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The Quality Trail - PRINCE2

Written by Andy Trainer – Mon 26 Nov 2012

Ensuring quality is upheld with PRINCE2® is an ongoing process which means it requires continuous auditing. You can learn how to do this on our PRINCE2 Training Courses.

When managing a project with PRINCE2, it is necessary to prove to the customer that along the way, all the necessary quality management was undertaken. As such it is important to follow the Quality Trail.

In this post we'll outline each step of the Quality Trail, the resultant product and how to go about enacting it.

Quality Trail PRINCE2

1/ Ascertaining Customer Expectations

Product = Project Mandate/Brief

Process = Starting up a Project (SU)

What needs to be done to make the end product adequate for customers and staff?

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The Plans Theme in PRINCE2

Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 19 Jun 2012

The Plans theme is fundamental to the PRINCE2® methodology - the other themes (business case, organisation, quality, risk, change and progress) all depend on effective planning before, during and even after each project. A good plan will facilitate communication and control throughout the whole project life cycle.

Effective and structured planning also ensures that everyone involved in the project has the same information to work from and refer to. Crucially, in PRINCE2, all plans are created on a product-based technique – the final objective is identified first and then the plan is made of how to deliver this product.

Our PRINCE2 courses cover all of the PRINCE2 themes in detail, with a focus on real-life application of this knowledge.

The Planning Horizon

PRINCE2 can be applied to all scales of project, but detailed planning can be difficult for lengthier projects. If this is the case, the project will be broken down into smaller stages, and each of these will have separate plans. The planning horizon is the agreed length of time for which it is appropriate – or possible – to plan in detail.

Contents of PRINCE2 Plans

The different types of plans in a PRINCE2 project will follow a similar structure, in order to be easily accessible to everyone involved in the project. The level of detail that goes into each level of plan is determined by the scale of the project.

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Written by Andy Trainer – Wed 11 Jul 2007

The purpose of the Plans theme is to facilitate communication and control by defining the means of  delivering the products (the where and how, by whom, and estimating the when and how much).

Effective project management relies on effective planning as without a plan there is no control. Planning provides all personnel involved in the project with information on:

  • What is required
  • How it will be achieved and by whom, using what specialist equipment and resources
  • When events will happen
  • Whether the targets (for time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits) are achievable.

The development and maintenance of credible plans provides a baseline against which progress

can be measured. They enable planning information to be disseminated to stakeholders in order to secure any commitments which support the plan.

PRINCE2® approach to plans

The development following activities will be used to create all levels of plan:

  • Design the plan
  • Define and analyse the products
  • Identify activities and dependencies
  • Prepare estimates
  • Prepare the schedule
  • Document the Plan
  • Analyse the risks

Plans are produced at three levels in a PRINCE2 project.


© Crown Copyright 2009. Reproduced under Licence from OGC

  • Initiation Stage Plan – this plan covers the activities of the initiation stage for the project.
  • Project plan – this is the high level overall plan that covers the full duration of the project.
  • Stage plan– this is an extract of the project plan covering a specific stage with more detail.
  • Team plan – this is an optional plan which would contain a more detailed breakdown of a section of the stage plan for use by a team when developing certain products.
  • Exception plan – when a plan is predicted to no longer finish within the agreed tolerances, an exception plan is produced to replace that plan.
  • Benefits review plan – covers activities during and after the project to determine achievement of benefits.

The Plans Theme is covered in more detail on our PRINCE2 Foundation course and PRINCE2 Practitioner courses in Brighton, Sussex.

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