Let us take a look at what you will learn in the PRINCE2 Progress theme
What is Progress?
What are Progress Controls?
What are Exceptions and Tolerances?
The PRINCE2 approach to Progress and the four main controls provided by PRINCE2:
(1) Delegating Authority,
(2) Using Stages,
(3) Time & Event-driven reports, and
(4) Raising Exceptions
The 3 Project Controls used by the Project Board and Project Manager, i.e., Authorizations, Progress Updates, and Exceptions & Changes and how they differ.
Management Stages and why Management Stages are used by the Project Board as controls.
Points to consider when deciding on the number of stages on the project and how long a stage should be.
What are technical stages? How do they differ from Management Stages? and How it is possible to manage Technical Stages from Management Stages?
How does the Project Manager review progress? How do they use the different management products such as the Checkpoint Reports, Daily Log and Issue Register?
How the Lessons Log and the Lesson Report are used from a Progress point of view.
The three reports used by the Project Manager to report progress to the Project Board.
How the Project Manager raise exceptions and why.
And lastly, the Progress Roles and Responsibilities.
Progress is all about how to control the project and know where you are against the current plan. Each company and Project Manager will have different ideas on how best to do this and if you are Project Manager in a company the, one good question to ask your Project Board is: “how do I best keep you informed of the progress of the project?.
The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the maturity of project control in the organization.
I believe the most important points that a Project Manager has to keep in mind are:
Most poor Projects Managers make the following mistakes
You will find this chapter on PRINCE2 easy to read and understand and you will also learn how tolerances are used to help each management layer manage the layer below. The last point I would like to make is that the Project Manager should make sure they have time during the project to manage progress and control the project.
The purpose of the information in the Progress Theme can be explained in three parts:
Progress is about checking progress compared to the plan, checking project viability and controlling any deviations.
Three of the seven principles are represented in the Progress Theme; they are:
Now let us get a picture of who needs to control who, as this will make it much easier to understand. Recall that there are four levels in a project organization and three levels in a project team.
Well, each above-level wants to be able to control the level below and there are three levels of control in a Project Organization and two levels of control in a project team.
Control or progress is all about decision-making and is central to project management ensuring that the project remains viable against its approved Business Case
11.4 Progress, Progress Controls, Exceptions and Tolerances
Progress is checking and controlling where you are compared to the plan. This is done for the Project Plan, Stage Plan and Work Package.
Progress Controls are used by one layer to monitor the progress of the layer below it. For instance, the Project Board is to monitor the progress of Project Manager or Project Manager to monitor the progress of the Teams that create the products.
The layer above can do the following:
An Exception is a situation where it can be forecast that there will be a deviation beyond the agreed tolerance levels.
Tolerances are the deviation above and below a plan’s target. For example, the project should take 6 months, with a tolerance of ±1 month. Tolerance levels could also be set for all six tolerance areas, i.e., Time, Cost, Quality, Scope, Benefits and Risk. These are also known as the project variables.
Question: What do you think would be the result if Tolerance were not used in a project between the Project Board and the Project Manager levels?
Answer: In that case, every small issue that would occur, the Project Manager would escalate to the Project Board and they would end up working on the project 8 hours a day and therefore would be doing a lot of work for the Project Manager.
Remember the Project Board are busy people and we don’t want the project to take up much of their time. Setting tolerances allows the Project Manager to handle smaller issues and only bother the Project Board for bigger issues (more efficient use of time for Project Board)
Tolerance Example: A 6-month project with a tolerance of ±1 months. If the project is forecast to be 1 week late, the Project Manager would deal with this and not escalate it. But if the project is forecast to be two months late, then they would escalate it to the Project Board.
Let us look at when tolerances can be decided on:
David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of project-related downloadable video training products under the Primer and Projex Academy brand names. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.