I am often asked how the PRINCE2 Processes “speak” to each other. My following summary will give you a new insight to PRINCE2 Processes, and how they work together…..Enjoy!!
It would be helpful if you thought of Processes as “Toolkits” or “Toolboxes” The Processes are used when they are needed – some once per project, some re-used several times, and one, Directing a Project, is used continuously.
1. PRINCE2 kicks off with the “trigger” from Corporate, of the Project Mandate.
2. The Starting Up a Project (SU), and Initiating a Project (IP) Processes are “in series” – the Management Products of each being taken to the Project Board for approval (Authorizing initiation and Authorizing a project).
3. The Process Managing Product Delivery, is used, along with the PID, to create the 2nd Stage Plan and End Stage Report containing the updated versions of the Project Plan, Business Case, and Risk Register.
4. These Management Products are presented to the Project Board (Authorizing a project), to agree that the whole project, in principle, should be agreed, and that it is sensible to invest in the 2nd Stage Plan (in the activity Authorizing a Stage or Exception Plan).
5. From there on, the “Engine Room” of PRINCE2 takes over – ONE anticlockwise revolution per Stage…SB is used the prepare for the End Stage Assessment (ESA), DP approves the Stage Plan, Sets Tolerance, and sets the frequency of each Highlight Report….
6. Controlling a Stage (CS) authorizes Work Packages (WP), the Specialist Team Agrees them (all happens in Managing Product Delivery – MP), creates the Products, caries out the Quality Checks/Quality Reviews, issues Checkpoint Reports on WP progress – and eventually completes the Work Package then advising the Project Manager, who needs to agree the WP…
7. The Project Manager “Manages By Exception”, issuing regular Highlight Reports, and this continues until the last WP in the Stage is completed.
8. This “triggers” the Project Manager to use Managing a Stage Boundary (SB), create the Next Stage Plan, update the relevant documents, and present the information to the Project Board at an End Stage Assessment (ESA). Then the whole cycle repeats…
9. In PRINCE2, all plans are documents, and the Plans Theme and the product-based planning technique is used whenever a Project Plan, Stage Plan, optional Team Plan, and Exception Plan (if needed), are required.
10. Whenever the Stage/Project is forecast to exceed Tolerance, the Project Manager enters it in the Issue Register, and raises an Exception Report to bring the matter to the attention of the Project Board (along with options to recover/minimize the situation), and the project Board makes a decision to ask for a plan on a particular option or order a premature close.
11. If the Project Board want an Exception Plan, the Project Manager will use SB to create it, and then update the remaining documents just like an End Stage Assessment.
12. BUT, the meeting to agree/not an Exception Plan is called an Exception Assessment (EXA). Once approved, the Exception Plan replaces the original Stage Plan that would have not completed within Tolerances, and the Project Manager authorises new/modified Work Packages against the new “Stage Plan”
13. The project is closed using the Closing a Project process, EITHER because the project has reached its natural and successful conclusion, or because the Project Board/Corporate Management/Programme Management have asked the project manager to close the project prematurely.
For more information on PRINCE2 – CLICK HERE
PRINCE2 is based on seven principles, and these originated from lessons learned on projects that have gone well and those that have gone badly. If a project does not use these principles then it is not using PRINCE2.
A PRINCE2 project has continued business justification. The business case drives the requirement for a project and there should be a justifiable reason to start the project, and this justification should remain viable throughout the life of the project, and this justification must be documented and approved within the Business Case.
The project teams within a PRINCE2 project learn from previous experience, these lessons are sought out recorded and acted upon.
Previous or similar projects should be reviewed to see if lessons learned could be applied at the start of a project, and as the project progresses, lessons should be included in all reports and reviews, as the project closes the project should pass on these lessons for use on future projects.
A PRINCE2 project engages the business, user, and supplier stakeholder interests in defining the agreed roles and responsibilities. If the right people are not involved, or if people involved do not know what’s expected of them or what to expect of others then the project is doomed to failure.
A PRINCE2 project is planned, monitored and controlled on a stage by stage basis. The use of management stages with end stage assessment control points at major intervals throughout the project, allow the viability of the project to be reviewed at key points.
Shorter stages offer more control while longer stages reduce the burden on senior management. PRINCE2 requires that there should be a minimum of two management stages: one for the initiation stage where the Project Initiation Document is created and at least one other management stage used as a delivery stage for the specialist products.
