Prince2 header
products page

PRINCE2 - Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) part 2

Planning a Stage (SB1)

Fundamental principles

Planning each stage of the project ensures that:

There is sufficient detail for day-to-day control to be exercised against the plan Each Stage Plan has the commitment of the Project Board and Project Manager
The Project Board is fully aware of what it is approving at the start of each stage


The approaching end of the current stage triggers this process.

Process description

The key objective is to prepare a plan for the next stage of the project.
The high level plan from the Project Plan is expanded with sufficient detail to allow the Project Manager to control the stage.
This will involve looking at the day-to-day activity and comparing it with the stage plan.

The Planning (PL) process is used to develop the plan.

The plan should include all of the products, that is:

  • Specialist products
  • Management products (for example, the Stage Plan)

The Stage Plan will require preparation towards the end of the current stage.

Quality activities and products will also appear in the plan.
The Quality Log will be updated with the new information.
Quality activities will be based on the standards defined in the Project Quality Plan.
Whoever is providing Project Assurance should be consulted about the timing and resourcing of quality activities before the Stage Plan is presented to the Project Board.

The Project Manager will normally propose stage tolerances, based on the overall project tolerances and the degree of uncertainty about the Stage Plan’s activities and / or resourcing.

The management structure for the next stage must be specified and any new or changed job descriptions prepared.


The Project Manager is responsible for this sub-process assisted by Project Support.

Those with Project Assurance responsibilities should check the plan, with respect to it continuing to meet customer and business expectations.
Any Team Managers who will be providing products in the stage will normally develop the relevant Team Managers who will be and assist the Project Manager in creating the Stage Plan.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Stage end notificationInputIndication from Review Stage Status (CS5) that the end of a stage is approaching.
Current Stage PlanInputThe results of the current stage may affect the planning of the new stage activities.
Project PlanInputThis shows the products required from the next stage.
Project Initiation DocumentInputContains the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the project and is the document that specifies the Project Board’s terms of reference.
Issue LogInputMay contain information that affects the next stage or Project Issues marked for reassessment at stage end.
Project Quality PlanInputProvides detail of standards to be used in development and quality checking.
Quality LogUpdateAdd details of any new quality checks planned.
Risk LogUpdateCurrent risks may affect the next Stage Plan and the next Stage Plan may create or modify risks.
Project management team structureUpdateThis should be updated with any changes for the coming stage.
Next Stage PlanOutputProduced via Planning (PL).

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘SB1 planning a stage.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Are the major products shown in the Project Plan for the next stage reflected in the next Stage Plan?
  • Are all user, customer or other resources required to check the quality of products identified?
  • Are the resources used to check quality in line with the requirements of the Project Quality Plan?

Make sure that any externally produced products are shown in the Stage Plan, as well as sufficient monitoring points to assure the Project Board that these products are both on schedule and to the required quality.
Check any external dependencies to ensure that there has been no change in the scope or s of products expected from them.

The Stage Plan will need to be prepared in parallel with any relevant Team Plans.

Quality control procedures must be used correctly.
This is the responsibility of the Senior Supplier and the Senior user.
Does the Stage Plan show how the responsibility will be carried out, particularly by the Senior User?
The plan needs user involvement in checking products delivered by the supplier.

Where the project is part of a programme, it is unlikely that programme staff will want to record this level of detail, except for any inter-project dependencies.
The Project Plan is a more appropriate level.
However, the programme may wish to hold a copy of the Stage Plan for reference.

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.