19 Apr 2011

7 PRINCE2 Themes

Posted by Paul Atkin

The PRINCE2 Themes

PRINCE2 comes in 3 parts: 7 Principles, 7 Processes and 7 Themes.

PRINCE2 Themes are described as “aspects of project management that must be addressed continually” (PRINCE2 manual, p17).  The 7 themes are integrated into the method.  They are called upon by the 7 PRINCE2 Processes.  Also in the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam, 7 out of the 9 questions will be based on the PRINCE2 Themes:

  1. Business Case.  This document which states WHY the project is necessary.  Specifically what benefits it will deliver to the business. Keeps the project relevant.  If the project is no longer going to deliver the benefits in the business case, PRINCE2 says it should be ended.
  2. Organization.  Roles and Responsibilities of the Project Management team.  Projects often involve multiple sites or staff from several organizations who may be full or part-time on the project.  It is important to be clear who is responsible for what from the start.
  3. Plans.  How to create Plans, when it is appropriate to do so.  There is no value in creating a detailed Plan for Year 2 of a project right at the beginning.  So PRINCE2 plans close to the time the Plan will be used.
  4. Risk.  Dealing with uncertainty.  Projects usually have to delivery something unique in a fixed time period using staff who may not have worked together.  So a clear Risk Management strategy is essential
  5. Quality.  May be different for each project.  For example your approach to spell checking may be different depending on whether you are producing a daily newspaper or the Oxford English Dictionary. What the project means by Quality needs to be understood by everyone from the start.
  6. Progress.  Your project needs to know what actually happened, against what was planned.  PRINCE2’s Progress theme allows the project management team to monitor progress, review achievements, initiate corrective action and authorize further work.
  7. Change.  Is inevitable in your project.  Requests for new features, suggested improvements, problems and concerns – all these must be carefully controlled if your project is to stay on track.  The Change theme helps you assess and control potential and approved changes to the baseline.

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