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What could Project Teams Learn from the Olympics and PRINCE2? Part 2

This is the second of our two part series on this topic.

Manage by Exception

Look at the Olympic teams and what becomes clear is that there are different coaches with different levels of responsibility and accountability. This ensures the efficient use of the time and effort of senior coaches. As you would imagine, this can be useful in projects and PRINCE2 can help. It defines tolerances for each project objective to establish the limits of delegated authority. It sets out clear responsibilities and accountabilities for people with regard to directing, managing and delivering a project. Put very crudely: you do what’s within your pay grade in relation to things like time, cost and scope.

Focus on Products

Whilst the aim of the Olympics is for everyone to take part, in reality it's the medals that people want. Given the amount of time, effort and money countries invest in the Olympics, it’s understandable. It’s no less understandable for business. PRINCE2 ensures that the project focus is on output and not on activity and, moreover, that the project products are agreed and defined before activities to achieve them are started. When this is done properly the risk of scope creep, acceptance disputes, user dissatisfaction and so on is reduced.

Tailor to Suit the Project Environment

Each sporting event is different even if the same sports are involved: racing at an international athletic meet is quite different from racing at the Olympics. Therefore, everyone involved in putting a national team together takes that into account. Since each project is different, project managers also need to tailor their approach to suit the project’s environment, size, complexity, importance, capability and risk. This ensures that the effort and approach for the project are appropriate to its needs in order to increase the likelihood of success.

Useful Links

  • For the definitive summary of PRINCE2 head to the Cabinet Office website on the methodology.
  • Our Downloads page has explanations and case studies that show PRINCE2 in action.
  • ILX Consulting can help you implement and use PRINCE2 effectively thanks to our consultants whose expertise has helped diverse organisations worldwide such as Vodafone, Vestas and Sanitec.
  • Enjoy and learn from your reading this summer by browsing in our PRINCE2 bookstore.
  • Find out what our PRINCE2 e-learning course looks like here.
  • Get social and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and on our Forum.
  • The APMG has a slew of useful information about PRINCE2 accredited training options.