The PRINCE2 Phases of a Project

PRINCE2 Phases of a Project

Whether you are new to project management or are a seasoned professional, you will find that the PRINCE2 phases of a project are easy to learn and apply to your own project. Learn how to start, manage, and finish a project with these simple steps.

Initiating a project

During the initiation phase of a project, there are several tasks to complete. First, the project manager will need to request project board approval. After that, he will need to assemble a team to execute the requisite tasks. In a nutshell, the initiation phase of a project is all about product planning. This is a fancy term for the process of creating a product blueprint. Once that is done, the project manager can then proceed to the real fun part – delivering the product. A product blueprint can be viewed as a hierarchical chart of the product components. The product may be a single product, a suite of products, or a whole gamut of products.

The PRINCE2 Project Plan is the product of choice, especially when the project is new and young. The Project Plan uses the PRINCE2 product-based planning technique to produce a product blueprint. It is a slick piece of paper. It is a big deal for a reason. Having a document of this size in your arsenal is a good thing, especially when the project is brand new and you don’t want to scrimp on the quality of the end product.

The PRINCE2 project plan may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to project management, but it is an excellent way to streamline the project’s process. For instance, the initiation phase may have a slew of product-related tasks that can be broken up into more manageable segments. It also makes it easier to track the progress of the project’s individual tasks. In addition, the product plan encapsulates a set of quality criteria that is not available to individual teams, and provides an easy way to manage the project as a whole. Lastly, the product plan encapsulates essentially all the project’s major components, and serves as a central repository of project-related information, such as project budgets, requisitions, and other project-related documents. The product plan may not be the best thing to do, but it is certainly the most effective way to handle a project’s ad hoc tasks. A good product plan will also reduce the risk of a project’s failure.

The PRINCE2 e-book may not be the most expensive to purchase, but it is certainly the most cost effective. It also does a remarkably good job of delivering the requisite content to the project’s intended audience. As such, it is a good choice for those whose budgets are a bit tighter than those who may have been dragged kicking and screaming into a project. The e-book also features a handy list of recommended reading material, which can be a lifesaver when your employees’ schedules are already packed. As a bonus, the e-book also features an interactive timeline that will allow you to easily track the project’s progress and stay on top of the various projects you are working on.

Controlling a project

During a PRINCE2 project, there are different phases that are required to be followed. They include initiation, risk management, quality control, progress, and close-out. They provide a framework for completing a project on time and on budget. It also helps improve resource management and business risk management. The project phases allow teams to evaluate the project’s status. They include tasks that should be done, resources that are required, and deadlines. It also requires that the team maintain a high level of quality.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with initiation is important in that it involves creating the project’s plan. It also includes the roles of the different members. The project manager, team manager, and supplier are also assigned roles. It is important for each member of the team to have the proper authority. The team should also have independence and should be focused on meeting the project requirements.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with risk management is necessary for mitigating the risks of the project. The project manager must identify project risks and develop risk management strategies. These strategies can be customized based on the size and type of the project. The plan that is created should be detailed and include the costs of the project. It should also explain the benefits of the project. This plan will also include the scope of the project.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with progress is important for monitoring the project. The project manager should use KPIs (key performance indicators) to track the performance of the project. These KPIs should be used to measure the tolerances of the project and the authority delegated to the team. The project manager should review the project regularly to assess its progress and make adjustments as necessary. The project manager should also review the project at the end of each stage to record lessons learned.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with quality control is also important. This phase is responsible for ensuring that the project’s final deliverables are of the highest quality. The quality register will ensure that the project’s final product meets the team’s high standards. It will also help the team identify and prevent repeated mistakes. The quality register will also provide a baseline for the quality control of the project. The quality register will also include the quality requirements for the deliverables.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with close-out is also important. The project manager will have to follow up on delays and errors in order to make the project successful. This phase is also important in that it allows the team to record lessons learned and improve the project.

The PRINCE2 phase that deals with the quality of the project’s end product is important for delivering value to the stakeholder. The quality register is a good way to ensure that the project’s final product meets the requirements of the customer.

Timescales

Depending on the size of your project, you may require a number of PRINCE2 phases. Each phase is designed to be individually planned and carefully controlled. The goal of PRINCE2 is to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and that quality is maintained.

Each phase of a PRINCE2 project contains controls for complexity, scope, and risk. Each phase also includes a stage plan. This plan outlines the timescales and resources required for the next PRINCE2 project stage.

In addition, each phase is tailored to fit the environment of the project. This helps ensure that the project meets the needs of all stakeholders. It also helps team members to communicate more efficiently. Each phase is also carefully monitored.

