PRINCE2 Concepts: Document Description Outlines
PRINCE2, 2005, contemplates producing two types of "product" - those documents that relate to the project's deliverable, end item or outcome, that satisfies the project's objective(s), and those that are required by the PRINCE2 project management methodology itself. There are thirty-six detailed descriptions of these management "products", three more than in 2002. Many of these documents are standard fare, such as various plans and reports, but it is most useful to have detailed listings of their recommended contents.
In particular, we liked the idea of the Business Case being the driver for the project. The Business Case provides the reasons and justification for the project, based on estimated costs, risks and expected benefits. As it says:
"PRINCE2's key philosophy is that its Business Case must drive the project. If a satisfactory Business Case does not exist, a project should not be started. If a Business Case is valid at the start of a project, but this justification disappears once the project is underway, the project should be stopped."
Some documents appear to be fairly unique to PRINCE2, for example:
A Project Initiation Document, while perhaps not absolutely unique, documents key information needed to start the project on a sound basis, form the basis for the management of the project, and assess its overall success.
Acceptance Criteria is similarly essential information though often overlooked in many projects. It is either provided by program management, or is developed during the starting-up-a-project process. It defines in measurable terms what must be done for the final product to be acceptable to the customer and others who will be affected.
Customer's quality expectations, as the name indicates, sets out the quality
of the final product that will be expected by the customer. It forms a part of the Project Brief and is a precursor to identifying
the standards that will be used to achieve those expectations.
Checkpoint Report is defined as a report on "A team-level, time-driven review
of progress, usually involving a meeting." In other words, it is a report by an
individual team manager on the status if his or her work.
An Exception Plan is a plan to recover from a "tolerance deviation" where "tolerance", as we noted earlier, is the permissible deviation above and below a plan's estimate of time and cost without having to escalate the issue to the next level of management. In other words it is a plan to get back on track.
9. Ibid, p341
10. Ibid, p197
12. Ibid, p336
13. Ibid, p375
14. Ibid, p341
15. Ibid, p349
16. Ibid, p344
17. Ibid, p330
18. Ibid, p355
19. Ibid, p339