When it comes to good practices in Project Management, it is hard to beat PRINCE2.
PRINCE2 Certification is an important qualification for you if you are a part of any project in any company of any domain. You contribute to the project, work around the processes, sip coffee and attend those retrospective meetings with your Project Manager. But have you ever asked your Project Manager, what are these “good practices” in Project Management that everyone talks about? And how do you differentiate between a set of good and bad practices?
Well, maybe it never occurred to you to ask such questions.
No worries! Let’s try to crack this together.
Hope you’ve read my Common Pitfalls to Avoid with PRINCE2.
Here’s a quick RECAP of what is PRINCE2:
PRINCE2 is everything about a particular Project IN Controlled Environment, a project that is a temporary entity built to design a particular service in order to drive the desired result.
What started as an all-encompassing project management method in 1975: “PROMPT II IN the CCTA Environment”, was renamed to “PRINCE” in 1989 and then later updated to “PRINCE2” in 1996. Project Management PRINCE2 updated itself in the year 2009 which is the version we use now.
The PRINCE2 methodology is a vast study of managing projects keeping in mind all the odds and ends – project types, principles, themes, processes, and environments.
This flexibility is exactly what the PRINCE2 Framework preaches.
Project Management frameworks usually show a way of demonstrating the way projects should work. PRINCE2 Framework goes far beyond that and straightens out Governance, Quality Management, Delivery and Corporate Culture. How lit is that!
Characteristics of a PRINCE2 Project:
A PRINCE2 project is a planned, monitored and controlled phenomenon. It involves 7 stages:
1. Starting a project
2. Initiating a project
3. Directing a project
4. Controlling a stage
5. Product delivery management
6. Stage boundary management
7. Closing a project
The key focus is on the role of each and every stakeholder on the team in a PRINCE2 project. Project Manager is not held solely accountable for everything that happens inside a project.
A PRINCE2 project is always, always:
3. Enriched with crystal clear processes, steps, templates, and tools
4. Focused on the project
6. Conditional on the business case
Now, to carry out this project, there are PRINCE2-defined principles, themes, and processes which a project manager, assistant project manager and every team member working on the project must be well-versed with. Therefore, getting familiarized with the PRINCE2 terminology is a vital learning bit that must take place in every team, regardless of its size. PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Training and PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification Training can be that perfect learning curve for you.
Now, coming to the focal point, how do we define “good practices” in project management PRINCE2, a field that is so vast and ever-changing? In here, ‘good practices’ is not as subjective of a term as one would think.
Good practices are a product of good work habits among teamies. You must collectively instil them in the work environment. PRINCE2 has a lot to do with the environment as the acronym itself suggests. Remember, the environment is for us to create. Thus, whatever project method you choose must be in alignment with the project environment you have created. It’s right what they say, “choose your environment carefully.” 🙂
These are the high-priority PRINCE2 good practices:
• Toiling pre-project.
Don’t be surprised, if I tell you that in most scenarios, there are more things to do before starting a project in comparison with when in the project. In Project Management PRINCE2 terminology, it is called the Initiation Stage and this is when you don’t want to panic ‘cause loads of boxes to tick! Is this project worth my while? Is it fully scoped? Have I concluded the Project Brief yet? Has the Board reviewed it? What’s the status for – planning, funding, stakeholder expectations?? Jeez! So, bracing yourselves for all of this is a good idea before you kick start the pre-project work.
• Taking an apt risk management approach.
Have an appetite for risks? You’ll get your basic Risk Management #101 dosage in Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2017 edition. Risk Management approach has been covered in detail by PRINCE2, so there is no chance you could go wrong here (provided you implement what you study)! This approach is all about how you identify, plan, implement and communicate your risks while working on the project. Keeping history and continually maintaining a record of the risks involved is a good practice for sure.
• Calling for on-time progress reports.
Progress report submission ain’t a snoozefest, is it! If project managers and project contributors submit and review reports time-to-time, processes will be smoother and more transparent. Practising this will eliminate half the uncertainties. It also comes along with timely progress evaluation and assessment of the project’s business justification.
• Tailoring your project the right way.
Here goes another to-do-task into your pre-project worksheet. BTW, this is not just good practice, but is also one of the PRINCE2 principles. Every project requires to be suited to the coveted project environment, geography, culture, scope, risk, size, complexity, etc. This is where your great decision-making skills pay off. As a project manager, you have to analyze diverse things like incorporating the themes and principles while tailoring a project. Requesting support from other departments is recommended. Don’t forget to focus on the end product and customer satisfaction in the process though.
• Communicating effectively and effortlessly.
I hope you know that having top-notch communication skills is one of the fundamental requirements to become a successful project manager. But do you know why? Because according to Managing Successful Projects with Project management PRINCE2 2017 edition, as a project manager, you spend 90% of your time communicating and managing team communication. Therefore, it is basic to involve all the stakeholders in your communication management strategy so that you don’t lead yourself or your team into walking blindly into the walls, literally! 😛
• Handling concerns and taking corrective actions.
This practice is vital in Change Control Approach. Stakeholder management and stakeholder engagement are important factors here. Before you jump to solutions, you might want to remind yourselves that concerns should have priority numbers as per their intensity. When it comes to corrective actions, providing counselling, guidance, and support is a must. Did you know about PRINCE2’s take on governance? This thing is an all-rounder if you ask me!
• Planning quality control.
Does your project have a quality register? How do you monitor the quality of your services? Do you undertake any types of activities to improve your product’s quality measurements? Quality documentation is the ideal thing to do, but only after you set up the quality criteria.
• Establishing the culture.
Last but not least, culture is everything. You cannot go right with a project if you go wrong with the culture. A positive environment creates a potent workflow and cordial relationships between stakeholders. Cultural change related workshops can help you get off the ground big time. Flexibility, building trust, coming out of your shell, positive attitude matter a lot. Above all, these qualities also enable Agile, DevOps and other IT frameworks for you to undertake. In conclusion, creating a culture that nourishes is something one should not miss out on.
In the end, project performance is what most board members look at. However, in the PRINCE2 Framework, preserving, executing and facilitating these healthy practices is a project manager’s as well as his/ her team’s accountability.
PRINCE2, a global accreditation is a trademark of AXELOS. It is one of the most practised frameworks around the world that keeps your project in sync with the current trends. This Project management PRINCE2 will get your businesses ‘The Revolution’ and ‘The New Power Generation!’ 😀
To sum up, in a project, you work your guts out. Just make sure to carry your navigators – Principles, Themes, Processes, and energy boosters – the jolly Good Practices!
PRINCE2 is a saviour for every project that needs a fix-up. *Beep-Project-related SOS*? Come, meet our PRINCE2 experts now!!