Project Management with the prince2 method

Project management is well known to be where the rubber meets the road to the development of the performance of teams, departments, programmes and projects.  It is for this reason that people from a range of fields and professions utilise project management.  Projects are reliant on the intelligent application of resources to deliver a product or service in a specified time and cost.  A successful project is one that achieves the goals and outcomes defined and it is these outcomes that Guide the activities and functions of the project. As on a prince 2 training course providers.

To manage a project successfully there are four key components: Objective, Scope, Time and Cost.  There are additional areas which define project success, but these will be covered in part two.

Objectiveappealed to the stakeholders and indeed the project sponsors and states what the project is going to achieve.  Typically it will define what the outcomes will be, why it is needed and how it will be achieved, but any good project will also define what scope the project controls, covers and that is left to the project or the Project Sponsor to oversee.  When units of time can be applied, it is worth ensuring they are understood and include a deadline or target date for attainment.  There may be assumptions in the objective, and it is important to describe them, as well as explaining to the sponsors and client what can reasonably be regarded as assurance of success.

Value Functions describe the services to be provided and outline what those services stand for.  The key phrase here is ‘satisfy the client’s needs’.  This can be a pretty complicated and overlapping sector, but if one aspect of any service fails to satisfy one part of the client’s requirements, the project is in trouble.  It is often worthwhile drawing up a separation of objectives so the value of the broader service is better understood, such as: the best possible solution to meet the needs of the Client and to provide the apparent value to the Client’s business.

Stakeholder analysis takes a long time to complete, and in fact is a separate activity.  Some stakeholders are more important than others and will require more time and effort to reach a consensus on.  If you have a Free Select – this actually assists with the process by allowing you to reach a consensus and identify the most important stakeholders regardless of how long it takes, which inevitably simplifies the process.

Time estimates are important, and are normally determined by presentation not need.  By defining a starting point estimate that is realistic and attainable, you are, in effect, taking a risk.  By taking a realistic estimate and presenting it, you will receive further ideas on how long to give the clients.  Once you have a final estimate, you can choose to spend more time on some key aspects of the project and surveys can then positive assist in the process.

For example, if you are building a client website over a period of two weeks, then you may place a short time on the development, hire a designer, have a date, and you will be able to ask for more time without breaching your schedule.  Similarly the work of the project can be delayed if you need to approach a key player, particularly if you have a beneficial relationship, or if it is an implementation and there is a risk that people will be upset.

Costs are all important and PR could well be a cost-effective way to market and capitalise on the benefits of the project.  If a project is in six-month phases, it is likely that cash and/or time are needed to complete each phase.  It is therefore important to factor in some extra time to ensure each phase is efficiently and effectively completed.  If the cost of completing the project is less than 12 months of cash flow, it will be considered viable and worthising it as a PR fundraising project.

One final aspect on costs is that they should be considered macro.  You may need to include (at least to some extent) a tender time to ensure all departments are deliver really.  Tender presentations, deliverables and other details may need to be finalised well in advance before and at the start of each phase, taking some of the uncertainty away from Activities, Finance, and Project incomes.  Managers, Directors and Directors should ascertain their own key opinions against the evidence of the project.  In that case they will be very well informed about the decision processes and may perhaps feel it is a cheaper, better option.

There are at least three important values for most projects;  affordability, quality and quality.  The overall soft costs cannot be ignored.  Methodology does not work very well when cost starts to influence.  Check, check, and review every aspect of the project together with the key stakeholders.  This can be assisted by regular reviews and final results.

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