PRINCE2 has three levels of management; directing by the project board, managing by the project manager, and delivering by the team manager and the specialist team. PRINCE2 set tolerances for these levels to establish the limits of delegated authority. There are six types of tolerance; time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefit.
In a PRINCE2 project the focus is on defining and delivering products and in particular their quality requirements. In order to fulfill stakeholder expectations, there must be a common understanding of the products required and the quality expectations for them.
Each product will have a Product Description defining the purpose, composition, derivation, format, quality criteria and quality method.
The PRINCE2 method will need to be tailored dependent upon the project environment, the project size, its complexity, importance, capability and risk. The project controls will be tailored to suit these six aspects.
The Project Initiation Documentation will include a section stating how the method is to be tailored for this particular project.
Want To Learn More? CLICK HERE For My PRINCE2 Primer!
If you get confused about the term Configuration Management in your PRINCE2 Foundation or Practitioner exams – then help is at hand!
Watch this short video to crush Configuration Management in just 27 Minutes Flat!
Okay, let’s review the main points:
1. Planning. The level of CM control required by the project and how that is to be achieved. It includes aspects such as a documentation management system and access control
2. Identification. Specifying and identifying all project’s products and establish a coding system to uniquely identify each product any variants
3. Control. The ability to record, monitor and report product status progress
4. Status Accounting. The reporting of all current and historical data for each product via a Product Status Account. Used at end of project and each stage and when examining issues and risks
5. Verification and Audit. Reviews and audits to compare the actual status of products against their state as recorded in the configuration records
This also checks that CM is being carried out as per the Configuration Management Strategy
The Configuration Management Strategy. Forms part of the Project Initiation Documentation, and describes:
Configuration Item Records. Used to provide a record of:
Product Status Account. Provides information about the state of products within defined limits
Having an effective project board using the PRINCE2 directing a project process on a project is vital to the success of the project, as it consists of a group of managers who have overall responsibility for a project.
The PRINCE2 project board will must understand that they cannot delegate all responsibility for a project to the project manager as they also have some responsibilities.
The work that the project board perform is covered by the PRINCE2 directing a project process, and that the project board use the PRINCE2 technique management by exception.
Ownership of the project will ensure the project board and their main responsibilities are their to help manage the project, but not to carry out any of the work.
Project boards using the PRINCE2 directing a project process, must have appropriate authority as well as responsibility in order to make decisions about a project.
Another aspect that is often forgotten when designing and appointing those who are to be on the project board and use the directing a project process, is their availability and commitment to carry out their role.
The PRINCE2 directing a project process expects to apply management by exception, where members of the project board usually only need to get involved at particular points during the project; and these include:
After the PRINCE2 starting up a project process has completed, under the PRINCE2 process directing a project and will meet for the first time to make a decision about whether or not to invest in the initiation stage.
At the end of the initiation stage the project will meet again to perform two key activities; to sign of the project initiation documentation, and hence the authorise the project, and to approve the next stage plan (the first delivery stage in a PRINCE2 project) the project authorization activity in the PRINCE2 directing a project process.
At any point within a PRINCE2 management stage, members of the project board, may need to give information to the project manager, although project manager may need to ask questions or get advice and guidance for members of the project board.
The PRINCE2 directing a project process has an activity called ‘give adhoc direction’ to provide a communication conduit for the above to happen, as well as for when the project board will receive regular highlight reports on progress of the current management stage.
At the end of each stage, the project manager will request an end stage assessment, and project board will need to make a decision about whether to proceed to the next stage or not.
As the last delivery stage in a project concludes, the project board needs to make a decision that the project has completed in a successful manner, and that it should be closed.
For more information on PRINCE2 – GO HERE
Thеrе аrе gоіng to bе plenty of tіmеѕ during a Project whеn уоu, thе Project Manager, wіll hаvе dіffісultіеѕ that уоu wіll not bе аblе tо overcome оn уоur оwn аnd уоu wіll nееd help frоm ѕеnіоr mаnаgеmеnt.
Sо, аѕ a Project Mаnаgеr, I feel it іѕ important tо hаvе someone оr some group you саn turn to whеn уоu nееd hеlр tо gеt ѕоmеthіng dоnе еіthеr іn thе сlіеnt’ѕ, thе uѕеr’ѕ оr the dеvеlореr’ѕ organization.
