Do You Speak PRINCE2?

It’s nearly summer so this week we’ve decided to compile a short list of PRINCE2 terms and then add our own very simplified explanations or examples or light-hearted comments! For the genuine article head to PRINCE2 Glossary to be found on our Downloads page of free resources. If you fancy a laugh too, there are a couple of links to some fun cartoons. Enjoy!

Business Case

Definition:
The justification for an organisational activity (project) which typically contains costs, benefits, risks and timescales, and against which continuing viability is tested.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
Keeps the focus on the questions you should ask during a project, “Why exactly did we think this was a good idea and why are we carrying on?"

Head to Dilbert if you want a laugh – or cry – about Business Cases!

Communication Management Strategy

Definition:
A description of the means and frequency of communication between the project, the project’s stakeholders.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
This assists engagement with stakeholders through two-way communication. It’ll include things like stakeholder analysis where you would outline the relationship you’ve got with your stakeholders and the one you’d like to have; or is that a matter of wishful thinking for some?!

Great cartoons from Grantland including a neat one on communication in general!

Customer

Definition:
The person or group who commissioned the work and will benefit from the end results.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
Normally used for the commercial customer/supplier relationship. Generally refers to business and user interests but where a product is going to market the customer would simply be the user.

Every customer’s nightmare drawn and it seems added to at The Project Cartoon.com! The web site welcomes ideas for new cells to the cartoon.

Daily Log

Definition:
Used to record problems/concerns that can be handled by the Project Manger informally.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
The project manager’s diary. Although not the page-turning kind you see in the tabloids, it can still be pretty revealing. You would use it to log anything from issues, actions, and significant events to conversations, thoughts and observations. It's worth noting that Team Managers might also need their own separate Daily Log.

Lessons Log

Definition:
An informal repository for lessons that apply to this project or future projects.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
For the good, bad and even ugly lessons that can come from within the project or from other projects. It contains the lesson type, detail, date, and so forth.

Project Initiation Documentation

Definition:
A logical set of documents which brings together the key information needed to start the project on a sound basis and to convey that information to all concerned with the project.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
This living document defines the project and gives its direction and scope. Along with the Stage Plan, it also acts like a contract between the project manager and the Project Board. Both parties can use it to review things like progress.

Project Manager

Definition:
The person given the authority and responsibility to manage the project on a day-to-day basis to deliver the required products within the constraints agreed with the Project Board.

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Or as some might say, seldom the hero if things go right but often the villain if things go wrong! It’s definitely no picnic, for as PM you’d be expected to get the result that achieves the benefits stipulated in the Business Case.

Project Plan

Definition:
A high-level plan showing the major products of the project, when they will be delivered and at what cost. An initial Project Plan is presented as part of the Project Initiation Documentation. This is revised as information on actual progress appears. It is a major control document for the Project Board to measure actual progress against expectations.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
It’s all about how and when you’re going to achieve the goals of the project which are, naturally, aligned to the corporate or programme management plan. The project plan sets out how its time, cost, and other targets will be achieved, by outlining products, activities and resources required for the plan.
Dilbert well and truly hits the funny bone on the project plan!

Risk

Definition:
An uncertain event or set of events that, should it occur, will have an effect on the achievement of objectives. A risk is measured by a combination of the probability of a perceived threat or opportunity occurring, and the magnitude of its impact on objectives.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
Understandably seen by some as, anything-that-can-go-wrong-and-therefore-will-go-wrong, risk can, of course, be positive as well as negative and is a given when change is involved. Its management includes the identification of risks and methods used for this could range from learning lessons and using checklists from similar projects, to group brainstorming, and so on.

Scope

Definition:
The scope of a plan is the sum total of its products and the extent of their requirements. It is described by the product breakdown structure for the plan and associated Product Descriptions.

For example/To simplify/Don’t forget...
Everything you’re supposed to deliver at the end of the project.
Scope Creep. No, not some weirdo, but what happens when the project goes beyond its scope.

Useful Links:

  1. There’s a trio of useful sources for PRINCE2 information. For a complete picture of PRINCE2 and what it can do, head to the Office of Government Commerce. A raft of useful information is also available from the APMG, including details of PRINCE2 accredited training options. Finally, TSO publishes a range of material for PRINCE2.
  2. If you like your learning and learning provider to suit your style and needs rather than the other way around, click on the following and you’ll find choices galore for ILX offers: e-learning, mobile learning, live virtual classroom, blended learning and classroom learning.
  3. The PRINCE2 e-learning experience is the perfect option for those with an eye for cost-effective, rich and collaborative training that includes free downloads, games, a forum, Twitter , Facebook, and a blog. Skip over to PRINCE2.com for an overview of everything we offer.
  4. If you want training with support look no further than ILX for we know a thing or two about it and the importance of matching the right individual to the right role. ILX’s recently launched Connect guides companies through the training process, Support helps individuals to get the most from the courses, and together both make sure you maximise the return on your investment.