A PRINCE2® project focuses on the definition and delivery of products, in particular their quality requirements.
A successful project is output-oriented not activity-oriented.
An output-oriented project is one that agrees and defines the project’s products prior to undertaking the activities required to produce them.
The set of agreed products defines the scope of a project and provides the basis for planning and control.
The purpose of a project is to fulfil stakeholder expectations in accordance with the business justification, and to do this there must be a common understanding of the products required and the quality expectations for them.
The purpose of a project can be interpreted in many different ways unless there is an explicit understanding of the products to be produced and the criteria against which they will be individually approved.
A PRINCE2 project uses Product Descriptions to provide such clarity by defining each product’s purpose, composition, derivation, format, quality criteria and quality method. They provide the means to determine effort estimates, resource requirements, dependencies and activity schedules.
The ‘product focus’ supports almost every aspect of PRINCE2: planning, responsibilities, status reporting, quality, change control, scope, configuration management, product acceptance and risk management [see ‘The Complete Risk Management package’].
Without a product focus, projects are exposed to several major risks such as acceptance disputes, rework, uncontrolled change (‘scope creep’), user dissatisfaction and underestimation of acceptance activities.
PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.