Prince2 header
products page

PRINCE2 - Initiating a Project (IP) part 6

Setting up Project Files (IP5)

Fundamental principles

The project will generate information on many things including products and management.
There will be different versions of products to control.
Information must be retrievable quickly and reliably.
A good project filing system, established at the start of the project, that is pragmatic will prove very useful.


This sub-process takes the information from the Project Plan and adds the project filing structure to t he Configuration Management Plan.
A suggested project filing structure for management documents is given in the file ‘filing system.doc’ in the product package.

Process description

The objectives are:

  • Institute a system of storing and retrieving all information relevant to the management of the project, the quality checking work done and the products themselves, which will provide appropriate support to the project team and to the implementation of change management
  • Assign responsibility for managing this filing system

A configuration management system may exist that can be used for these facilities and some or all of the project’s products.

To achieve the above certain steps are required:

  • Establish what information will be produced throughout the project and will need filing
  • Establish what products will be produced throughout the project and the need for associated storage
  • Establish the retrieval requirements of the people in the Communication Plan
  • Establish filing systems that are appropriate for the identified filing and retrieval needs

The Issue Log and the Lessons Learned Log are also created during this sub-process.


The Project Manager is responsible with assistance from Project Support and advice from those with Project Assurance responsibilities.

Where the project is part of a programme any filing system structure must be consistent with that at the programme level.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Project PlanInputContains all the information about the products that the project is expected to produce.
Project Quality / Configuration Management PlanUpdateUpdated with the project filing structure as part of the Configuration Management Plan.
Issue LogOutputCreated in readiness to record all Project Issues.
Lessons Learned LogOutputA blank log ready to record aspects of the project that go well or badly.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘IP4 setting up project controls.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Does the formality and rigour of the project filing system meet the needs of the scale of the project? Does it fit with corporate culture?
  • Will the retrieval system provide all the information in an accurate, timely and usable manner?
  • Will the project files provide the information necessary for any audit requirements?
  • Will the project files provide the historical records required to support any lessons learned?

Computerised design can make sure that all necessary persons have access to correct versions of documents and other information.

There must be firm control on all master copies and the distribution procedures of copies.
The naming conventions and version numbering should be rigorous and make it clear what items are being looked at.

A Configuration Librarian should be appointed with control over a formal configuration system, whether the system is paper based or computer based ‘Files’ are not just paper items they could cover a wide range of media items.

Has consideration been given to the geographical spread of project personnel?

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.