PRINCE2® Processes

The PRINCE2® process model describes the 7 processes and the most important management products and triggers. The arrows indicate the interaction between the different processes. The Project Board (Directing a Project) plays a key role in this.

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The seven PRINCE2® processes are:

Starting Up a Project (SU)

Starting Up a Project is the phase where the project is prepared, and whether it is useful to start a project. In practice this is a short, powerful phase, where the project manager works with the client intensively.

The phase starts by giving a project mandate to the client, who determines the formation of the project organization with the project manager.

The process consists of 6 activities:

  1. Appointing an Executive and a project manager (this may be another person than the person who carries out this process)
  2. Collecting lessons learnt (from previous projects of your own, or the organization)
  3. Preparing the Business Case on high level
  4. Forming and appointing the Project Management Team (PMT)
  5. Determining the project approach and drafting a Project Brief
  6. Planning the Initiation Stage

Initiating a Project (IP)

The first phase within a project is called the Initiation Stage. This phase is mandatory in every PRINCE2® project and is aimed at creating a solid project base (think first, then act). The intended results, plans, tasks and responsibilities are recorded in the initiative phase, thus creating support for the project. The most important product of this phase is the Project Initiation Documentation (PID).

Initiating a project consists of the following activities:

  • Setting up the Risk Management Strategy
  • Setting up the Quality Management Strategy
  • Setting up the Configuration Management Strategy
  • Setting up the Communication Management Strategy
  • Setting up the Project Plan
  • Setting up the Project Controls
  • Refining the Business Case
  • Compiling the Project Initiation Documentation

Directing a Project (DP)

Directing a Project is the PRINCE2® process where the Steering Committee (Project Board) directs and supports the project. It is the only process that is active during the entire life cycle of a project.

Five activities are distinguished within Directing a Project:

  1. Authorize Initiation.
  2. Authorize the Project.
  3. Authorize a Stage or Exception Plan.
  4. Give ad hoc Direction.
  5. Authorize Project Closure.

Controlling a Stage (CS)

The PID and the Stage Plan form the basis for the PRINCE2® process Managing a Phase. Here is determined in which phase agreed products must be delivered. The purpose of the process Controlling a Phase is to assign tasks, monitor those tasks, deal with issues, report to the steering committee and take measures to ensure that the phase remains within the tolerances concerning Time, Cost, Scope, Quality, Risk and Benefit.

The activities that take place within this process are:

  • Authorize Work Packages.
  • Capture and Examine Issues and Risks.
  • Review the Stage Status.
  • Report Highlights.
  • Take Corrective Action.
  • Escalate Issues and Risks.
  • Receive Completed Work Packages.

Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)

The PRINCE2® process Managing a Stage Boundary contains the activities that the project manager undertakes to provide the Steering Group with sufficient information to assess the success of the current phase, approve the plan for the next phase, and assess the viability of the entire project . This process starts at the initiative of the Project Manager towards the planned end of a phase or at the initiative of the Steering Committee, for example in response to a submitted Exception Report.

The process contains 5 activities:

  1. Plan the next stage.
  2. Produce an Exception Plan.
  3. Update the Project Plan.
  4. Update the Business Case.
  5. Report stage end.

Managing Product Delivery (MP)

The PRINCE2® process Managing Product Delivery controls the connection between the Project Manager and the Team Manager(s), by setting demands on accepting, executing and delivering the work.

The process involves 3 activities:

  1. Accept a Work Package.
  2. Execute a Work Package.
  3. Deliver a Work Package.

It is not necessary for the team manager to execute the Work Package according to the PRINCE2® method; only the communication method and moments are important for this process.

Closing a Project (CP)

The process Closing a project ensures a fixed moment for the acceptance of the Project Product to take place, and an evaluation to see whether the original project goals have been achieved. This process can be started by the Project Manager if the project ends as planned, or by the Steering Committee in case of a premature end of the project.

The process contains the following activities:

  • Prepare planned closure.
  • Prepare premature closure.
  • Hand over products.
  • Evaluate the project.
  • Recommend project closure.