PRINCE2 Project Initiation

What is the purpose of this PRINCE2 process?

To provide solid foundations for the whole project. To ensure there is common / agreed understanding of the work that needs to be done and the reasons for it.

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What activities does PRINCE2 recommend?

  • Prepare the Risk Management Strategy
  • Prepare the Quality Management Strategy
  • Prepare the Configuration Management Plan
  • Prepare the Communication Management Strategy
  • Set-up the project controls
  • Create the Project Plan
  • Refine the Business Case
  • Assemble the Project Initiation Documentation

Things that MUST be done

Creation of a project plan, Business Case (justification for the project) and Project Initiation Document / Documentation (PID) -in whatever form is appropriate for the project are essential. 

It is advisable to set up at least one log or register to assist in managing risks, issues / change requests.

Consideration (and documentation) of the levels of control required for the project – such as number of stages, frequency (& style) of reporting, and what tolerances (if any) will be given to the project manager. If there is no cost or time tolerance available, it is a good idea to consider, as a minimum, scope tolerance (i.e. what could be dropped if needs be).

How & When to tailor the Initiating a Project process

If the project is small the documents produced in this process do not need to be too lengthy and could probably be produced in a day or two.   For example, the strategies could be small sections within the PID. Also on a small project, it may only be necessary to have just one register –combining both risks and issues, and the quality register may not be required.

If the project is part of a programme large parts of the documents that make up the PID may be largely ‘inherited’ from the programme. This is likely to include the strategies and the Business Case.

Clearly the number of stages required will depend on the detailed nature and anticipated duration of the project. The stages will need to be reflected in the project plan, but the format and style of the plan is likely to be dictated by the tools (such as Microsoft Project or Excel) available within the organisation. Whatever format your project plan takes its creation should start with identification of the products (deliverables) of the project if you want to be running your project in a PRINCE2 way. This is defined in PRINCE2’s ‘Product Based Planning’ and in line with the ‘Focus on Products’ principle.

Many organisations will have document templates or standards that should be followed, but where none exist the descriptions provided within Appendix A of the official PRINCE2 manual will provide a sound basis.

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PRINCE2 Courses
Foundation, Practitioner & Professional
High Pass Rates, Low Class Numbers
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From £700