PRINCE2® Structure – Introduction to PRINCE2 Method 4/4

The Process Tree

There are 7 management processes in PRINCE2 and each process is a responsibility of one management level in the project organization:

Directing a Project Is under the responsibility of the Project Board. It runs from the start of the project until its end. During this process the project board authorizes project stages and manages the overall project by exception.

The second rows of processes are under the Project Managers responsibility. The very first process Starting up a Project is actually a pre-project process. The main subject of the project is established and the project management team is assigned.

The Initiating a Project Process is the process that defines the product quality, the project timeline and cost, risk analysis and commitment of resources. This is the process where the business case for the project is finalized.

In PRINCE2, our project is divided into stages for management and control efficiency. The Controlling a Project Process manages each stage and is repeated for each stage in the project. During this process the project manager watches over work, takes corrective actions, and observes changes and reports. Each action can be repeated many times by the project manager until the stage is complete.

Managing Product Delivery is the process where the plan products are created and it comes under the responsibility of the team manager. The team manager receives the work packages from the project manager.

Managing Stage Boundaries is a reporting process for a stage. Reports produced during this process provide input for the project board.

Closing a Project covers the work of wrapping-up the project at its end. The output of this process will be the basis for the project boards’ confirmation for closure.

Planning process runs throughout the project lifetime and comes into effect when there is planning to be done.

The Components

PRINCE2 has eight components to ensure good project management. These components form a base to build up the project.

• The Business Case is a business justification for the project. Is a non-technical reason for the project and it makes sure that whatever resources are used they are used in support of the business. The business case must be developed in sufficient detail so that it can be used throughout the project. It is a means to keep the project on its course.
• The Organization component defines the roles and responsibilities for each member of the Project Management team. It explains the way each management level reports to the one above and defines how the upper management guides those below.
Plans have the purpose of providing a base for the actual outcomes of the project. PRINCE2 uses two major levels of plans. Project level plans help the project board to continuously monitor the progress and stage level plans detail the work to be done for each stage.
Controls component covers in need to check progress against the plan. Project controls also ensure that decisions are made at the right time and they are based on accurate information.
Management of Risk component has the objective of managing the projects exposure to risk. To manage risks, all foreseeable risks are identified, evaluated and possible responses are determined.
Quality in a Project Environment component makes sure that the quality level expected by the customer is achieved. It includes all the project management activities that are related to the quality of the product.
Configuration Management component manages the assets of the project. The assets of a project are the products produced at every stage. It holds information on product versions, the ownership and the relationship between the products.
Change Control component makes assessment on how any change can affect the outcome of a project. Change control analyzes every change according to its impact, cost and importance and reports on these changes. If changes are approved, they become global in the project.

The Techniques

PRINCE2 encourages the use of custom techniques to handle project issues. But three techniques are presented in the PRINCE2 manual to support best practice.

• Product-based Planning technique forms a method to concentrate on the desired products. It ensures that all breakdown and activities add value and contribute to the final product. This technique can be applied to any project to give a logical sequence to the projects work.
• Change control technique provides a tool to handle changes to specialist products. Specialist products are products that make-up the final deliverable product and this technique keeps track of all the changes related with these products.
• Quality Review technique gathers together the parties related to the product and asked them to discuss whether their product in question falls within the quality standards. Quality reviews can help identify defects earlier and provides an objective measurement for control.


PRINCE2 can be tailored for different types and sizes of projects. Although PRINCE2 dictates that each process should be followed, for some projects some processes can be combined to save time and effort. For smaller projects some documents can be reduced and some steps can be handled in a rather informal manner.
Whatever the project the following question should be asked and answered in detail. “How extensively should this PRINCE2 Process be applied to the project?”

Related Articles

What is a Project? | Benefits of PRINCE2 | PRINCE2 Method and History

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