Preparing a PRINCE2 End Stage Report

The PRINCE2 End Stage Report is the Project Managers report to the project board on the stage that is just finishing. You think through the form and content of the End Stage Report in the initiation stage and record the details of it in the Communication Management Strategy document.

Normally small is beautiful, and informal (such as verbal reporting to the project board), can be attractive for some projects as well.

The contents of the report are predictable – basically, how did the stage go, what did it cost, how long did it take in comparison to the plan, and were the quality requirements met?
In full, the report is very extensive but as always, to cut it down whenever possible for your organization and project.

One problem with the PRINCE2 End Stage Report is that it has a lot of headings and many Project Managers feel obliged to write a fair amount under each heading to show that they’re completed the document thoroughly and so did their job well.

The structure of the PRINCE2 End Stage Report

Arguably, rather too many headings are included here for a ‘normal’ End Stage Report. Be careful that you don’t swap your project with excessive documentation.

Having said that, one problem lies with the choice of wording for the headings and the content is simpler than it looks at first sight.

But some sections, not least the ‘review of products’, are overkill for a lot of projects and the project board will not send you for a huge report restating information that they already know.

Project Managers report

How the stage went from the Project Managers viewpoint

Review of the Business Case

This section draws attention to any change, such as projection of total benefits. This action is also for reporting any benefits already realized and a comment on the total risk exposure.

Review of project objectives

How the project currently stands including the six control the areas (cost, time, quality, scope, risk and benefits). It is also useful to comment whether the four strategy documents and the controls contained within the project initiation documentation, are proving effective.

Review of stage objectives

How the stage just finishing, met its objectives. Aspects to consider here would include cost and time.

Review of team performance

Any performance metrics and a ‘mention in dispatches’ for team members who’ve performed particularly well. This could be expanded to include team efficiency and effectiveness, or any other aspect regarding the use of teams to get the work done and create the products.

Review of products

These should consist of:

  • Quality records. Which quality activities were planned and completed
  • Approval records. Which products were completed and approved?
  • Off specifications. Things that were not done or not done to standard
  • Phased Handover (if applicable)
  • Confirmation that operational areas are ready to receive products delivered before the end of the project.

Lessons Report

Any lessons that need to be passed back into the organization at this stage.

Issues and risks

A summary of the position on risk and any current issues

Forecast

The Project Managers forecast for the project and the next stage for the six control areas. Although aspects like time and cost are largely self-evident from the plans submitted along with the End Stage Report, there may be value in having it stated concisely in one place

Reporting any PRINCE2 lessons

The Lessons Log will have been kept up to date throughout the project, which means during the stages.

But having said that, the point at which you write the End Stage Report is a great time and an opportunity to reflect on the stage as a whole. Think about whether any more can be learn from the experience that would be of value to others in future projects. This should include good things that worked well, and bad things to try to avoid if similar circumstances arise.

A mechanism is available for reporting lessons back to the organization at the end of the project, but if something comes up that the organization would benefit from knowing now, it can be reported now.

The Project Manager can prepare a Lessons Report which is then be included in the End Stage Report and which the project board and then passed back into the organization. Again, the Communication Management Strategy document should be referred to for receivers of lessons learned – for example operational managers.

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About the Author Dave Litten

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.

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