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PRINCE2 - Health check part 1

Health check – part 1

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.


  • Was there a Project Mandate?
  • Was the Project Board designed / appointed before initiation was authorised?
  • Was a Project Brief produced?
  • Is the Project Brief to PRINCE2 standards?
  • Are customer’s expectations set?
  • Are Acceptance Criteria and customer’s quality expectations set?
  • Has the Project Approach been defined?
  • Was an initiation Stage Plan produced?
  • Was the initiation Stage Plan approved?
  • Was the Risk Log created?


  • Was the initiation stage formally authorised?
  • Were the Authorising Initiation (DP1) agenda items covered?
  • Is the there a Project Initiation Document (PID)?
  • Is the PID produced to PRINCE2 standards?
  • Are the project objectives stated?
  • Have project constraints been identified?
  • Are project tolerances defined?
  • Are any project interdependencies stated?
  • Is the project scope stated?
  • Are reporting procedures, contents and frequency defined?
  • Is there a Communication Plan covering both inward and outward communication needs?
  • Does the PID contain the Project Plan?
  • Is there a Business Case in the PID?
  • Are the reasons for the project given?
  • Is there an investment appraisal or cost / benefit analysis?
  • Was the PID quality reviewed?
  • Did the Project Board formally approve the PID?
  • Was the Project Board committed to the process?
  • Was initiation done before work on products began?
  • Was there an initiation end stage assessment (Authorising a Project (DP2))?
  • Was the next Stage Plan presented at the initiation end stage assessment?
  • Were Project issues affecting the PID managed effectively?
  • Was formal approval to proceed to the next stage given?


  • Is there a Project Board?
  • Are any limits to the authority of the Project Board documented?
  • Is it clear to whom the Project Board reports?
  • Which member of the Project Board reports to senior management?
  • Does the Senior User adequately represent all user areas?
  • Are Project Board members contributing fully to all exception assessments and end stage assessments?
  • Are Project Board members carrying out their other project duties?
  • Is there a Project Manager?
  • Have Project Assurance roles been agreed?
  • Has any role for Project Support been clarified?
  • Does each person have a job description?
  • Has each person agreed / signed their job description?
  • Was the organisation agreed by the end of Starting up a Project (SU)?
  • Is the documented version of the organisation correct?
  • Is the role of the supplier(s) clearly defined?
  • Have any changes to the management team been recorded?
  • Has the Project Board received training for its roles?
  • Is the Team Manager role used effectively?
  • Are job descriptions agreed with any late appointments?

Business Case

  • Is there a Business Case?
  • Are the reasons for the project clearly defined and valid?
  • Is there an investment appraisal?
  • Are figures based on defined items that can be measured?
  • Is the Business Case passed down from pre-project work?
  • If so, have the figures been checked out?
  • Are costs based on the Project Plan or some other figures?
  • Are benefits stated in terms that can be measured in the post-project review?
  • Have ‘before’ measurements been taken in order to assist comparisons in the pos-project review?
  • Is the Business Case updated and reviewed for each end stage assessment?
  • Who measures the impact of changes on the Business Case?
  • Is the impact of changes on the Business Case assessed?
  • If the project is part of a programme, is the programme’s Business Case fully reflected in the project?


  • Is there a Risk Log?
  • Is it being kept up to date?
  • Are risks to each plan identified, analysed and acted upon?
  • Is a formal procedure for the management of risk in use?
  • Is risk assessment part of each end stage assessment?
  • Were the major risks entered in the Business Case?
  • Have risk ‘owners’ been identified?
  • Are risks monitored on sufficiently regular basis?
  • Is risk assessment part of each major change request assessment?
  • Were risk probability and impact assessed?
  • Have proactive risk actions been taken where necessary?
  • Were any needed contingency plans prepared?
  • Were all obvious risks covered?
  • Were the risks and countermeasures discussed with the Project Board?
  • Were appropriate countermeasures discussed with the Project Board?
  • Were risks reassessed when plans were changed.

Project Plan

  • Is there a Project Plan?
  • Does the Project Plan comply with PRINCE2 requirements?
  • Are planning assumptions stated?
  • Does the Project Plan show the stage divisions?
  • Has each risk to the plan been added to the Risk Log?
  • If an end date was imposed, is it realistic?
  • Was the Project Plan quality reviewed?
  • Were the assurance roles involved in the review?
  • Was the product-based planning technique used?
  • Is there a checklist off key products?
  • Are there Product Descriptions for each major product?
  • Are the Product Descriptions to the standard PRINCE2 format?
  • Are Product Descriptions being reviewed before the start of building those products?
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.