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Some people say otherwise, but a wedding *is* a project. It has a set purpose and the project has an end date. It has a project team, project manager and most certainly has a budget. Certain milestones must be achieved at certain times in order for the goal to be reached. Later goals depend on achieving earlier ones.
So, you could be a PM professional with a wedding to plan; or you might have found us because you are a bride-to-be looking for structure to tackle this massive task. You could take our 1-day Project Management course, or even our PRINCE2 qualifications to really know how to manage your wedding! Following on from our popular Project Manage Your Life, here’s our simple guide to project managing a wedding:
The first thing to do is identify the benefits criteria that will define project success. These can be such things as:
- Everyone being where they should be at the right times
- Happy guests
- No family conflict (yes, it’s a factor)
- (For the bride), feeling beautiful
- Having a stress-less wedding planning experience
- Choosing wedding suppliers you can trust to deliver
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.
If you've attended our PRINCE2 Foundation or PRINCE2 Practitioner course (we hold PRINCE2 training in Birmingham as well as Brighton, Sussex) and want to start a project using PRINCE2 back at work, you'll need somewhere to start.
Here you can download PRINCE2 project templates to help you to manage your project effectively.
Use the link below to download a zipped folder containing all of the PRINCE2 templates:
- Benefits Review Plan
- Business Case
- Checkpoint Report
- Communication Management Strategy
- Configuration Item Record
- Configuration Management Strategy
- Daily Log
- End Project Report
- End Stage Report
- Exception Report
- Highlight Report
- Issue Register
- Issue Report
- Lessons Log
- Lessons Report
- Project Plan
- Product Description
- Product Status Account
- Project Brief
- Project Initiation Documentation
- Project Product Description
- Quality Management Strategy
- Quality Register
- Risk Management Strategy
- Risk Register
- Work Package
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.
- 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.
PRINCE2 PROCESSES – Closing a Project (CP)
See our courses for PRINCE2 in Brighton, Sussex.
The purpose of the Closing a Project process is to provide a fixed point at which acceptance for the project product is confirmed, and to recognize that objectives set out in the original Project Initiation Documentation have been achieved (or approved changes to the objectives have been achieved), or that the project has nothing more to contribute.
The objective of the Closing a Project process is to:
- Verify user acceptance of the project’s products
- Ensure that the host site is able to support the products when the project is disbanded
- Review the performance of the project against its baselines
- Assess any benefits that have already been realized, update the forecast of the remaining benefits, and plan for a review of those unrealized benefits
- Ensure that provision has been made to address all open issues and risks, with follow-on action recommendations.
The main products of this process are as follows:
- Project Plan updated with final actual
- Product Status Account covering the status of all products for the project
- Issue register to identify any outstanding issues
- Follow-on action recommendations created with any outstanding issues to be addressed
- Configuration item records updated with current status of products
- Benefits review plan updated with dates for benefits realization
- Acceptance records for products completed
- End project report created
- Lessons Report created
- Close Issue, Risk, Quality registers, Daily and Lessons Log