PRINCE2 training, as with any new learning experience, yields a lot of new information for Project Managers to learn, and breaking that information down into smaller chunks can make understanding it a lot easier. So, with the textbook in mind, here are some of the most common questions that come up in PRINCE2 2009 Foundation training:
What are the principles and why are they important?
A principle is something that practitioners should follow all the time, just as someone who has ethical beliefs is a principled person who can’t just shelve their beliefs when they choose or an environment-friendly person won’t litter if they can’t find a bin. As practitioners we can’t just switch principles on and off when we choose; we must follow them always.
The principles are based on what experienced Project Managers have found successful over the years and have been distilled into a set of day-to-day activities and behaviours. For example, in PRINCE2 we have the principle of ‘continued business justification’, i.e. when should a project’s business case be reviewed?
The answer is “all the time” because it’s a principle. We must justify the project at the beginning, review the justification regularly throughout, and at the end of each stage. If it becomes no longer justifiable it’s time to stop.
Why do organizations struggle to measure the benefits derived from projects?
Benefits are typically realised after the project has closed; at this point the resources put in place during the project have been redeployed elsewhere and without a benefits review plan the measurement of the benefits doesn’t occur. The benefits review plan is how we plan to monitor a project and at the end of the project, we transfer the ownership of it to the business after it has closed. Often the benefits review plan is passed to corporate finance or a portfolio office if there is one. But if a benefits review plan isn’t created the business won’t know what, when, where or how to measure the benefits realised by the project.
Who is a project sponsor and how does that relate to PRINCE2® roles?
Many organizations refer to someone called a “sponsor” but PRINCE2 doesn’t specifically use that term. The role often referred to as a sponsor is typically the equivalent of the “executive on the project board” in PRINCE2 or possibly even the person who appointed the executive. Effectively a sponsor and an executive on the project board are the same, only the terminology is different.
When the external supplier uses the term “Project Manager” for the role leading their development, how does that relate to the PRINCE2® roles?
PRINCE2 defines the role of “Project Manager” as the person appointed by the customer to manage the entire project and uses the term “team manager” for those managing the supply or delivery of products. However, often with external suppliers, the person leading their work is known as the “Project Manager” as well. However, in effect, they are managing only a portion of the project. PRINCE2 views a project from the perspective of the customer and so the only person defined as a Project Manager is the person who oversees the entire project from beginning to end.
If, for example, an IT company was brought in to design and create a website for a clothing chain who wants to start selling t-shirts online, the IT company designs and creates the website and then leaves. The entire project, however, would include buying the t-shirts, training staff, marketing to customers and so on – something the IT company is not involved in.<
What is quality planning and what is quality control?
Quality planning is where we identify the quality requirements needed on a project – what makes a product fit for purpose and then plan how to achieve that. Quality control is executing the plan you put in place and conducting the quality tests to ensure the product is fit for the desired purpose you wanted.
Why do we need the quality review technique?
The quality review technique is a structured way of objectively reviewing the quality of products. For example, this could include document-based products like training materials and prototypes or even a screen layout for a website. The purpose of this type of review is to sign off such products by following a structured review of the quality.
The quality review technique has three steps:
- Preparation in advance of the review meeting, where questions are raised about things that may be wrong and need changing.
- The review meeting - where the questions are discussed and the errors are agreed in order to create an action plan to rectify them. At this stage the product may be conditionally signed off dependent on the errors being corrected.
- A review follow up where all the errors have been resolved and the product is fully signed-off.
Read the other blog posts in this series
Most common questions from PRINCE2® 2009 Foundation training - Chapters 7-10
Most common questions from PRINCE2® 2009 Foundation training - Chapters 11-18
If you found this helpful, Michelle will answer the most common questions in PRINCE2 training Chapters 7 to 12 in her next post here on the AXELOS blog.
Did Michelle's blog post answer your key questions about PRINCE2? Are there other areas of the methodology you would like explained? Are there topics you would like to see addressed in Michelle's next blog? Please share your thoughts and any additional questions about PRINCE2 in the comments box below.