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Getting Work Done with PRINCE2

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Written by Claudine – Mon 31 Dec 2012

So, you have had your plan approved and now the work needs to begin.

But have you have ever found you've handed work over only to have it run late, or receive something back that is not at all what was asked for?

How do we avoid this and ensure that work is carried out as planned?

PRINCE2® Processes

The PRINCE2 approach is to use two processes, the Project Manager uses 'Controlling a Stage'to hand over the work and the Team Manager will use 'Managing Product Delivery' for the development of the product. These are two separate processes because the Project Manager is responsible for managing the work of the project, not doing it! So having a separate process acts as a “firebreak” between the project manager and team manager or team.

The process starts when the Project Manager discusses the work to be done with a Team Manager or team to authorise the work package.

During this discussion, some aspects of the work need to be agreed:

  • Techniques, processes and procedures to be observed
  • Development interfaces covering people that should be liaised with during the development of the work package
  • Operations and maintenance interfaces which identify any other products the product in the work package should work with
  • Configuration management requirements which identify how the product in the work package should be named, where they should be stored, how they are to be submitted to configuration management and security arrangements
  • Time, cost, start and finish dates, key milestones and effort should all be discussed and agreed

  • Tolerances, which will identify any time, cost, scope or risk tolerances for the work package
  • Constraints that may apply to the work package
  • Reporting arrangements covering how the project manager should be kept informed of progress, the frequency and contents of the information.
  • Problem handling and escalation covering how the team or team manager should deal with any issues that arise
  • Approval method clarifying how the Project Manager will be advised of the completion of the work package and who will approve the products.

Next Steps

In addition to all of this information, the product specifications or Product Descriptions are attached to the work package to enable the group producing the products to ensure that it meets specification before being tested.

The formality of the agreement of the work package is down to how the Project Manager wants to do it and more often than not, this may be done verbally. However, when working with an external supplier there is certainly huge value in documenting this work package more formally.

Once agreed, the team manager will mobilise the team and get the work started on creating the products.

As the products are created, they will be tested and hopefully approved. The team manager will keep the project manager informed of the progress by providing checkpoint reports on a regular basis.

When the products in the work package are complete and approved, the team manager will hand these back to the project manager.

This cycle will be repeated throughout the stage until all the work packages and products are completed and approved.

Try our PRINCE2 Practitioner Training for a full understanding of the framework.

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