PRINCE2® is a structured project management method and a practitioner certification programme. PRINCE2 emphasises dividing projects into manageable and controllable stages.
PRINCE2 was developed as a UK government standard for information systems projects. In 2013, ownership of the rights to PRINCE2 was transferred from HM Cabinet Office to AXELOS Ltd, a joint venture by the Cabinet Office and Capita.
PRINCE2 realises this by isolating the management aspects of project work from specialist contributions, such as design and construction. The specialist aspects of any type of project are simply integrated with the PRINCE2 method and, used alongside PRINCE2, provide a secure overall framework for the project work.
Prince2 has been derived from professional project managers’ experiences and refined over years of use in a wide variety of contexts. Because PRINCE2 is generic and based on proved principles, organisations adopting the method as a standard can significantly improve their organisational capability and maturity across multiple areas of business activity: business change, construction, IT, mergers and acquisitions, research, product development and so on.
In order to reach control over anything, there must be a plan. It is the project manager who plans the sequence of activities to build an IT environment and works out what networks and hardware will be required.
It may be possible to build the IT environment yourself, but being a manager implies that you will delegate some or all of the work to others. The ability to delegate is important in any form of management but particularly so in project management.
With the delegated work underway, the aim is that it should go in accordance with the plan. However, we cannot rely on this always being the case. It is up to the project manager to monitor how well the work in progress matches the plan.
The Prince2 method addresses project management with four integrated elements: principles, themes, processes and the project environment.
The Principles: the PRINCE2 principles are the guiding obligations and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2. There are seven principles and unless all of them are applied, it is not a PRINCE2 project
The Themes: the PRINCE2 themes describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually and in parallel throughout the project. They explain the specific treatment required by PRINCE2 for various project management disciplines.
The Processes: the PRINCE2 processes describe a step-wise progression through the project lifecycle, from the start of a project to the project closure.
Tailoring PRINCE2 to the project environment: the final part addresses the need to tailor PRINCE2 to the specific context of the project.