Published here September, 2006. 

PRINCE2 Concepts: Project Management Team Roles and Responsibilities
PRINCE2 Concepts: Document Description Outlines
Downside: Product and Project Life Spans | Downside: Project Manager's Responsibilities
Control | Downside: Project Management Product Description Documents

Downside: Project Manager's Responsibilities

According to the project manager's role description:

"The Project Manager has the authority to run the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project Board within the constraints laid down by the Board. The Project manager's prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the required products to the required standard of quality within the specified constraints of time and cost."[23]

This is the project manager's traditional role against which his or her success in running the project is normally measured. However, it does not speak to the success of the product of the project in terms of ability to generate expected benefits. Nevertheless, the description continues:

"The Project Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case."[24]

What if the concept described in the Business Case is not viable, that is, it is incapable of producing the designated benefits? Or, what if the subsequent development and planning conducted in the pre-PRINCE2 project execution phases is badly flawed? We have seen many examples of such projects, especially those politically motivated. Given the role of the Executive and Project Board, all as a part of the project team, and the consequent limitation of the project manager's freedom of action, it seems to us that this imposition on the project manager is an unreasonable one.

In discussing the development of the project schedule, the "Hints and tips" section suggests that when the project manager has discussed the availability of resources with line managers, "any agreement reached with them should be documented immediately."[25] That's all very well, but for the unwary, the reality is typically as follows. When the designated people are needed for the project they are not available. That's either because the project schedule has slipped, or their schedule has slipped, they are already over-committed, or management elsewhere has assigned them new and higher priorities.

Downside: Product and Project Life Spans  Downside: Product and Project Life Spans

23. Ibid, p401
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid, p188
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