PRINCE2 projects have a set of seven principles, which need to be adhered to. These principles are designed to ensure that a project’s deliverables are of high quality and meet the expectations of the project’s end users. It also helps to ensure that project managers can effectively delegate tasks and responsibilities to team members.

Each phase of a PRINCE2 project is designed to meet the needs of the end user. This is achieved through a product-based planning approach. This allows the project team to plan and complete work for the agreed upon products. It also helps to ensure that the project is viable.

A PRINCE2 project has a project board that reviews the project plan, determines the scope of the project, and makes high level decisions. The board also evaluates the project’s risk, makes sure that it meets business needs, and tries to avoid scope creep. This is done by determining what risks are inherent in the project, and how the project can mitigate them.

All project stakeholders need to be informed about the project’s scope. This should be clearly defined in the project plan. In addition, all project stakeholders should be involved in the project’s planning process. This helps to ensure that each team member knows what role they are playing in the project and how they can contribute to the success of the project.

A project manager must be responsible for a project’s daily activities, including assigning tasks and ensuring that projects are completed within a budget. The project manager must also consider the return on investment. In addition, the project manager must manage risks. Using KPIs to measure performance is important. The project manager should also ensure that project deliverables are high quality and that there is no scope creep.

Throughout the project, lessons are learned from previous projects. These lessons are then used to improve project processes. The lessons are recorded in the Lessons Log and the Lessons Report. These records are useful in reporting to the project board.

PRINCE2 projects use a rolling wave approach to planning. This allows for improved resource management and focus. Each stage is designed to be closely monitored, ensuring that the project is managed at a high level of quality. This helps to ensure that projects can be completed within a specified time frame and that the project delivers quality products that meet customer expectations.

PRINCE2 Udemy Review

PRINCE2 Udemy

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology that uses techniques, processes, and methods to complete a project. These methods focus on several areas, such as the role of the project manager and client manager, handling team members, and employee relationships. PRINCE2 practitioners should possess excellent organizational skills and strategic thinking, which are essential to successfully manage a project.

Practice exams

If you are taking the PRINCE2 exam, then you need to prepare for it. This is where practice exams are beneficial. They provide you with the experience you need to pass the exam. They also provide you with real exam questions that are similar to the ones you’ll be asked during the actual exam. In addition, they contain explanations and feedback for each question.

The PRINCE2 Udemy practice exams are written by experts who are familiar with the PRINCE2 method. It is a best practice that is widely recognized as the standard for project management. This approach helps in addressing various management challenges and ensuring successful project delivery. The exam questions are based on the official documentation.

Course content

The PRINCE2 course on Udemy offers a variety of options for aspiring project managers and those already working in the project management field. These courses provide a thorough introduction to the PRINCE2 methodology and its three pillars, which are knowledge, skills, and experience. The course also focuses on the fundamentals of project management, such as defining roles and responsibilities from the start and keeping a focus on the products and services.

The courses are all based on the official exam guide and have been developed to help students pass the PRINCE2 exam with confidence and a 75% score or better. This course includes practice exams and provides detailed analysis of each question so that students can feel confident in taking the final exam.

Prerequisites

This course is designed for working professionals with a business background who are interested in learning about the PRINCE2 methodology. It will help them to learn how to design and implement projects and will ensure a high pass rate on the PRINCE2 examination. The course includes short lessons, quizzes, games, and handouts that will make studying easy. It also contains exam vouchers for the PRINCE2 Foundation Exam.

To be successful in the PRINCE2 certification exam, you must complete the Foundation course. This course will give you a thorough understanding of the foundation of this methodology. It will help you to become an efficient project manager. The course also provides you with an arsenal of practical tasks that will help you to improve your skills and advance in your career.

Course duration

If you’re wondering about the PRINCE2 Udemy course duration, you’re in luck! The course covers the basics and provides practical training on the project management methodology. Its curriculum demystifies the PRINCE2 methodology and its three pillars, helping you become a more effective project manager. This course also teaches you how to establish your project management team and set clear roles and responsibilities. Its content is designed by experts in the IT industry to ensure you’ll have the best possible chances of passing the exam.

This course is ideal for both individuals and companies looking to improve their project management skills. It covers the fundamentals of the project management methodology and its application, and helps you learn how to customize it to your specific projects and businesses. It also provides practice tests, so you can build your knowledge of each subject area. It also enables you to check your answers and make sure you understand them.

Price

PRINCE2 is a process management methodology that is widely used in the IT industry. It can be used by companies as well as individuals to effectively manage projects. There are various levels of PRINCE2 certification, ranging from the Foundation level to the Practitioner level. You can enroll in a PRINCE2 Udemy course to prepare for a certification exam.

