Published here August, 2006.  

Introduction | Book Structure
What We Liked: Content Consistency and Structure
What We Liked: Process Relationships
What We Liked: Planning and Scheduling | PART 2

Book Structure

The PRINCE2 manual is arranged into five major parts: Introduction, Processes (of which there are 8 and 39 sub-processes), Components (8), Techniques (3) that are considered specific to PRINCE2, and Appendices. This is reflected in the general sequence of the twenty-four chapters and seven appendices as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. An introduction to PRINCE2
  3. Introduction to processes
  4. Starting up a project (SU) - covering 6 sub-processes
  5. Initiating a project (IP) - 6 sub-processes
  6. Directing a project (DP) - 5 sub-processes
  7. Controlling a stage (CS) - 9 sub-processes
  8. Managing Product delivery (MP) - 3 sub-processes
  9. Managing stage boundaries (SB) - 6 sub-processes
  10. Closing a project (CP) - 3 sub-processes
  11. Planning (PL) - 7 sub-processes
  12. Introduction to the PRINCE2 components
  13. Business Case
  14. Organization
  15. Plans
  16. Controls
  17. Management of risk
  18. Quality in a project environment
  19. Configuration management
  20. Change control
  21. Introduction to techniques
  22. Product-based planning
  23. Change control technique
  24. Quality review technique
    • Glossary
    • Appendix A: Product Description outlines
    • Appendix B: Project management team roles
    • Appendix C: Risk categories
    • Appendix D: PRINCE2 health check
    • Appendix E: Project document management

All the processes and sub-processes follow a consistent structure and format, namely:

  • Fundamental principles
  • Context
  • Process description
  • Scalability (where applicable)
  • Responsibilities
  • Information needs
  • Key criteria
  • Hints and tips

Other parts of the manual also provide hints and tips where appropriate.

Certain areas of project management are not covered on the grounds that these are well covered in the literature elsewhere. These areas include:[9]

  • People management techniques such as motivation, delegation and team leadership
  • Generic planning techniques such as Gantt charts and critical path analysis
  • The creation and management of corporate quality management and quality assurance mechanisms
  • Budgetary control and earned value analysis techniques
  • The specialist activities of contracting and purchasing

Although PRINCE2 describes its eight processes and thirty-nine sub-processes at some length, the overarching planning that is contemplated is focused on the delivery of "products" and not activities. These "products" may be associated with either the project management process, in which case we sometimes referred to them as project management "assets", or they may be associated with the project's product deliverables. Either way, PRINCE2 views them as "standard [project] management products".[10]

Thus, Appendix A describes thirty-six Product Description outlines, and does so in a consistent format of:[11]

  • Purpose - Why it is needed
  • Composition - What it will look like
  • Derivation - Who will do it
  • Quality criteria - The standard to which it will be prepared

These outlines include such standard items as Business Case, Project Brief, Product (not project) Breakdown Structure, Project Plan and Work Package.

Appendix B covers ten project management team roles as viewed by PRINCE2. These range from "Executive", to Project Manager to Project Support. In effect the Executive is the chair of the Project Board, a role we often describe as Project Director, and is the person with the commanding role in PRINCE2. The Project Manager has a much lesser role in terms of responsibility for the overall project, being responsible for the day-to-day of its running.[12] Nevertheless, it is his or her responsibility to produce a project result "capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case" (emphasis added) with twenty-one "Specific responsibilities", largely administrative.

The Glossary contains 104 definitions, 16 more than in 2002.

Introduction  Introduction

9. Ibid, p8
10. Ibid, p341
11. Ibid, p236
12. Ibid, p401
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