The PRINCE2 Highlight Report and How to Make It Executive Friendly

PRINCE2 Highlight Report

The PRINCE2 Highlight Report is a form used to report the progress of a project to the Project Board. It analyses extra information gathered during project stages and identifies lessons learned. It is based on the Product-Based approach in the management of projects. It includes a list of the products in the current stage, issues, risks, and lessons learned.

Managing by stages

Managing by stages is an important part of PRINCE2 project management. It focuses on the way a project is planned and managed. It identifies the key decision points at each stage. These decision points must be addressed before the project is able to move forward.

PRINCE2 is based on the principle of breaking large tasks down into smaller, manageable chunks. Each stage is managed, monitored and controlled according to a methodology known as PRINCE2. PRINCE2 projects are managed by stages, separated by Decision Points and the Project Board.

Managing by stages is a key aspect of PRINCE2. The project manager should produce a Highlight Report for the Project Board on each stage to provide information about progress. These reports should be brief and easy to understand. The team manager may want to increase the frequency of these reports.

Including corrective actions in the report

The process of corrective action involves the solution of problems that have occurred. It involves the definition of the problem, the determination of its cause, and the steps needed to mitigate its immediate symptoms. This process should be managed to completion, with an effective debrief and lessons learned at the end. Corrective actions can be created using templates that make the process easy and efficient.

The corrective action plan must specify targeted timeframes for resolving any deficiencies. In some cases, it may also include special work that needs to be done to meet regulatory requirements. In any case, the corrective action plan should be based on the premise that it can only solve the problem if it can be rationally and within the project tolerance.

Including risk and issue registers in the report

The Risk & Issue Register is an important component of a project management process. It helps project managers plan for changes and to communicate these changes to the customer. Risks are identified and reported, and they are ranked by likelihood of occurrence, severity, and impact. Issues are events that happen during the course of a project, and they require management action. A project manager must consider the severity and impact of each issue and update the Risk & Issue Register as necessary.

Issues are related to change requests or other risks that affect the project. As a PRINCE2 project manager, you should be aware of the risks or issues that may affect your project. If you find an issue that is not within your project’s tolerance, you can bring it to the project board for discussion. If the issue or risk exceeds the project’s tolerance level, you should raise an Exception Report.

Making the report “executive friendly”

PRINCE2 Highlight Reports are an excellent way to provide a brief overview of a project’s progress and can be very useful to executive audiences. Most organizations expect all projects to include one, and most executives find these reports useful. Fortunately, there are ways to make the PRINCE2 Highlight Reports executive friendly without disrupting the project’s delivery.

For instance, when writing a Highlight Report, don’t include too many details unless it’s absolutely necessary. For instance, it’s not necessary to list every single decision made by project staff. Instead, focus on the highlights and key points that have been reached.

Project Plan Document

The Project Management Plan Document also known as Project Plan Document or simply Project Plan is a document that contains the strategy for managing the project and the processes related to all areas of the project (scope, cost, schedule, quality, etc.) which are known as Knowledge Areas according to PMI. There are lots of project management processes mentioned in PMBOK® Guide, but determining what processes need to be used based on the needs of the project which is called Tailoring is part of developing the project management plan

The project plan document may include the following sections:

A High level overview of the project

The roles and authority of team members. It represents the executive summary of the Project Management Plan

The scope statement from the Project charter should be used as a starting point with more details about what the project includes and what it does not include (In-Scope and Out-Of-Scope)

A list of the project Milestones (the stop points that helps evaluating the progress of the project). This list includes the milestone name, a description about the milestone, and the date expected.

WBS which consists of Work Packages and WBS Dictionary, which defines these work packages, as well as Schedule Baseline, which is the reference point for managing project progress, are included here.

This section contains all management plans of all project aspects

Identify key resources needed for the project and their times and durations of need.

This section includes the budgeted total of each phase of the project and comments about the cost.

Acceptable levels of quality.

Some space for the project sponsor to sign off the document

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Project Portfolio Management (PPM)

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Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the centralized management of the processes, methods, and technologies used by project managers and project management offices (PMOs) to analyze and collectively manage current or proposed projects based on numerous key characteristics. The objectives of PPM are to determine the optimal resource mix for delivery and to schedule activities to best achieve an organization’s operational and financial goals, while honouring constraints imposed by customers, strategic objectives, or external real-world factors. The International standard defines the framework of the Project Portfolio Management

PPM provides program and project managers in large, program/project-driven organizations with the capabilities needed to manage the time, resources, skills, and budgets necessary to accomplish all interrelated tasks. It provides a framework for issue resolution and risk mitigation, as well as the centralized visibility to help planning and scheduling teams to identify the fastest, cheapest, or most suitable approach to deliver projects and programs. Portfolio Managers define Key Performance Indicators and the strategy for their portfolio .

Pipeline management involves steps to ensure that an adequate number of project proposals are generated and evaluated to determine whether (and how) a set of projects in the portfolio can be executed with finite development resources in a specified time. There are three major sub-components to pipeline management: ideation, work intake processes, and Phase-Gate reviews. Fundamental to pipeline management is the ability to align the decision-making process for estimating and selecting new capital investment projects with the strategic plan.

The focus on the efficient and effective deployment of an organization’s resources where and when they are needed. These can include financial resources, inventory, human resources, technical skills, production, and design. In addition to project-level resource allocation, users can also model ‘what-if’ resource scenarios, and extend this view across the portfolio.

The capture and prioritization of change requests that can include new requirements, features, functions, operational constraints, regulatory demands, and technical enhancements. PPM provides a central repository for these change requests and the ability to match available resources to evolving demand within the financial and operational constraints of individual projects.

With PPM, the Office of Finance can improve their accuracy for estimating and managing the financial resources of a project or group of projects. In addition, the value of projects can be demonstrated in relation to the strategic objectives and priorities of the organization through financial controls and to assess progress through earned value and other project financial techniques.

An analysis of the risk sensitivities residing within each project, as the basis for determining confidence levels across the portfolio. The integration of cost and schedule risk management with techniques for determining contingency and risk response plans, enable organizations to gain an objective view of project uncertainties.

In the early 2000s, many PPM vendors realized that project portfolio reporting services only addressed part of a wider need for PPM in the marketplace. Another more senior audience had emerged, sitting at management and executive levels above detailed work execution and schedule management, who required a greater focus on process improvement and ensuring the viability of the portfolio in line with overall strategic objectives. In addition, as the size, scope, complexity, and geographical spread of organizations’ project portfolios continued to grow, greater visibility was needed of project work across the enterprise, allied to improved resource utilization and capacity planning.

Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) is a top-down approach to managing all project-intensive work and resources across the enterprise. This contrasts with the traditional approach of combining manual processes, desktop project tools, and PPM applications for each project portfolio environment.

The PPM landscape is evolving rapidly as a result of the growing preference for managing multiple capital investment initiatives from a single, enterprise-wide system. This more centralized approach, and resulting ‘single version of the truth’ for project and project portfolio information, provides the transparency of performance needed by management to monitor progress versus the strategic plan.

The key aims of EPPM can be summarized as follows:

A key result of PPM is to decide which projects to fund in an optimal manner. Project Portfolio Optimization (PPO) is the effort to make the best decisions possible under these conditions.