There are over 35 different courses on PRINCE2 certifications on Udemy. Taking a course can accelerate your career development. There are also PRINCE2 Udemy practice exams that you can take to test yourself.

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.

Critical Chain Project Management

Critical chain project management (CCPM) is a method of planning and managing projects that emphasizes the resources (people, equipment, physical space) required to execute project tasks. It was developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It differs from more traditional methods that derive from critical path and PERT algorithms, which emphasize task order and rigid scheduling. A critical chain project network strives to keep resources levelled, and requires that they be flexible in start times.

Critical chain project management is based on methods and algorithms derived from Theory of Constraints. The idea of CCPM was introduced in 1997 in Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s book, Critical Chain. Application of CCPM has been credited with achieving projects 10% to 50% faster and/or cheaper than the traditional methods (i.e., CPM, PERT, Gantt, etc.) developed from 1910 to 1950s.

According to studies of traditional project management methods by Standish Group and others as of 1998, only 44% of projects typically finish on time. Projects typically complete at 222% of the duration originally planned, 189% of the original budgeted cost, 70% of projects fall short of their planned scope (technical content delivered), and 30% are cancelled before completion. CCPM tries to improve performance relative to these traditional statistics.

With traditional project management methods, 30% of lost time and resources are typically consumed by wasteful techniques such as bad multitasking (in particular task switching), student syndrome, Parkinson’s law, in-box delays, and lack of prioritization.

In a project plan, the critical chain is the sequence of both precedence- and resource-dependent tasks that prevents a project from being completed in a shorter time, given finite resources. If resources are always available in unlimited quantities, then a project’s critical chain is identical to its critical path method.

Critical chain is an alternative to critical path analysis. Main features that distinguish critical chain from critical path are:

CCPM planning aggregates the large amounts of safety time added to tasks within a project into the buffers—to protect due-date performance and avoid wasting this safety time through bad multitasking, student syndrome, Parkinson’s Law, and poorly synchronized integration.

Critical chain project management uses buffer management instead of earned value management to assess the performance of a project. Some project managers feel that the earned value management technique is misleading, because it does not distinguish progress on the project constraint (i.e., on the critical chain) from progress on non-constraints (i.e., on other paths). Event chain methodology can determine a size of project, feeding, and resource buffers.

A project plan or work breakdown structure (WBS) is created in much the same fashion as with critical path. The plan is worked backward from a completion date with each task starting as late as possible.

A duration is assigned to each task. Some software implementations add a second duration: one a “best guess,” or 50% probability duration, and a second “safe” duration, which should have higher probability of completion (perhaps 90% or 95%, depending on the amount of risk that the organization can accept). Other software implementations go through the duration estimate of every task and remove a fixed percentage to be aggregated into the buffers.

Resources are assigned to each task, and the plan is resource leveled, using the aggressive durations. The longest sequence of resource-leveled tasks that lead from beginning to end of the project is then identified as the critical chain. The justification for using the 50% estimates is that half of the tasks will finish early and half will finish late, so that the variance over the course of the project should be zero.

Recognizing that tasks are more likely to take more time than less time due to Parkinson’s law, Student syndrome, or other reasons, CCPM uses “buffers” to monitor project schedule and financial performance. The “extra” duration of each task on the critical chain—the difference between the “safe” durations and the 50% durations—is gathered in a buffer at the end of the project. In the same way, buffers are gathered at the end of each sequence of tasks that feed into the critical chain. The date at the end of the project buffer is given to external stakeholders as the delivery date. Finally, a baseline is established, which enables financial monitoring of the project.

An alternate duration-estimation methodology uses probability-based quantification of duration using Monte Carlo simulation. In 1999, a researcher[who?] applied simulation to assess the impact of risks associated with each component of project work breakdown structure on project duration, cost and performance. Using Monte Carlo simulation, the project manager can apply different probabilities for various risk factors that affect a project component. The probability of occurrence can vary from 0% to 100% chance of occurrence. The impact of risk is entered into the simulation model along with the probability of occurrence. The number of iterations of Monte Carlo simulation depend on the tolerance level of error and provide a density graph illustrating the overall probability of risk impact on project outcome.

When the plan is complete and the project is ready to start, the project network is fixed and the buffers’ sizes are “locked” (i.e., their planned duration may not be altered during the project), because they are used to monitor project schedule and financial performance.

With no slack in the duration of individual tasks, resources are encouraged to focus on the task at hand to complete it and hand it off to the next person or group. The objective here is to eliminate bad multitasking. This is done by providing priority information to all resources. The literature draws an analogy with a relay race. Each element on the project is encouraged to move as quickly as they can: when they are running their “leg” of the project, they should be focused on completing the assigned task as quickly as possible, with minimization of distractions and multitasking. In some case studies, actual batons are reportedly hung by the desks of people when they are working on critical chain tasks so that others know not to interrupt. The goal, here, is to overcome the tendency to delay work or to do extra work when there seems to be time. The CCPM literature contrasts this with “traditional” project management that monitors task start and completion dates. CCPM encourages people to move as quickly as possible, regardless of dates.

