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PRINCE2 2009 - Principles part 3

Learn from experience

PRINCE2® project teams learn from previous experience:
lessons are sought, recorded and acted upon throughout the life of the project.

Projects involve a temporary organization for a finite timescale for a specific business purpose.

A common characteristic is that the project includes an element of uniqueness such that it cannot be managed by existing line management or functional units.
It is this element of uniqueness that makes projects challenging as the temporary team may not have experience of a project like the one being undertaken.

In PRINCE2, learning from experience permeates the method:

When starting a project

Previous or similar projects should be reviewed to see if lessons learned could be applied.
If the project is a ‘first’ for the people within the organization, then it is even more important to learn from others and the project should consider seeking external experience

As the project progresses

The project should continue to learn.
Lessons should be included in all reports and reviews.
The goal is to seek opportunities to implement improvements during the life of the project.

As the project closes

The project should pass on lessons. Unless lessons provoke change, they are only lessons identified (not learned).

It is the responsibility of everyone involved with the project to seek lessons learned rather than waiting for someone else to provide them.


Until lessons learned have been implemented in future projects they are not ‘learned’.
This is why PRINCE2 2009 refers only to lessons and the Lessons Report whereas PRINCE2 2005 referred to the Lessons Learned Report.

PRINCE2 2009 describes project monitoring within the Progress theme.
The purpose of the Progress theme is to establish mechanisms to monitor and compare actual achievements against those planned; provide a forecast for the project objectives and the project’s continued viability; and control any unacceptable deviations.

Two of the principles of PRINCE2 are managing by stages and continued business justification.
The Progress theme provides the mechanisms for monitoring and control, enabling the critical assessment of ongoing viability.
[see Progress - Purpose]

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.

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.