PRINCE2 is a project management methodology developed by the government of the United Kingdom (UK) and used internationally, especially in information technology (IT) environments. PRINCE2 makes use of the best proven practices from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Documents with templates and clear decision points are characteristics of this methodology. There are two exam-based levels of certification for individuals: Foundation and Practitioner.
PRINCE2 outlines eight processes, which can be summarized as follows.
- Startup: The decision-makers gather and appoint a Project Manager. Together, these people all define the need for the project and outline the processes by which it is to be executed.
- Direction: A Project Board is responsible for the overall success of the project, but an individual called the Project Manager, who reports to the Project Board, is charged with the responsibility of managing the details.
- Initiation: The Project Manager prepares a Project Initiation Document. This document is submitted to the Project Board for approval. If it is not approved, it is returned to the Project Manager for revision.
- Stage control: The project is broken down into manageable stages, the number of which depends on the project size and risk level. Each stage contains plans for the succeeding stage. Before a new stage can be begun, the current stage must be fully executed.
- Stage boundary management: The current stage is reviewed, and the process for the next stage is developed. The project can continue only after the Project Board has approved the execution of the current stage and the plan for the next stage.
- Planning: This includes decisions as to what products will be produced, the activities that will be required to produce the products, estimates of the cost, time, and other resources that will be necessary, risk analysis, activity scheduling, and process streamlining.
- Product delivery management: The Project Manager must make sure that the right products are produced according to the planned schedule.
- Closing: After the project has been completed, the Project Manager conducts a Post Project Review, which is an evaluation of the project's outcome. Once this document has been approved by the Project Board, the project is closed down.