Because task duration has been planned at the 50% probability duration, there is pressure on resources to complete critical chain tasks as quickly as possible, overcoming student’s syndrome and Parkinson’s Law.

According to proponents, monitoring is, in some ways, the greatest advantage of the Critical Chain method. Because individual tasks vary in duration from the 50% estimate, there is no point in trying to force every task to complete “on time;” estimates can never be perfect. Instead, we monitor the buffers created during the planning stage. A fever chart or similar graph can be created and posted to show the consumption of buffer as a function of project completion. If the rate of buffer consumption is low, the project is on target. If the rate of consumption is such that there is likely to be little or no buffer at the end of the project, then corrective actions or recovery plans must be developed to recover the loss. When the buffer consumption rate exceeds some critical value (roughly: the rate where all of the buffer may be expected to be consumed before the end of the project, resulting in late completion), then those alternative plans need to be implemented.

Critical sequence was originally identified in the 1960s.

Tzvi Raz, Robert Barnes and Dov Dvir, Project Management Journal, December 2003.

Get More PRINCE2 Information by Clicking HERE

Project Engineering

Project engineering includes all parts of the design of manufacturing or processing facilities, either new or modifications to and expansions of existing facilities. A “project” consists of a coordinated series of activities or tasks performed by engineers, designers, drafters and others from one or more engineering disciplines or departments. Project tasks consist of such things as performing calculations, writing specifications, preparing bids, reviewing equipment proposals and evaluating or selecting equipment and preparing various lists, such as equipment and materials lists, and creating drawings such as electrical, piping and instrumentation diagrams, physical layouts and other drawings used in design and construction. A small project may be under the direction of a project engineer. Large projects are typically under the direction of a project manager or management team. Some facilities have in house staff to handle small projects, while some major companies have a department that does internal project engineering. Large projects are typically contracted out to engineering companies. Staffing at engineering companies varies according to the work load and duration of employment may only last until an individual’s tasks are completed.

The role of the project engineer can often be described as that of a liaison between the project manager and the technical disciplines involved in a project. The distribution of “liaising” and performing tasks within the technical disciplines can vary wildly from project to project; this often depends on the type of product, its maturity, and the size of the company, to name a few. It is important for a project engineer to understand that balance. The project engineer should be knowledgeable enough to be able to speak intelligently within the various disciplines, and not purely be a liaison. The project engineer is also often the primary technical point of contact for the consumer.

A project engineer’s responsibilities include schedule preparation, pre-planning and resource forecasting for engineering and other technical activities relating to the project. They may also be in charge of performance management of vendors. They assure the accuracy of financial forecasts, which tie-in to project schedules. They ensure projects are completed according to project plans. Project engineers manage project team resources and training and develop extensive project management experience and expertise.

When use, an engineering company is generally contracted to conduct a study (capital cost estimate or technical assessment) or to design a project. Projects are designed to achieve some specific objective, ranging in scope from simple modifications to new factories or expansions costing hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. The client usually provides the engineering company with a scoping document listing the details of the objective in terms of such things as production rate and product specifications and general to specific information about processes and equipment to be used and the expected deliverables, such as calculations, drawings, lists, specifications, schedules, etc. The client is typically involved in the entire design process and makes decisions throughout, including the technology, type of equipment to use, bid evaluation and supplier selection, the layout of equipment and operational considerations. Depending on the project the engineering company may perform material and energy balances to size equipment and to quantify inputs of materials and energy (steam, electric power, fuel). This information is used to write specifications for the equipment. The equipment specifications are sent out for bids. The client, the engineering company or both select the equipment. The equipment suppliers provide drawings of the equipment, which are used by the engineering company’s mechanical engineers, and drafters to make general arrangement drawings, which show how the pieces of equipment are located in relation to other equipment. Layout drawings show specific information about the equipment, electric motors powering the equipment and such things as auxiliary equipment (pumps, fans, air compressors), piping and buildings. The engineering company maintains an equipment list with major equipment, auxiliary equipment, motors, etc. Electrical engineers are involved with power supply to motors and equipment. Process engineers perform material and energy balances and design the piping and instrumentation diagrams to show how equipment is supplied with process fluids, water, air, gases, etc. and the type of control loops used. The instrumentation and controls engineers specify the instrumentation and controls and handle any computer controls and control rooms. Civil and structural engineers deal with site layout and engineering, building design and structural concerns like foundations, pads, structures, supports and bracing for equipment. Environmental engineers deal with any air emissions and treatment of liquid effluent.

