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PRINCE2 - Introduction part 4

The processes

PRINCE2® uses a model that consists of 8 management processes.
They are used within the 8 component areas discussed elsewhere.

This is presented schematically, with interrelationships in the file ‘PRINCE2 process model.doc’ in the product package.
These are also shown with how they interact with components in the file ‘PRINCE2 components.doc’ in the product package.

These processes are:

  • Starting up a Project (SU)
  • Initiating a Project (IP)
  • Directing a Project (DP)
  • Controlling a Stage (CS)
  • Managing Product Delivery (MP)
  • Managing Stage Boundaries (SB)
  • Closing a Project (CP)
  • Planning (PL)

These basic processes cross many of the component boundaries.

As mentioned before, any system must be adapted to the project in hand.
The key for PRINCE2 is to decide how far you apply each process to your own project.

Starting a project (SU)

Strictly, this is a pre-project process.
It requires the existence of a Project Mandate that justifies the reason for the project and what is required

This is a short process containing 6 parts:

  • The project team structure should be established and appointed as far as possible
  • The Project Brief
  • The Project Approach (how the solution will be provided in broad terms)
  • Customer quality expectations
  • A Risk Log
  • The initiation Stage Plan

The Daily Log for the Project Manager is begun here.

Directing a project (DP)

This is all encompassing and begins at the ‘Starting up a Project’ and ends at project completion.
This process is for the benefit of the Project Board.
The Project Board examines reports, manages by exception and controls via decision points.

Their remit falls into 5 areas:

  • Authorising initiation
  • Authorising a project

This would be carried out via the Project Initiation Document (PID) to ensure that it is sensible to commit investment.

  • Stage boundaries

This would involve the commitment of additional resource having reviewed progress to date.

  • Ad hoc direction (advice and guidance etc)
  • Project closure (as necessary based on reviewing information and the business position)

Initiating a Project (IP)


These are the key elements:

  • The project product must be produced to a particular quality standard. It must be defined how you will achieve this
  • The project must be planned and costed
  • The Business Case must be revised to make sure that it is acceptable
  • Ensure that the use of time and resource, whilst accounting for risk, is justified
  • The need to encourage the Project Board to take ownership of the project and to commit resource
  • Provide a baseline for all decision making processes to follow


Product Initiation Document (PID)

All processes must produce and output. In this case, it is the Product Initiation Document (PID).

In simple terms it indicates the:

Who? and How? Of the project.

Other documents initiated

The Quality Log
The Issue Log
The Lessons Learned Log

These will be dealt with elsewhere.

Managing Stage Boundaries (SB)


The key aspect of this process is the generation of information on which the Project Board will make critical go / no go / maybe decisions.

  • To show the Project Board that all tasks in the current Stage Plan have been completed as defined in the schedule.
  • To provide all necessary information on which a decision can be made.
  • Should the current Stage Plan be incomplete you must supply the necessary information that will allow them to approve additional resource for completion and to approve the start of the next stage.
  • Record all issues, lessons learned and experiences that could have a baring on future stages and projects.


  • An End Stage Report. This is presented to the Project Board by the Project Manager and contains the successes of the stage and other key aspects.
  • The presentation should refer to the original (baseline) Stage Plan showing actual progress and highlighting any key differences.
  • The Project Manager should raise the next Stage Plan or Exception Plan for which approval is sought.
  • This will require the presentation of a revised Project Plan.
  • An updated Risk Log is needed to support he Business Case and Project Plan so that suitable decisions can be taken by the Project Board.
  • An updated Business Case will be produced.
  • The Lessons Learned Log will contain an update of experiences and issues from the current stage.
  • An update of staff changes in the project management team.

At this stage PRINCE2 also suggests the optional Team Plan being produced which may help in defining the work required at the next stage.

Controlling a Stage


This is a core practice for the Project Manager. It advises the day-to-day actions required to control a project.
This involves allocating work, making sure progress is on track and reacting to unforeseen events.

These practices would be:

  • Authorising work to be done
  • Gathering progress information concerning the work
  • Monitoring changes
  • Reviewing and assessing the current situation
  • Reporting
  • Taking necessary action


  • Work packages
  • Highlight Reports, that is Project Manager reports to the Project Board
  • Project Issues (and the updated Issue Log)
  • An updated Risk Log
  • A regularly updated Stage Plan

Managing Product Delivery


The aim here is to make sure that any planned products are indeed produced as necessary.

  • The Team Manager will negotiate work packages with the Project Manager
  • By making sure that all products allocated to the team is authorised and agreed
  • Ensuring that the work conforms with the requirements of the interfaces identified in the Work Package
  • Making sure that the work is carried out
  • Monitoring work packages progress and forecasts at regular intervals
  • Ensuring that all completed products meet the necessary quality criteria
  • Getting approval for the completed products


These are created an updated as part of this process.

  • Team Plans
  • Quality Log updates (providing the Project Manager with information on the current status of quality work being carried out)
  • Project Issues
  • Risk Log updates
  • Checkpoint Reports (these are progress reports from the Team Manager to the Project Manager)

Closing a Project (CP)


Project closure requires control. It is not just a matter of stopping the project.
A project may close as a natural consequence of completion of prematurely for many reasons.
The Project Manager must bring together loose end and prepare reports for the Project Board so that the project can be closed officially.

  • Check if the aims in the Project Initiation Document (PID) have been met
  • Assess to what extent all expected products have been handed over and accepted by the customer
  • Confirm that, where appropriate, maintenance and operation arrangements are in place which would include any necessary training
  • Review the project experiences and issues to record the lessons learned and complete the Lessons Learned Report
  • Make recommendations for any future work (this is the Follow-on Action Recommendations)
  • Prepare and End Project Report
  • Archive project files
  • Produce a Post-Project Review Plan
  • Prepare a recommendation to the Project Board to notify the organisation of the intention to disband the project organisation and release the resources.
  • This is the end project recommendation.

Planning (PL)


The planning and process is not specific to any one area and its principles can be repeated elsewhere.

The key areas are:

  • Planning an Initiation Stage (SU6)
  • Planning a Project (IP2)
  • Planning a Stage (SB1)
  • Updating a Project Plan (SB2)
  • Accepting a Work Package (MP1)
  • Producing and Exception Plan (SB6)


The main output will be a plan in all case but other items will also be produced.

  • Product Checklist

This is a tabular list of all the products that should be produced by the planned work.
It should indicate dates for delivery of each product (planned and actual).
These will be firstly in draft form, then quality checked and then approved form.

  • Risk Log

The should be updated taking into account any risk changes as a consequence of the planning and activity.

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.
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.