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PRINCE2 - Controlling a Stage (CS) part 8

Taking Corrective Action (CS7)

Fundamental principles

Changes and adjustments to the project need to be made in a considered and rational way, even when they appear to be sufficiently manageable to be absorbed within tolerance.


This sub-process is triggered by the identification of a deviation and instigates corrective action.
Input may be needed from other members of the project management team.

Process description

The aim of this sub-process is to select and (within the limits of the stage and project tolerances) implement actions that will resolve deviations from plan.

Decisions may be required from the Project Board via Giving Ad Hoc Direction (DP4).

The Project Manager must decide when to go to the Project Board for help.

To achieve this various steps must be undertaken.
If the input comes from Examining Project Issues (CS4), some of these steps may have already been taken.

  • Collect any pertinent information about the deviation
  • Identify the full cause and effect of the deviation
  • Identify the potential ways of dealing with the deviation
  • Select the most appropriate option
  • Where direction from the Project Board is sought, assemble all information about the problem (it may already be a Project Issue) plus any recommendation
  • Make available any baselined products from the configuration library
  • Trigger corrective action (via Authorising Work Package (CS1))

If the actions are small and the problem can be resolved without a need to modify the plan the Daily Log can be used to note the action, by whom and by what date. The Project Manager can then use this information to monitor the progress of the action.
If the problem remains unresolved further action might be taken, for example, plan or Work Package adjustments, raising an Exception Report or as a note in the next Highlight Report.


The Project Manager is responsible for this sub-process, supported by Project Assurance and Project Support roles and in consultation with Team Managers if appropriate.

The Configuration Librarian, where appointed, will make any necessary products available and update Configuration Items as required.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Plan deviationInputThe plan problem that requires corrective action.
Project Board guidanceInputResponse to request for advice.
Configuration Item RecordUpdateRecords updated to show any new product copies issued and any status changes required.
Issue LogUpdateThis contains details of any Project Issues that could be causing deviations from plan. Updated with any change in status caused by corrective action.
Risk LogUpdateThe change in a risk may be causing the need for corrective action. Risks in the log may affect the choice of action. Updated with any change in status caused by corrective action.
Stage PlanInputMay show the problem or the spare effort and time available to address the problem. Updated with any change caused by corrective action.
Product ChecklistInput(If used) May show the problem or the spare effort and time available to address the problems. Updated with any change caused by corrective action.
Work triggerOutputCorrective action.
Request for adviceOutputRequest for advice on corrective action.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘CS7 taking corrective action.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Have all sensible options for corrective action been considered?
  • Is there confidence that, after the corrective action has been taken, the stage and project will still within tolerances?
  • Were the impacts on the Business Case and risks fully considered?
  • Has the Stage Plan been updated to reflect the corrective actions?

Beware that small changes may have an accumulative effect on the budget.
Beware that small changes in the project may be taking it in another direction.

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.