The various fields and topics that projects engineers are involved with include:

Project engineers are often project managers with qualifications in engineering or construction management. Other titles include field engineer, construction engineer, or construction project engineer. In smaller projects, this person may also be responsible for contracts and will be called an assistant project manager. A similar role is undertaken by a client’s engineer or owner’s engineer, but by inference, these often act more in the interests of the commissioning company.

Project engineers do not necessarily do design work, but instead represent the contractor or client out in the field, help tradespeople interpret the job’s designs, ensure the job is constructed according to the project plans, and assist project controls, including budgeting, scheduling, and planning. In some cases a project engineer is responsible for assisting the assigned project manager with regard to design and a project and with the execution of one or more simultaneous projects in accordance with a valid, executed contract, per company policies and procedures and work instructions for customized and standardized plants.

Typical responsibilities may include: daily operations of field work activities and organization of subcontractors; coordination of the implementation of a project, ensuring it is being built correctly; project schedules and forecasts; interpretation of drawings for tradesmen; review of engineering deliverables; redlining drawings; regular project status reports; budget monitoring and trend tracking; bill of materials creation and maintenance; effective communications between engineering, technical, construction, and project controls groups; and assistance to the project manager.

Get More PRINCE2 Information by Clicking HERE

Project Sponsorship

Project sponsorship is the ownership of projects on behalf of the client organization.

There are two main differences between project sponsorship and project management. Firstly project sponsorship includes the identification and definition of the project whereas project management is concerned with delivering a project that is already defined, if only quite loosely.
Secondly the project sponsor is responsible for the project’s business case and should not hesitate to recommend cancellation of the project if the business case no longer justifies the project.

Project sponsors can encourage separation of decision making responsibilities between project manager and project sponsor, accountability for the realisation of project benefits, oversight of the project management function and can carry out senior stakeholder management.

The project sponsor or executive sponsor needs a range of skill sets, or at least access to skill sets which include appreciation of corporate strategy; ability to prepare a business case and profound knowledge of the organization’s operations. The project sponsor also needs to know his or her way around the organization and command respect within it. The project sponsor and project manager should form an effective partnership with the project manager orchestrating all players involved in delivering the project e.g. designers, manufacturers and contractors, whilst the project sponsor coordinates all departments of the client organization and associated stakeholders so as to integrate the delivered project into the client organization and take full benefits from it such that the business case is fulfilled.

Because the project sponsor is the ‘owner’ of the project from conception to commissioning and operation it is particularly important to achieve continuity of sponsor throughout the project yet correspondingly difficult to achieve because of the extended duration of sponsorship compared to project management.

Get More PRINCE2 Information by Clicking HERE

Change Control

15Change control within quality management systems (QMS) and information technology (IT) systems is a process—either formal or informal—used to ensure that changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. It reduces the possibility that unnecessary changes will be introduced to a system without forethought, introducing faults into the system or undoing changes made by other users of software. The goals of a change control procedure usually include minimal disruption to services, reduction in back-out activities, and cost-effective utilization of resources involved in implementing change.

Change control is used in various industries, including in IT, software development, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical device industry, and other engineering/manufacturing industries. For the IT and software industries, change control is a major aspect of the broader discipline of change management. Typical examples from the computer and network environments are patches to software products, installation of new operating systems, upgrades to network routing tables, or changes to the electrical power systems supporting such infrastructure.

Certain portions of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library cover change control.

There is considerable overlap and confusion between change management, configuration management and change control. The definition below is not yet integrated with definitions of the others.

Change control can be described as a set of six steps:

Consider the primary and ancillary details of the proposed change. Should include aspects such as identifying the change, its owner(s), how it will be communicated and executed, how success will be verified, the change’s estimate of importance, its added value, its conformity to business and industry standards, and its target date for completion.

Impact and risk assessment is the next vital step. When executed, will the proposed plan cause something to go wrong? Will related systems be impacted by the proposed change? Even minor details should be considered during this phase. Afterwards, a risk category should ideally be assigned to the proposed change: high-, moderate-, or low-risk. High-risk change requires many additional steps such as management approval and stakeholder notification, whereas low-risk change may only require project manager approval and minimal documentation. If not addressed in the plan/scope, the desire for a backout plan should be expressed, particularly for high-risk changes that have significant worst-case scenarios.

