The 7 principles of PRINCE2® will help you to understand the basics of this framework and establish reference point to compare with other project management frameworks. The article body is:

1. Continued business justification
2. Learn from experience
3. Defined roles and responsibilities
4. Manage by stages
5. Manage by exception
6. Focus on products
7. Tailor to suit the project environment

The 7 principles of PRINCE2® and what they entail:

1. Continued Business Justification

All projects should be justified by their Business Case. This ensures that all projects meet the goals of the business. A project should not be started without a sound Business Case in place. The project should be checked at regular intervals to ensure it is still valid. The Business Case is the basis for all decision-making. This principle ensures that the project is aligned to business objectives and the expected benefits. Justification for the project may change throughout but must always remain valid.

2. Learn from Experience

Everyone has to start somewhere but successful projects should be led by experienced project managers and teams who can draw from previous experience. Lessons could also be learnt at the start of the project and applied throughout.

3. Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Managing staff can be one of the hardest tasks for the project manager but without defined roles and responsibilities, the project can become muddled. Project teams can consist of permanent and temporary staff from different departments and even different organisations.

A strict project team construction is needed so that everybody knows their own and others’ responsibilities. Good communication is needed for this but is also improved if everyone knows what they’re doing.

Roles should be designated to represent the interests of the business, the user and the supplier. The roles can be split and combined so that they overlap and all parties are represented.

4. Manage by Stages

Any time a project is managed by stages then there are regular key points in which the Project Board meets to review progress and decide whether to go ahead with the project. Projects often run longer or involve more detail than predicted at the outset so meetings are needed to ensure the Board is still happy with the way the project is going.

PRINCE2® possesses a Project Plan that reveals an overview of the entire project but the project managers only plans the next stage each step at a time and the project board only accepts each stage as it comes.

There is a new plan for each stage and the overall Project Plan is updated as the project progresses.

Managing by stages allows senior management to keep track of the project and ensure every detail is approved.

5. Manage by Exception

PRINCE2® recognises six tolerance limits. these limits are implemented so that management can continue its work without unnecessary meetings or problems. the tolerance limits are defined so that as long as the project remains within defined parameters then no action is needed. The six tolerance limits are:

  1. Time
  2. Cost
  3. Quality
  4. Scope
  5. Risk
  6. Benefit

There are four levels of authority set, each time a tolerance is exceeded the next level of authority is consulted.

6. Focus of Products

PRINCE2® projects focus on the definition and delivery of products. Planning, controls and quality needs are all product based.

7. Tailor to Suit the Project Environment

PRINCE2® is tailored to suit the project’s environment. Size, risk, complexity, importance and people are all considerations when tailoring the project. Tailoring occurs before the outset of the project and allows the management to split or combine roles, combine processes and documents and decide which reports and decisions can be made virtually instead of in meetings.

Global communication has advanced to a stage that allows project teams to work across the world through virtual channels.

What is your advice about the best way to implement PRINCE2® Principles?

Author: Carl Griffiths, CUPE Projects (All Rights Reserved by the author).

Source: Original Text (based upon first hand knowledge).
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Carl Griffiths is a Business and Marketing Graduate with PRINCE2 ITIL and Agile qualifications. Carl has delivered many successful projects for CUPE. Projects delivered include Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, ISO9001 Accreditation, Website builds, E-learning development and Mobile application projects. Carl is keen to share his knowledge gained working for a PPM Training and Consultancy. He can be reached on LinkedIn, and .