PRINCE2 Themes

PRINCE2 Themes

The PRINCE2 themes are topics that a Project Manager should be continually thinking about in his/her project. The seven themes are integrated as they are carefully designed to link together effectively. The strength of PRINCE2 is in tailoring the themes.

PRINCE2 An Introduction

The seven PRINCE2 themes are:

  1. Business Case – The WHY of the project
    The project starts with an idea which is considered to have potential value for the organisations. This PRINCE2 theme addresses how the idea is developed into a viable investment proposition for the organisation and how the focus on the organisation’s objectives throughout the project is maintained. This supports the PRINCE2 principle of Continued business justification.
  2. Organisation – The WHO of the project
    The work needs to be allocated to managers who will be responsible for it and steer it through to completion. As projects are cross-functional, the normal line function structures are not suitable. The theme describes the roles and responsibilities within the project management team. This supports the PRINCE2 principle of Defined roles and responsibilities. Moreover, it also discusses how you will communicate within the project, but also with other stakeholders out with the project team.
  3. Quality – The WHAT of the project
    This PRINCE2  theme addresses how the initial idea (the outline) is developed to ensure that all participants understand the quality attributes of the product that need to be delivered and how project management will ensure that these requirements are delivered. This theme also emphasizes the importance of capturing and acting on lessons during the project.  This supports the PRINCE2 principle of Learn from example.
  4. Plans – The HOW, HOW Much and WHEN of the project
    This PRINCE2 theme complements the Quality theme by describing the steps required to develop plans and the PRINCE2 techniques that should be applied. This theme provides a planning procedure and also discusses levels of plans for the three levels of management in the project team. This helps support the PRINCE2 principle of Manage by Exception.
  5. Risk – The WHAT IF of the project
    Projects typically involve more risk than stable operational activity. This PRINCE2 theme explains how project management manages the uncertainties in its plans and in the wider project environment. Identifying risks will allow you to make informed decisions on what projects to start, which projects to stop etc. This supports the PRINCE2 principle of Continued Business Justification.
  6. Change – The WHAT’S THE IMPACT of the project
    This PRINCE2 theme describes how project management assesses and acts upon issues which have a potential impact on any of the baseline aspects of the project. Projects have issues. This theme discusses what need to be done when issues occurs and how to effectively control change. This supports the PRINCE2 principle Focus on Products as it allows for the creation, maintenance and controlled change of the products of the project.
  7. Progress – The WHERE ARE WE NOW, WHERE ARE WE GOING, SHOULD WE CARRY ON of the project
    This PRINCE2 theme addresses the ongoing viability of the plans. It outlines the decision-making process for approving plans, the monitoring of actual performance and the escalation process if events do not go according to plan. Finally, it determines whether and how the project should proceed. To do this, the theme discusses the use of tolerances to support the principle Manage by exception, the use of Management stages for project board control supporting the principle Manage by stages and Continued business justification.

All the PRINCE2 themes have to be applied in a project, but should be tailored according to the project concerned.

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Kate Hamblin

Senior ITSM Consultant +44 0118 324 0620