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PRINCE2: The 7 Themes

22 August 2014

As seen in previous posts, PRINCE2 is a project management methodology which consists of seven principles, seven themes and seven processes. Last week we covered the 7 principles, which are the first step of the methodology. Today, let's look at the case of the second step:

The 7 Themes

1. Business Case - this theme is the heart of each PRINCE2 project. The Business Case justifies initial and continuing investment in the project. Its goal is to ensure it remains viable and achievable in every stage along the way. Created at the very start, the Business Case drives the entire project, describing the reasons for doing the project and forecast of benefits the project will deliver.

2. Organisation - defines and establishes project roles and responsibilities for a PRINCE2 project as well as its structure of accountability. It clearly identifies the three project interests: business, user and supplier. Organisation's roles consist of a programme executive, the project board, a project manager, team managers, project assurance, change authority and project support.

3. Quality - ensures that the project’s products or services are 'fit for purpose'. Its focus is on each product's ability to meet its requirements, which are defined in the project's Quality Management Strategy. PRINCE2 contains product-focused elements of quality planning, quality control and quality assurance.

4. Risk - the PRINCE2 method ensures that risk management is planned and integrated into the project management from the beginning so potential risks can be identified, assessed and controlled in order to improve chances of success. The five steps for managing risks are:
- Identify the cause, event and effects of each risk
- Assess their probability and impact
- Plan the specific management responses
- Implement the risk responses as required
- Communicate risk information internal and external to the project.

5. Plans - planning is crucial for the project to succeed. Plans are used to define how, where and by whom the project’s products will be delivered. There are three levels of plans in a PRINCE2 project: Project plan, an overview of the whole project; Stage plans, one for each management stage and Team plan, for creating products. A backup plan exists, called Exception plan, which can replace any of the previous plans in case of failure.

6. Change - every project involves change, that can be related to expectations and requirements. The objective of this theme is to identify, assess and control any potential and approved changes to the base-lined objectives. A project needs an approach to controlling how those changes affect the configuration management.

7. Progress - monitors and evaluates actual project progress and performance compared with planned achievements in order to provide a forecast for the future objectives, including the continued viability of the project.

To learn more about the 7 Themes, as well as the other structures of the PRINCE2 methodology, sign up for a PRINCE2 Foundation course with Total Training Solutions. An advanced PRINCE2 Practitioner course is also available, as well as a combined PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner course.

To book your place, call us on 0800 612 1299 or email us at info@tts-uk.com for more information.

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