Whether it’s a change controller, change control board, steering committee, or project manager, a review and approval process is typically required. The plan/scope and impact/risk assessments are considered in the context of business goals, requirements, and resources. If, for example, the change request is deemed to address a low severity, low impact issue that requires significant resources to correct, the request may be made low priority or shelved altogether. In cases where a high-impact change is requested but without a strong plan, the review/approval entity may request a full business case may be requested for further analysis.

If the change control request is approved to move forward, the delivery team will execute the solution through a small-scale development process in test or development environments. This allows the delivery team an opportunity to design and make incremental changes, with unit and/or regression testing. Little in the way of testing and validation may occur for low-risk changes, though major changes will require significant testing before implementation. They will then seek approval and request a time and date to carry out the implementation phase. In rare cases where the solution can’t be tested, special consideration should be made towards the change/implementation window.

In most cases a special implementation team with the technical expertise to quickly move a change along is used to implement the change. The team should also be implementing the change not only according to the approved plan but also according to organizational standards, industry standards, and quality management standards. The implementation process may also require additional staff responsibilities outside the implementation team, including stakeholders who may be asked to assist with troubleshooting. Following implementation, the team may also carry out a post-implementation review, which would take place at another stakeholder meeting or during project closing procedures.

The closing process can be one of the more difficult and important phases of change control. Three primary tasks at this end phase include determining that the project is actually complete, evaluating “the project plan in the context of project completion,” and providing tangible proof of project success. If despite best efforts something went wrong during the change control process, a post-mortem on what happened will need to be run, with the intent of applying lessons learned to future changes.

In a Good Manufacturing Practice regulated industry, the topic is frequently encountered by its users. Various industrial guidances and commentaries are available for people to comprehend this concept. As a common practice, the activity is usually directed by one or more SOPs. From the information technology perspective for clinical trials, it has been guided by another U.S. Food and Drug Administration document.

Get More PRINCE2 Information by Clicking HERE

Project Management Triangle

Prince2 Certification
Image by/from Catalin Bogdan (talk)

The Project Management Triangle (called also the Triple Constraint, Iron Triangle and “Project Triangle”) is a model of the constraints of project management. While its origins are unclear, it has been used since at least the 1950s. It contends that:

For example, a project can be completed faster by increasing budget or cutting scope. Similarly, increasing scope may require equivalent increases in budget and schedule. Cutting budget without adjusting schedule or scope will lead to lower quality.

In practice, however, trading between constraints is not always possible. For example, throwing money (and people) at a fully staffed project can slow it down. Moreover, in poorly run projects it is often impossible to improve budget, schedule or scope without adversely affecting quality.

The Project Management Triangle is used to analyze projects. It is often misused to define success as delivering the required scope, at a reasonable quality, within the established budget and schedule. The Project Management Triangle is considered insufficient as a model of project success because it omits crucial dimensions of success including impact on stakeholders, learning and user satisfaction.

The time constraint refers to the amount of time available to complete a project. The cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. The scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project’s end result. These three constraints are often competing constraints: increased scope typically means increased time and increased cost, a tight time constraint could mean increased costs and reduced scope, and a tight budget could mean increased time and reduced scope.

The discipline of project management is about providing the tools and techniques that enable the project team (not just the project manager) to organize their work to meet these constraints.

Another approach to project management is to consider the three constraints as finance, time and human resources. If you need to finish a job in a shorter time, you can throw more people at the problem, which in turn will raise the cost of the project, unless by doing this task quicker we will reduce costs elsewhere in the project by an equal amount.

As a project management graphic aid, a triangle can show time, resources, and technical objective as the sides of a triangle, instead of the corners. John Storck, a former instructor of the American Management Association’s “Basic Project Management” course, used a pair of triangles called triangle outer and triangle inner to represent the concept that the intent of a project is to complete on or before the allowed time, on or under budget, and to meet or exceed the required scope. The distance between the inner and outer triangles illustrated the hedge or contingency for each of the three elements. Bias could be shown by the distance. His example of a project with a strong time bias was the Alaska pipeline which essentially had to be done on time no matter the cost. After years of development, oil flowed out the end of the pipe within four minutes of schedule. In this illustration, the time side of triangle inner was effectively on top of the triangle outer line. This was true of the technical objective line also. The cost line of triangle inner, however, was outside since the project ran significantly over budget.

James P. Lewis suggests that project scope represents the area of the triangle, and can be chosen as a variable to achieve project success. He calls this relationship PCTS (Performance, Cost, Time, Scope), and suggests that a project can pick any three.

The real value of the project triangle is to show the complexity that is present in any project. The plane area of the triangle represents the near infinite variations of priorities that could exist between the three competing values. By acknowledging the limitless variety, possible within the triangle, using this graphic aid can facilitate better project decisions and planning and ensure alignment among team members and the project owners.

