PRINCE2® Product Description Template

Here you can find a simple Product Description template in Microsoft Word format, along with explanation on how to use it.

Background

Do you know the two types of product based on PRINCE2?

They are specialist products and management products. Specialist products are those you build and deliver to your customer, and management products are those you create to support the specialist products; e.g. reports, plans, etc. So, every “template” that we have here is for a management product.

PRINCE2 prefers to call them “management products” instead of “documents”, because they don’t have to be documents! Let’s take a Checkpoint Report: it can be a phone call from the Team Manager to the Project Manager! Yes, that’s right. Well, as long as a phone call suits the nature of work, and you consider it properly; i.e. you set its frequency and format in the Work Package and follow those rules.

Anyway, what I wanted to mention is that since management products are also products, they also need to have Product Descriptions. If you have the PRINCE2 manual, take a look at the Appendix A: that’s where you can find the Product Description of all management products. In fact, when I was preparing these templates, I was continuously checking that appendix to make sure I’m including everything that was needed.

Can you guess what my favorite Product Description is?

My favorite Product Description from Appendix A of the manual, is the Product Description for the Product Description :’)

Anyway… don’t forget that you also need to prepare Product Descriptions for the specialist products.

What we need here is to “describe” what the product is. To do that, you mainly need to explain the scope and quality of the product. Following PRINCE2’s terms, scope is explained in the section titled “composition” in the template.

Composition

The template has these main sections:

  • Document information: this is the generic information about the document and connections with your Configuration Management system. Feel free to add more information here, but it’s best to keep it simple.
  • Approval: this section is for capturing approvals. There are multiple lines, because you may have multiple versions of this document approved. If you have a well-formed Configuration Management system to track approvals, feel free to remove this section.
  • Description: the most important part in this section is the scope of the product (the “composition” heading),  but we also have some extra information.
  • Quality: quality management is a lot of fun, isn’t it? 😉  One important thing here is that quality tolerance is defined here instead of a more generic place, like other variables. This is so, because quality tolerance depends on the nature of the product, not on the way we plan stages.

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