Tuesday, 15 March 2016

A tour of PRINCE2 Principles - Defined Roles and Responsibilities (3)

Like Snow White, the PRINCE2 Project Management methodology is built around 7 helpers :-) There are 7 guiding Principles, 7 Project Management Themes leading to 7 Processes. In a series of posts,  I want to take you through the 7 PRINCE2 Principles, my views on them aiding Project success and relate these to other posts on the Better Sheepdog site. Let me continue with Principle 3 - Defined Roles and Responsibilities.
PRINCE2 Principles

Principle 3 - Defined Roles and Responsibilities

The third principles is that everybody concerned in the Project should understand their role(s) & responsibilities and how they relate to each other.

For me, the key words to expand on this principle are Ownership, Accountability, Management and Organisation.

Owning Roles

Every Project needs ownership and the owner isn't the Project Manager (PM), the PM just runs the project day to day on behalf of the owner. Committees where every person has a vote which are counted, are not efficient organisations (sorry Parliaments everywhere) so there needs to be one accountable person. PRINCE2 calls this person the Executive, I prefer a word which I believe is easier to understand, the Sponsor. PRINCE2 recognises there are key Stakeholder groups and suggests key representatives to help the Sponsor make his decisions. The Sponsor and these stakeholder representatives are called the Project Board. Have a read of my post on these roles.

Project Team Roles

A good organisational structure and understood roles & responsibilities for your Project Team is also important. If everyone on the team knows what they need to contribute and what other team members are responsible for, you have a solid foundation for success. Project teams often cross traditional line management structures which adds added complexity - matrix management!

Have a read of three posts - one on Project Teams structuresone on human factors and one on the behaviour characteristics of an important role in the Project team - the Project Manager.

Other PRINCE2 Principles

The other PRINCE2 Principles are:
  1. Business Justification - continuously throughout the Project execution
  2. Learn from Experience - from previous Projects
  3. Defined Roles and Responsibilities - this one!
  4. Manage by Stages - breaking down the Project execution into manageable chunks with gate reviews to move from one to the next
  5. Manage by Exception - once plans are in place with the owner, no news is good news
  6. Focus on Products - a focus on what is being produced rather than activities is beneficial
  7. Tailor to suit the environment - the methodology should be tailored to the environment, organisational culture, size, complexity and risks

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