The STR model is a mathematical model which views the “triangle model” as a graphic abstraction of the relationship:

Scope refers to complexity (which can also mean quality). Resources includes humans (workers), financial, and physical. Note that these values are not considered unbounded. For instance, if one baker can make a loaf of bread in an hour in an oven, that doesn’t mean ten bakers could make ten loaves in one hour in the same oven (Due to the oven capacity).

For analytical purposes, the time required to produce a deliverable is estimated using several techniques. One method is to identify tasks needed to produce the deliverables documented in a work breakdown structure or WBS. The work effort for each task is estimated and those estimates are rolled up into the final deliverable estimate.

The tasks are also prioritized, dependencies between tasks are identified, and this information is documented in a project schedule. The dependencies between the tasks can affect the length of the overall project (dependency constrained), as can the availability of resources (resource constrained). Time is different from all other resources and cost categories.

Using actual cost of previous, similar projects as the basis for estimating the cost of current project.

According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) the Project Time Management processes include:

Due to the complex nature of the ‘Time’ process group the project management credential PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) was created.

To develop an approximation of a project cost depends on several variables including: resources, work packages such as labor rates and mitigating or controlling influencing factors that create cost variances. Tools used in cost are, risk management, cost contingency, cost escalation, and indirect costs . But beyond this basic accounting approach to fixed and variable costs, the economic cost that must be considered includes worker skill and productivity which is calculated using various project cost estimate tools. This is important when companies hire temporary or contract employees or outsource work.

Project management software can be used to calculate the cost variances for a project.

Requirements specified to achieve the end result. The overall definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish, and a specific description of what the end result should be or accomplish. A major component of scope is the quality of the final product. The amount of time put into individual tasks determines the overall quality of the project. Some tasks may require a given amount of time to complete adequately, but given more time could be completed exceptionally. Over the course of a large project, quality can have a significant impact on time and cost (or vice versa).

Together, these three constraints have given rise to the phrase “On Time, On Spec, On Budget.” In this case, the term “scope” is substituted with “spec(ification).”

Traditionally the Project Constraint Model recognised three key constraints; “Cost”, “Time” and “Scope”. These constraints construct a triangle with geometric proportions illustrating the strong interdependent relationship between these factors. If there is a requirement to shift any one of these factors then at least one of the other factors must also be manipulated.

With mainstream acceptance of the Triangle Model, “Cost” and “Time” appear to be represented consistently. “Scope” however is often used interchangeably given the context of the triangle’s illustration or the perception of the respective project. Scope / Goal / Product / Deliverable / Quality are all relatively similar and generic variation examples of this, while the above suggestion of ‘People Resources’ offers a more specialised interpretation.

This widespread use of variations implies a level of ambiguity carried by the nuance of the third constraint term and of course a level of value in the flexibility of the Triangle Model. This ambiguity allows blurred focus between a project’s output and project’s process, with the example terms above having potentially different impetus in the two contexts. Both “Cost” and “Time” / “Delivery” represent the top level project’s inputs.

The ‘Project Diamond’ model engenders this blurred focus through the inclusion of “Scope” and “Quality” separately as the ‘third’ constraint. While there is merit in the addition of “Quality” as a key constraining factor, acknowledging the increasing maturity of project management, this model still lacks clarity between output and process. The Diamond Model does not capture the analogy of the strong interrelation between points of the triangles however.

PMBOK 4.0 offered an evolved model based on the triple constraint with 6 factors to be monitored and managed. This is illustrated as a 6 pointed Star that maintains the strength of the triangle analogy (two overlaid triangles), while at the same time represents the separation and relationship between project inputs/outputs factors on one triangle and the project processes factors on the other. The star variables are:

When considering the ambiguity of the third constraint and the suggestions of the “Project Diamond”; it is possible to consider instead the Goal or Product of the project as the third constraint, being made up of the sub factors “Scope” and “Quality”. In terms of a project’s output both “Scope” and “Quality” can be adjusted resulting in an overall manipulation of the Goal/Product. This interpretation includes the four key factors in the original triangle inputs/outputs form. This can even be incorporated into the PMBOK Star illustrating that “Quality” in particular may be monitored separately in terms of project outputs and process. Further to this suggestion, the use of term “Goal” may best represent change initiative outputs, while Product may best represent more tangible outputs.

Project Management 2.0

Project Management 2.0 (sometimes mistakenly called Social Project Management) is one branch of evolution of project management practices, which was enabled by the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies. Such applications include: blogs, wikis, collaborative software, etc. Because of Web 2.0 technologies, small distributed & virtual teams can work together much more efficiently by utilizing the new-generation, usually low or no-cost Web-based project management tools. These tools challenge the traditional view of the project manager, as Project Management 2.0 represents a dramatic increase in the ability for distributed teams’ collaboration.