For thіѕ rеаѕоn I believe іt is оf utmоѕt іmроrtаnсе that уоu, thе Project Mаnаgеr, establishes, ѕресіfісаllу for уоur Prоjесt, a Prоjесt Bоаrd оr a Project Steering Cоmmіttее or whatever іt іѕ that you wаnt to саll іt.
The іmроrtаnt thіng іѕ thаt you mаkе ѕurе, in whаtеvеr wау уоu can, you get thе right people assigned tо thіѕ grоuр. Aѕ a minimum, уоu ѕhоuld hаvе a ѕеnіоr rерrеѕеntаtіvе from thе dеvеlореr’ѕ оrgаnіzаtіоn, a senior rерrеѕеntаtіvе from thе сlіеnt’ѕ organization аnd a ѕеnіоr rерrеѕеntаtіvе frоm the оrgаnіzаtіоn thаt іѕ gоіng tо actually uѕе whаt уоu and уоur Tеаm are dеlіvеrіng.
Yоu nееd to аlѕо make ѕurе that thе Prоjесt Sроnѕоr іѕ раrt of thіѕ grоuр.
Thеѕе rерrеѕеntаtіvеѕ muѕt not only bе at a lеvеl ѕuffісіеnt enough in thеіr particular area that thеу саn mаkе dесіѕіоnѕ for thаt area of the оrgаnіzаtіоn but they must аlѕо be аblе tо mаkе thіngѕ hарреn when уоu nееd thіngѕ tо hарреn.
Thеу need tо be able to dеlіvеr. Thеу muѕt bе truly соmmіttеd tо the Prоjесt, and to the Prоjесt’ѕ ѕuссеѕѕful dеlіvеrу. These people nееd to knоw whаt they are doing. In a real ѕеnѕе they are dіrесtіng thе Project but аt thе same tіmе they аrе ѕеrvаntѕ tо уоu аnd уоur Tеаm.
You must rеmеmbеr thіѕ – a Prоjесt Bоаrd appointed to just “tick a bоx” іѕ worse thаn hаvіng nо Project Bоаrd аt аll.
Wіth a “tісk the bоx” Prоjесt Bоаrd wе hаvе thе fаlѕе іmрrеѕѕіоn thаt wе’vе got the help whеn we need іt оnlу tо fіnd out tоо lаtе thаt thеу dо nоthіng fоr uѕ.
At least wіthоut a Project Bоаrd, I know from the bеgіnnіng thаt I am going tо have to hаndlе еvеrу challenge that the Project faces.
Juѕt dо іt. Put a Project Bоаrd іn рlасе and rеар the benefits.
American Precision (AP) is a well-known custom bike shop specializing in high-end bikes for serious enthusiasts. They pride themselves on high quality original designs, friendly staff, and have cultured a laid back can-do business image.
Several competitors have started to emerge based on AP’s success, and although trade is brisk, the Founder, Marlon Hopper, is keen to keep ahead of the pack. The competitors are already starting to slow business for AP, whose order book is down by 15% this year. It was with regret, that Marlon had to let some of his bike design and build staff go due to reduced product orders. Staff morale is low as a result of this.
But Marlon is a real go-getter, a gentle giant of a man who doesn’t suffer fools. His powerful personal image and customer commitment is reflected in his products – powerful, reliable, and stylish.
A major trade show is due in three months in Florida, and typical of Marlon’s aggressive personal style, he and his son, Marlon Junior, are busy completing a radical new design of bike for unveiling at the show. Marlon’s son has a natural flair for design, and along with leading the bike styling, he has developed a strong merchandising theme for the shop with Tee-shirts, Caps, and other branded apparel.
Local TV stations have started to feature American Precision, and they are becoming “personalities” in their own right. With their 10th anniversary of the company this year, Marlon Hopper is keen to capitalize on this. They are receiving hundreds of requests for pictures of themselves and their bikes, and have decided to create a special full-color commemorative promotional ‘executive’ diary.
The limited edition diary will be given away free to AP’s many suppliers, customers, and prospective customers. These will be mostly sent by mail. Senior wants the project completed ready for the coming bike show in three months’ time.
You have been head-hunted by Marlon Senior and asked to project manage the new diary, and have just started work on the project…
The diary must have high quality photographs, one for each month, which fit in with, and enhance, the company image. A real leather cover will complete the “biker image”. Their image of working and playing hard also needs to come across in a humorous style. Each member of the bike build staff (Marlon plus son, plus 6 staff) needs to be included somehow in the photographs.
