Within the Directing a Project (DP) stage of PRINCE2®, authorising a project is a particularly important process.
Without it, the next stage plan cannot be approved which means that the project cannot proceed.
In this post we'll take a look in more detail at why it is a necessary process, who is responsible for each aspect and how it should be carried out.
If you'd like to find out more about PRINCE2 processes like authorising a project, try our PRINCE2 Courses.
Why is it Needed?
By using this process it means that the project board can make sure that there is:
- An acceptable Business Case in place (read 'What is a Business Case?' for more details)
- The goals and methods of the project match that of the corporate strategy
- An acceptable set of tolerances (and scope) has been set
- Risks are accepted and outlined fully
- The right controls have been set
Who is Responsible?
Responsibility for ensuring adequate authorisation of the project falls to the Project Board but those with a Project Assurance role must advise and make the board aware of anything critical to the decision-making process.
How Should it be Enacted?
- All objectives of the project must be made clear to all
- Said objectives must align with corporate objectives and strategy
- All responsibility and authority must be delegated appropriately
- The Business Case must be accepted
- Anything learnt from previous projects (either from successes or failures) must be adapted into the Project Plan
- Make sure the Project Plan falls within the project's constraints
- Controls must be agreed to be suitable for particular project
- The plan for the next stage of the project must already be accepted
- Product descriptions must be accepted
- The draft Project Initiation Document must be adapted appropriately
- All strategies regarding areas such as risk and quality must be approved as fit for purpose
- Approve the Benefits Review Plan
- Approve set limits for deviation in both next stage and project overall
- Put in writing approval for next stage and pledge required resources
- Set date for review of next stage i.e. end stage assessment
- Make all stakeholders aware that the project has been authorised.
In practice, the Project Board will likely be aware of certain aspects necessary to the authorisation process through regular informal contact with the Project Manager.
However, setting out clear and targeted assessment dates and stage reviews is essential to the successful completion of a project; just because the board already has some information doesn't mean the authorisation process should be skimmed over. This will harm the project's overall salience and legitimacy.
If you'd like to learn more about processes like Authorising a Project, try our PRINCE2 Practitioner Courses in Brighton.