While traditional project management structures focused on the paradigm of the project manager as controller, Project management 2.0 stresses the concept of distributed collaboration, and the project manager as a leader. Project management 2.0 advocates open communication. While traditional project management often was driven by formal reporting and hierarchical structures, project management 2.0 stresses the need for access to information for the whole team. This has led to one of the many criticisms of Project Management 2.0 – that it cannot scale to large projects. However, for distributed teams performing agile development, which are often emergent structures, the use of rich collaborative software may enable the development of collective intelligence

Common comparisons of traditional project management vs. project management 2.0 are listed in the table below.

Project Production Management

Project production management (PPM) is the application of operations management to the delivery of capital projects. The PPM framework is based on a project as a production system view, in which a project transforms inputs (raw materials, information, labor, plant & machinery) into outputs (goods and services).

The knowledge that forms the basis of PPM originated in the discipline of industrial engineering during the Industrial Revolution. During this time, industrial engineering matured and then found application in many areas such as military planning and logistics for both the First and Second World Wars and manufacturing systems. As a coherent body of knowledge began to form, industrial engineering evolved into various scientific disciplines including operations research, operations management and queueing theory, amongst other areas of focus. Project Production Management (PPM) is the application of this body of knowledge to the delivery of capital projects.

Project management, as defined by the Project Management Institute, specifically excludes operations management from its body of knowledge, on the basis that projects are temporary endeavors with a beginning and an end, whereas operations refer to activities that are either ongoing or repetitive. However, by looking at a large capital project as a production system, such as what is encountered in construction, it is possible to apply the theory and associated technical frameworks from operations research, industrial engineering and queuing theory to optimize, plan, control and improve project performance.

For example, Project Production Management applies tools and techniques typically used in manufacturing management, such as described by Philip M. Morse in, or in Factory Physics to assess the impact of variability and inventory on project performance. Although any variability in a production system degrades its performance, by understanding which variability is detrimental to the business and which is beneficial, steps can be implemented to reduce detrimental variability. After mitigation steps are put in place, the impact of any residual variability can be addressed by allocating buffers at select points in the project production system – a combination of capacity, inventory and time.

Scientific and Engineering disciplines have contributed to many mathematical methods for the design and planning in project planning and scheduling, most notably linear and dynamic programming yielding techniques such as the critical path method (CPM) and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). The application of engineering disciplines, particularly the areas of operations research, industrial engineering and queueing theory have found much application in the fields of manufacturing and factory production systems. Factory Physics is an example of where these scientific principles are described as forming a framework for manufacturing and production management.  Just as Factory Physics is the application of scientific principles to construct a framework for manufacturing and production management, Project Production Management is the application of the very same operations principles to the activities in a project, covering an area that has been conventionally out of scope for project management.

Modern project management theory and techniques started with Frederick Taylor and Taylorism/scientific management at the beginning of the 20th century, with the advent of mass manufacturing. It was refined further in the 1950s with techniques such as critical path method (CPM) and program evaluation and review technique (PERT). Use of CPM and PERT became more common as the computer revolution progressed. As the field of project management continued to grow, the role of the project manager was created and certifying organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) emerged. Modern project management has evolved into a broad variety of knowledge areas described in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Operations management (related to the fields of production management, operations research and industrial engineering) is a field of science that emerged from the modern manufacturing industry and focuses on modeling and controlling actual work processes. The practice is based upon defining and controlling production systems, which typically consist of a series of inputs, transformational activities, inventory and outputs. Over the last 50 years, project management and operations management have been considered separate fields of study and practice.

PPM applies the theory and results of the various disciplines known as operations management, operations research, queueing theory and industrial engineering to the management and execution of projects. By viewing a project as a production system, the delivery of capital projects can be analyzed for the impact of variability. The effects of variability can be summarized by VUT equation (specifically Kingman’s formula for G/G/1 queue). By using a combination of buffers – capacity, inventory and time – the impact of variability to project execution performance can be minimized.

A set of key results used to analyze and optimize the work in projects were originally articulated by Philip Morse, considered the father of operations research in the U.S. and summarized in his seminal volume. In introducing its framework for manufacturing management, Factory Physics summarizes these results:

There are key mathematical models that describe the relationships between buffers and variability. Little’s law – named after academic John Little – describes the relationship between throughput, cycle time and work-in-process (WIP) or inventory.  The Cycle Time Formula summarizes how much time a set of tasks at a particular point in a project take to execute.  Kingman’s formula, also known as the VUT equation – summarizing the impact of variability.

The following academic journals publish papers pertaining to Operations Management issues: