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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.

In Prince2 product description has a very important place. Let us understand it.

The Project Product Description

  • The Project Product Description is created in the Starting up a Project process as part of the initial scoping activity and may be refined during the Initiating a Project process when creating the Project Plan. 
  • It is subject to formal change control and should be checked at stage boundaries (during Managing a Stage Boundary) to see if any changes are required.
  • It is used by the Closing a Project process as part of the verification that the project has delivered what was expected of it and that the acceptance criteria have been met.
  • The Project Product Description includes:
    • The overall purpose of the product
    • Its composition (i.e. the set of products it needs to comprise)
    • The customer’s quality expectations
    • Acceptance criteria, method and responsibilities
    • Project-level quality tolerances.
  • The approved Project Product Description is included as a component of the Project Brief and is used to help select the project approach.
  • The Project Product Description is a special form of Product Description in that it includes the customer’s quality expectations and, at this level, the quality criteria and quality methods constitute the acceptance criteria and acceptance methods for the project overall.

Product Descriptions

  • Once detailed planning gets underway, Product Descriptions should be created for all of the project’s products.
  • Product Descriptions are not optional. They govern the development of the products and their subsequent review and approval.
  • Composition of Product Description:
    • Title Name by which the product is known
    • Purpose This defines the purpose that the product will fulfill and who will use it. Is it a means to an end or an end in itself
    • Composition This is a list of the parts of the product. 
    • Derivation What are the source products from which this product is derived?
    • Format and presentation
    • Development skills required An indication of the skills required to develop the product or a pointer to which area(s) should supply the development resources.
    • Quality criteria To what quality specification must the product be produced, and what
    • Quality measurements will be applied by those inspecting the finished product
    • Quality tolerance Details of any range in the quality criteria within which the product would
    • Be acceptable
    • Quality method The kinds of quality method – for example, design verification, pilot, test, inspection or review – that are to be used to check the quality or functionality of the product
    • Quality skills required An indication of the skills required to undertake the quality method or a pointer to which area(s) should supply the checking resources.
    • Quality responsibilities Defining the producer, reviewer(s) and approver(s) for the product.
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