages
- Manage by exception
- Focus on products
- Tailor to suit the project environment
Adapting PRINCE2 to Programme Management
If your business manages programmes through a method such as MSP, you may already have pre-defined methods for strategy, processes and standards. This will affect the plans, quality, risk, change and progress themes of your PRINCE2 projects.
Members of the Programme Board will usually have a high-level role in the PRINCE2 project, e.g. as Executive on the Project Board.
For more on this, have a look at our video on using PRINCE with MSP.
Adapting the structure and individual roles
As a rule of thumb, when tailoring PRINCE2 to different types of project, roles and responsibilities can be moved and combined but they cannot be dropped. The exception to this is Team Manager as there may not be a big enough team to require individual team managers working under the project manager!
Adapting the PRINCE2 Process
When embedding processes to an organisation or an individual project, all the standard PRINCE2 processes should be reviewed and scaled to meet the current need. The aim should be to carry out all processes, albeit on a smaller scale – the framework is based on efficiency and optimisation, meaning each process is crucial for control and project success.
Dropping some processes may be tempting but can cause big problems later on. For example, reducing the effort and time put into initiating the project may seem like a quick way to get the project started; but may cause misunderstandings that cause the project to go off course.
Tasks can be combined or scaled down significantly for small projects, e.g. the Daily Log could be used to include risks, issue and quality reports and thus removes the need for individual registers for these. Some reports, e.g. the end of stage assessment, could be given orally.
The important thing, again, is that these processes are still followed but in a more efficient way that suits the need and resources of the project.
Image by Jade Sibley on Flickr.
Similar posts you may like:
- The Seven PRINCE2 Principles
- Using PRINCE2 in Small Projects
- How to Avoid Project Management Failure
- When to be Flexible in PRINCE2 Project Management
- PRINCE2 Methodology & PRINCE2 Structure