There must be room on each page of the diary for the owner to record special dates and events in the biking year. Marlon is expecting top quality glossy paper in full color.
A complete list of all existing customers will need to be created, and is to be drawn from purchasing data held in accounts department. A similar list of future customers can be compiled from the Sales and Marketing department.
You want to generate a series of options for the paper quality and size, and based on these, options for cardboard containers and shrink-wrap to ship the Diaries. The local office supplies company will provide options for you, and will donate the materials for your design, but would like to have a say in the final package. Once you have these options, you will need to get a quote for each options mail costs for bulk mailing them across the USA.
Marlon has asked you to give him a forecast of the project cost for his decision to go-ahead or not. If he likes one of the options he will give you the go-ahead on the project. As part of this ‘green light’, Senior wants you to submit a series of photo design ideas. He says that you must NOT get his Son involved as he wants Junior to stay focused on the bike design and build…
AP already has an established web site with a series of publicity pictures, and Marlon Junior is keen for you to base your new photographs on these in terms of style and content.
When Marlon has agreed the photo designs, he wants you to commission a photographer to take many photographs so they have a lot of choice for the final best pictures. But with a small number of staff he is also keen not to disrupt his staff at this busy time so you will need to develop a schedule for the photograph sessions.
Marlon Hopper will choose the final photographs.
AP has recently developed a new logo, and this needs to be built into the graphic design for the diary shrink-wrap. The graphic needs to be an eye-catching design so that the diary recipient opens and uses it. It must differentiate itself from the usual junk mail.
AP gives much of its paint spraying business to Jude Cordero who specializes in air brush design. She has been asked to come up with three designs for the diary cardboard box from which one will be chosen.
From that, a custom self-adhesive label will be contracted out to the office supply company. The label, based upon the graphic design, should be quarter the size of the selected packet, show in some way that the packet contains a valuable free gift, and use an attractive large font with the customer’s name and address.
The end product of the project will be a prepared diary pack containing the daily and weekly calendar displays, the chosen photographs, the shrink-wrap sleeve with incorporated graphic design, and the list of suppliers and customers. The diary must show correct public holidays and dates for the year 1010. The company image must reflect AP branding standards. The final diary design will be given to an external ‘Fulfillment House’ for printing and mailing.
Marlon Senior has a daughter Lisa at University studying business and art – she will join AP as an Executive next year and he has offered her services to help Marlon Hopper judge the final Diary package.
The prepared boxed, shrink-wrapped, and labelled diary will consist of:
The project will have 3 stages and is currently in the Initiation Stage
The draft Project Plan is showing total project costs to be $25,000, with a plus and minus cost tolerance of $5,000. Time is tight, so a time tolerance of + 5 working days, and – 10 days has been set. Because of the urgency and the fixed end-date, a change budget of $1000 has been set. The risk budget is zero.
Stage 2 Activities:
Note: the printing, production, and distribution of the promotional diary is outside the scope of this project.
Stage 3 Activities:
It is now June 2012, and the Florida trade Show is 1st September 2012, so the prepared diary pack must be ready for the printers by August 10th to meet the deadline.
Marlon is concerned about the state of the business, and asked finance to give a business statement as of this time – here is the reply:
To: Marlon Hopper
From: American Precision Accountant
I’ve checked out our customer and bike order figures for the last 2 years as you asked me. As you suspected, both orders and new customers are down.
Two years ago you had 120 bike orders, and made an average profit of $2000 per order giving you a total profit of $240,000. This year, you had 105 orders but still made the same profit per order, giving you a total profit of $210,000.
Precision’s marketing department has estimated that the new limited edition diary would increase our bike orders to 140. Assuming the same profit per bike – it would give you a total profit of $280,000 for the year.
In addition, they say that if we include details of our apparel range in the new diary, we will sell an extra $10,000 of merchandize at a profit of $7000.
These figures look good, but remember they are only estimates.
Your daughter has come up with some interesting ideas. Here they are along with my comments:
Marketing thinks that these increases in orders should increase by 10% for the following year. Considering the number of diaries you intend to send out, we must be careful about costs. High quality diaries can be expensive to manufacture and this will eat into your profits. On the other hand, cheap looking diaries may hurt your quality bike building image – and could actually reduce sales.
