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I've Got PRINCE2 Why Would I Need MSP?

It’s a perfectly understandable question to which there are excellent answers showing that a PRINCE2 and MSP combo is a formulae for success.

To start with they’re different. A project is a short-term, temporary entity that will deliver an output, a product, which refers back to the business case; a programme is still temporary, but it is a longer-term undertaking that manages projects to ensure that they deliver outcomes and benefits linked to – and this is important - strategic objectives – the grand visions.

Thinking big for a moment, say you were one of those charged with delivering the Olympic and Paralympic Games. One of your strategic objectives would have been to "Deliver the Olympic Park and all venues on time, within agreed budget and to specification, minimizing the call on public funds and providing for a sustainable legacy". Some goal! And one that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with just one project, or two or even 10; in fact, the actual Games organisers had dozens of projects on the go. So they needed help; they needed MSP.

The beauty of MSP is that it works well with PRINCE2, the themes of one, link well with the themes of the other. This allows you and your organisation, therefore, to take what you might call a holistic approach so that you can do many things at programme level rather than at project level; as a result it avoids the need for duplication and also sets standards to follow which creates consistency.

Consistency is important in every programme and project and, since both are about people, it’s important in how you handle them. One of the key benefits of using MSP is that it can help you handle people, both individuals and groups, who may interact with the project or who may be impacted by it. It ensures that they, the stakeholders, are identified and engaged and communicated with to improve the chances of success.

By now, we hope you’re beginning to see why PRINCE2, great as it is for managing a project, hasn’t quite got the muscle that MSP has to provide a programme of projects aimed at delivering a vision.

You may also see that it follows, therefore, that whilst a project manager with PRINCE2 is useful, a project manager who is also a MSP programme manager, is worth his or her weight in gold, silver and bronze. When something is great for your company, it can be great for you!

We’ve only given you a snapshot of what MSP can do, for the full picture go to our London Games page and click the link to 'The Greatest Show on Earth'.

Useful Links:

  • Check out our MSP training page for more information on MSP digital learning and classroom courses.
  • ILX Consulting can help you implement and use PRINCE2 and MSP effectively thanks to our consultants whose expertise has helped diverse organisations worldwide such as AEG, Sanitec and Information Technology Services Oman.