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Adopt PRINCE2 In Your Organisation And Improve Project Success

Fed up with cost and schedule overruns? Confused by the mish-mash of project management approaches your organisation uses? Don’t suffer in silence! Try these ways of convincing your company and colleagues to adopt PRINCE2.

1. Make ‘em want it! The first step is to accept that you may have to change the long-held, entrenched mindset of individuals and the organisation. So softly, softly does it. Remember change is scary so it’s a big ask for people unfamiliar with PRINCE2 to embrace it. A good way to begin is to provide them with a clearer understanding of the methodology and its benefits so that they see the light and buy into it themselves.

2. Face prejudices head on. Dispel the myth that PRINCE2 is about filling in forms or doggedly following a methodology. Emphasize that the paperwork is to keep track of a project, that the methodology is to provide a flexible framework and that neither runs the project; that’s what the people are for. If they’ve got a sense of humour, you could throw in something about a bad work-person blaming his or her tools – or methodologies!

3. If only you’d used PRINCE2. When you’re socialising at the water cooler do a little detective work on past project failures and successes. Then look for an opportunity to demonstrate how using PRINCE2 would have brought greater success and give specific examples. If you can’t think of any try the case studies on our Downloads page to illustrate your point. We’ve included some under relevant headings here.

4. And why exactly are we doing this? Always an unsettling question and one that’s worth asking until you get an answer. Dig about to see if the Business Case was developed with real rigour and then discuss the PRINCE2 approach.

Case Study: The Australian Department of Parliamentary Services found that PRINCE2’s business case requirements meant that it could identify different options which resulted in better decision making.

5. Is this project still viable? Another awkward and valuable question to ask. Use it as an opportunity to explain how PRINCE2 is managed in stages. Detail how at the end of each stage, project status is assessed, Business Case and plans are reviewed to gauge project viability and a decision is made about whether to proceed. Finally, if you add that this gives senior management control points at crucial periods in a project, it’ll probably swing the argument in your favour, after all, which manager doesn’t like control!

6. Log it! If there isn’t a Lesson Log, start one to note lessons learned throughout the current project. Refer to a Lesson Log you’ve used to prove its practical use. Don’t forget the Daily Log either. Use it and explain that it helps ensure that no action, however small, is forgotten and that it’s a good repository for other things such as individual observations.

7. Do they ‘get’ tolerances? One way to showcase tactfully PRINCE2’s advantages is to quiz team members on tolerances. Ask how far things are going to be allowed to deviate outside the plan’s target, for time and cost for instance, before matters are escalated to the next decision level. The six tolerance areas are time, cost, scope, risk, quality and benefit.

8. Houston, we have a problem! OK, it’s not Apollo 13, but any issue can have a serious effect on a project. So raise issues, see if a consistent approach is used for dealing with them and demonstrate how PRINCE2 assists project managers to handle them comprehensively. Remind colleagues that it’s not just a question of remembering things like MoSCoW – if only!

9. What if it all goes pear-shaped? Research risks that scuppered past projects, then look out for likely risks to the current one and highlight them. Find out if there’s a risk register, if all the risks have been identified, what their likely impact could be, what countermeasures are envisaged, and so on; you know the drill. Remember risks can be good too, so point out opportunities companies might have missed.

Case Study: While VocaLink knows you can’t engineer out all risks, it uses PRINCE2 to plan extensively to deliver projects. The company processes domestic and international automated payments and provides ATM switching solutions.

10. Er, is this tailored? It’s worth being specific and asking if the method colleagues are using is allowing them to tailor for project environment, size, complexity, and so forth. Describe PRINCE2’s universal nature and relate it to the current project; make sure you back it up with facts and examples!

11. Lead by example. If anyone asks you how to do something, elucidate using PRINCE2. If you have an opportunity to use PRINCE2 yourself then do so clarifying what you’re doing and why. If you’re discussing the project over a coffee, whip out the PRINCE2 Health check list and show how this flexible tool allows project professionals to manage successfully.

Useful Links:

  • For a complete picture of PRINCE2 and what it can do, head to the OGC.
  • The PRINCE2 Downloads page has a wealth of case studies on how it has transformed the way companies do things. They include the British Council and Suffolk County Council which provide some valuable insights into using PRINCE2.
  • When Environment Canada realised that it needed to tackle cost and schedule overruns it adopted PRINCE2.
  • A hybrid project management method was identified at Transpower New Zealand as having inefficiencies to those employed in the project management to those employed in the project management space. So for this and other reasons it switched to PRINCE2.
  • ILX Group deliver PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner e-learning, classroom and blended learning to suit every situation.
  • The APMG provide a slew of useful information about PRINCE2 accredited training options if you’re not yet PRINCE2 certified.
  • The PRINCE2 e-learning experience may be the perfect option for those with an eye for cost-effective, rich and collaborative training that includes a blog, a forum and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • If your company sees the light and decides to adopt PRINCE2, you might like to tell them about ILX Connect which holds an organisation’s hand as it implements PRINCE2 training.
  • For a practical example of how ILX can deliver training whatever the situation and whatever the weather have a look at the experience of KCA Deutag Drilling Group.