Tailoring The PRINCE2 Themes

How the themes are applied can be influenced by tailoring.

This may range from being rigid and prescriptive through to allowing the project management team a large degree of freedom as to how they implement each theme.

All seven themes must be applied in a project but they should be tailored according to the risk, scale, nature, complexity or simplicity of the project concerned , always ensuring that any minimum requirements specified in a theme are satisfied.

A tailored PRINCE2 Theme should reflect any tailoring of the processes and terminology.

Tailoring a theme does not necessarily mean rewriting a PRINCE2 theme itself. In most cases, the themes are implemented through the project’s risk, quality, change control and communication management approaches .

These should contain procedures regarding how the themes are implemented in practice for that particular project.

The level of control required will influence the degree of formality and frequency of monitoring, reviewing and reporting.

When applying the themes, take account of risk and any relevant external factors, such as corporate, portfolio, programme and customer policies and standards , and capture them in the project’s management approaches, as shown in the graphic below:

Tailoring the PRINCE2 Themes

Many of the themes imply that procedures may need to be developed: PRINCE2 does not prescribe how these should be documented or published.

They can range from being a simple set of activities to a fully developed procedure with a flow chart.

PRINCE2 provides a table of responsibilities relating to each theme; these may be reassigned provided they do not introduce any conflict of interest, particularly between the roles associated with directing a project, as opposed to managing a project.

Each theme in this manual contains suggestions for different tailoring options for implementing the theme in practice, together with ideas on how to deal with some common situations.

Tailoring PRINCE2 Theme Rules

Tailoring allows the PRINCE2 themes to be adapted to create appropriate procedures and controls, provided that:

  • the PRINCE2 principles are upheld
  • the minimum requirements in each theme are satisfied
  • the purpose of each theme is not compromised.

The Format of the PRINCE2 Theme chapters

Each theme chapter is structured as follows:

  • The theme Why the theme is important to the successful delivery of a project and the core concepts necessary to understand PRINCE2’s requirements for the theme
  • PRINCE2’s requirements for the theme What is required, as a minimum, to be following PRINCE2
  • Guidance for the effective use of the theme How to practically apply the theme to different organizations, environments and delivery approaches
  • Techniques Techniques that can be used for the theme

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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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