As your accountant, I need to remind you that you don’t have to go ahead with this diary idea, after all, even considering your current drop in profits; your business is making healthy profits. As long as your competitors don’t start producing diaries, then that route seems the favourite to me.
I understand the cost of the diary project to be in the region of $22,000
I have created a draft business case for your thoughts:
Question 1 A.
All of the following statements are true – but which TWO options are the most appropriate for each heading in the Business Case:
Staff morale may improve when the promotional diaries are launched
It’s easy to master PRINCE2 and pass the exams when you know where to get the resources to fully prepare, isn’t it?
As you consider the benefits of investing in my PRINCE2 Academy System, you might like to think about the extra value you get by your ability to truly understand and apply the method in your projects.
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I wouldn’t advise you to order our PRINCE2 Projex Academy System now until you’ve proved to yourself it’s a worthwhile investment
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I would like to suggest you remember what you were aiming for when you started to learn the PRINCE2 Methodology
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Many of you may have noticed my off-the-wall – but serious, YouTube Professor PRINCE2 video. My direct marketing ideas factory buddy and guru Dave Shillito set up the PRINCE2 video and wrote the script, so he should take full credit for the pacing and humour…(I owe you a few drinks Dave…)
They call Dave the Small Business Whisperer, a title very well earned, and he has been solely instrumental in growing my online business over the past several years…
Me? I just laughed my socks off when I saw the video. PRINCE2 is a serious subject, but a little humour raises the energy level – don’t you think?
But behind the humor is a serious message, that beastly PRINCE2 Manual has been written as a detailed reference, and it does that job really well. But as any prospective candidate for the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams will tell you, it ain’t an easy read, and it certainly has not been written as a PRINCE2 training manual!
But that’s where I come in…
You see, those kind folks at the APM Group (they look after PRINCE2 as well as setting and marking Your PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams), have audited and reviewed my PRINCE2 Primer, and have given me a world-wide PRINCE2 License for it to be sold as THE ONLY PRE-COURSE PREPARATION for anyone intending to become a PRINCE2 Practitioner!
Not only that, but they have given me permission to include a massive 320 PRINCE2 Foundation exam questions and answers Guide, AND, a 21 PRINCE2 Practitioner exam questions and answers Guide.
Am I giving you a hand up to become an PRINCE2 Practitioner or what??
The end project report is created as part of the closing a project process and within it is contained the lessons report. However, the lessons report may be created at the end of stage, particularly if such lessons can be usefully applied to the current project all that it makes sense to avail of these lessons via the lessons report, to other projects within the organization. Such lessons reports will be included within the end stage report.
You may recall that the lessons learned log is set up as part of the starting up a project process as it is used to capture any known or sought-out lessons to be applied to the project from the very start.
If you have a project office in your organization, then they should look after your lessons report so that it will help advise other project managers of any lessons that may affect their project.
Whenever PRINCE2 is applied to any project, it is important to tailor the method to suit the size, complexity and risk of the project. This will apply equally to the lessons report, and any opportunity taken to reduce, combine and simplify the following content sections of the lessons report:
This provides an overview of the key areas that the lessons report covers.
Scope of the report.
This will normally state whether the lessons report covers the lessons gained within a particular stage, or whether it covers the entire project.
A good way of structure in this section is to split it into what went well and what went badly sections. Each item should include how to optimize and implement those parts that went well, and possible actions that may have been taken to minimize or remove those areas that went badly.
This section within the lessons report could review the tailoring of PRINCE2 and how this could be improved on future projects, any changes for improvements made to the various project strategy’s contained within the project initiation documentation, changes to the method or implementation of the various project controls, and changes or improvements to any specialist methods used (this could cover methods to create the specialist products, or modification to a management method such as change-control.
Finally, any suggestions for how the project controlled abnormal events that caused deviations from plan.
A review of useful measurements.
This could include just about anything that was measured during the project with the focus on improving such measurements in the future.
Aspects to consider are; estimating work effort to create the products, how effective the quality management strategy was particularly in the reporting of quality statistics, and the statistics on issues and risks. The latter point may focus on the amount and severity of such issues and risks and whether or not they were as anticipated.
It is recommended that you use the PRINCE2 approach to issue and risk management when laying out the lessons report by including the following attributes of each lesson.
Finally, whether or not the triggered event had been previously identified as a risk (either as a threat or an opportunity).
For more great information on passing your PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams – CLICK HERE