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PRINCE2 (Projects in a Controlled Environment) is a structured project management method based on experience drawn from thousands of projects – and from the contributions of countless project sponsors, Project Managers, project teams, academics, trainers and consultants.

The PRINCE2 method addresses project management with four integrated elements

·         The principles: These are the guiding obligations and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2.

·         The themes: These describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually and in parallel throughout the project.

·         The processes : These describe a step-wise progression through the project lifecycle, from getting started to project closure.

·         Project Environment Organizations often want a consistent approach to managing projects and tailor PRINCE2 to create their own project management method. This method is then embedded into the organizations way of working.

The PRINCE2 themes describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually. Any Project Manager who gives thorough attention to these themes will fulfill the role in a professional manner.

There are 7 themes

Business Case – The project starts with an idea which is considered to have potential value for the organization concerned. This theme addresses how the idea is developed into a viable investment proposition for the organization and how project management maintains the focus on the organization’s objectives throughout the project.

Organization – The organization sponsoring the project needs to allocate the work to managers who will be responsible for it and steer it through to completion. Projects are cross-functional so the normal line function structures are not suitable. This theme describes the roles and responsibilities in the temporary PRINCE2 project management team required to manage the project effectively

Quality – The initial idea will only be understood as a broad outline. This theme explains how the outline is developed so that all participants understand the quality attributes of the products to be delivered – and then how project management will ensure that these requirements are subsequently delivered.

Plans – PRINCE2 projects proceed on the basis of a series of approved plans. This theme complements the Quality theme by describing the steps required to develop plans and the PRINCE2 techniques that should be applied. In PRINCE2, the plans are matched to the needs of the personnel at the various levels of the organization. They are the focus for communication and control throughout the project.

Risk – Projects typically entail more risk than stable operational activity. This theme addresses how project management manages the uncertainties in its plans and in the wider project environment.

Change – This theme describes how project management assesses and acts upon issues which have a potential impact on any of the baseline aspects of the project (its plans and completed products). Issues may be unanticipated general problems, requests for change or instances of quality failure.

Progress – This theme addresses the ongoing viability of the plans. The theme explains the decision-making process for approving plans, the monitoring of actual performance and the escalation process if events do not go according to plan. Ultimately, the Progress theme determines whether and how the project should proceed.

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