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PRINCE2 - Health check part 2



Health check – part 2

It can be very useful for an organisation to check on the correct use of PRINCE2 in its projects.
The following set of questions forms a good basis for any such health check.
The questions can be the basis of a table or spreadsheet, with entries in extra columns to indicate whether and how well each element of the method is being used.

An initial tabular and spreadsheet template are given in filed ‘healthcheck.doc’ and ‘healthcheck.xls’ in the product package.

Stage Plan

  • Is there a Stage Plan for each management stage?
  • So Stage Plans comply with PRINCE2 requirements?
  • Is stage tolerance defined?
  • Are stage controls identified and suitable?
  • Are planning assumptions stated?
  • Are Stage Plan risks identified and included in the Risk Log?
  • Are Stage Plans consistent with the Project Plan?
  • Is next stage planning carried out correctly in each stage?
  • Were Stage Plans quality reviewed?
  • Was the current Stage Plan approved?
  • Is product-based planning used in stage planning?
  • Is there a Product Checklist for each stage?
  • Are there Product Descriptions for each product on the checklist?
  • Are the Product Descriptions to the standard PRINCE2 format?
  • Are Product Descriptions reviewed prior to the start of the build process?
  • Were Team Managers / team members involved in planning/
  • Did the assurance roles review the draft Stage Plan?
  • Did Project Assurance add quality checks to the draft Stage Plan?
  • Did Project Assurance add names to these quality checks?
  • Is time and effort allowed for project management activities?
  • Is time allowed for the analysis of Project Issues?
  • Has a reasonable rate of staff effectiveness even chosen?
  • Is the method of quality checking identified for each product?

Control

  • Are checkpoints held at the frequency stated in the Stage Plan?
  • What actual progress information is captured?
  • Are actuals used to update the Stage Plan regularly?
  • Is the update frequency commensurate with the plan size?
  • Is there a record of Work Package authorisation and return?
  • Are estimates collected to complete any further information?
  • Are Product Checklists kept up to date?
  • Are Checkpoint Reports produced?
  • Are Highlight Reports produced when stated in the plan?
  • Are Highlight Reports produced to the agreed standards?
  • Is the Stage Plan regularly checked against tolerances?
  • Are Exception Reports used when tolerances are threatened?
  • Were any required Exception Plans produced?
  • Were exception assessments held to approve any Exception Plans?
  • Can stages be completed within the agreed tolerance levels?
  • Are end stage assessments carried out at the end of each stage?
  • Is there an End Stage Report for each stage?
  • Is the End Stage Report to standard?
  • Is end stage assessment documentation circulated prior to the meeting?
  • Is the End Stage Reports accepted at the end stage assessment?
  • Are unfinished products included in the next Stage Plan?
  • Does the Project Board sign off stages and give approval to proceed?
  • Do relevant project members attend end stage assessments?
  • Are end stage assessment actions recorded?

Quality

  • Has the customer specified quality expectations?
  • Is there a Project Quality Plan?
  • Will the Project Quality Plan achieve the customer’s quality expectations?
  • Does the Project Quality Plan point at specific quality procedures?
  • Are quality responsibilities defined in the Project Quality Plan?
  • Are there stage quality plans?
  • Are individuals and quality methods identified in the stage quality plans?
  • Is there a Quality Log?
  • Is the Quality Log up to date?
  • Do the teams maintain one central Quality Log?
  • Does the Project Manager get sufficient feedback to ensure quality is acceptable?
  • Are Project Assurance roles sufficiently involved in quality checking?
  • Do the quality file and Quality Log match?
  • Is any external quality assurance function happy with its involvement?

Quality reviews

  • Has training in quality reviews been given to attendees?
  • Have the chairperson and reviewers been identified at stage or team planning time?
  • Are products sent out before quality review meetings?
  • Are Product Descriptions and blank question lists sent with the products?
  • Area products reviewed against their Product Descriptions?
  • Is enough time planned for preparation, review and follow-up?
  • Are question lists completed prior to quality reviews?
  • Is there an agenda for each quality review meeting?
  • Do reviewers unable to attend quality reviews send question lists?
  • Do quality reviews generate follow-up action lists?
  • Do the reviewers sign off corrections?
  • Are product creators (producers) always present?
  • Are second reviews carried out if needed?
  • Is there a review result for each review?

Change control

  • Is there a documented procedure for change control?
  • Is that procedure the same as staged in the Project Plan?
  • Are Project Issues recorded?
  • Is there an Issue Log?
  • Are Project Issues assessed regularly?
  • Is the impact of Project Issues on the Business Case assessed?
  • Is the impact of Project Issues on the Risk Log assessed?
  • Are all Project Issues actioned?
  • Is the status of Project Issues monitored?
  • If the impact of a Project Issue exceeds tolerance, is it escalated to the Project Board?
  • Are plans updated to incorporate agreed changes?
  • Is a distinction made between Off-Specifications and Requests for Change?

Configuration management

  • Is there a formal configuration management method in use?
  • Are products controlled once submitted to configuration management?
  • Are products uniquely identified?
  • Are relationships between products identified?
  • Are products identified as complete?
  • Do products have version identifiers?
  • Are product records up to date?
  • Is the accuracy of the product records checked regularly?
  • Are all old version preserved?
  • Is it easy to retrieve old versions?
  • Are the configuration management records in line with the support requirements?
  • Is the Configuration Librarian role well defined, allocated and agreed?
  • Are new records created during product-based planning?

Project filing

  • Is there a recognisable filing system?
  • Is its structure documented and available?
  • Does it cover management and specialist products?
  • Does it cater for multiple versions – for example, of plans?
  • Does the filing system provide an audit trail?
  • Is it easy to find things in the filing system?
  • Is the filing kept up to date?
  • Is filing responsibility clearly defined in a job description?

Non - PRINCE2 information

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
plus:
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.