PRINCE2® 2017 Update co-author, Robert Buttrick, looks at how the latest update of PRINCE2 helps organizations to design their own corporate project management and change approaches.
While PRINCE2 can be used to run a single project, it can also be tailored by organizations to create their own “PRINCE2-based project management method”.
This use of tailoring – which gets a new emphasis in the PRINCE2 2017 Update – is about taking the elements of PRINCE2 and melding them with your corporate policies, procedures, terminology and other quirks to create a method which suits the culture of your organization and the types of projects you undertake.
The guidance for this is exactly the same as for tailoring an individual project: the PRINCE2 principles remain sacrosanct and the minimum requirements are still the minimum – but you’ll have more things to consider when making your tailoring choices!
Draw on many sources of best practice
If you’re developing a bespoke method for your organization, you owe it to your people to create the very best you can. If you get this right, those people following your method will be simultaneously complying with not only PRINCE2 but with your organization’s particular needs, for example your finance rules, your resource assignment procedures, your procurement process or your terminology.
But you needn’t stop there. Many organizations have to work within other constraints. For example, their customers may have to adhere to particular international standards or body of knowledge; there may be regulatory requirements or specific legal or contractual needs. You can build these into your bespoke method and make life easier for your people; they no longer need to piece it all together themselves and continually make the same mistakes.
Therefore, by referring to international standards and a variety of best practice frameworks and methods, such as PRINCE2, you are tapping into ways of working that are designed by groups of experts with a consensus about what constitutes best practice and successful project management. But more importantly, you are “making it your own” and hence it is more likely to be useful and therefore used by your people.
Making it stick
Just creating a publishing a method is not enough. Encouraging widespread use which enhances your business performance is the real endgame. The method has to be consistently deployed, effectively introduced and used in practice. Such change cannot usually be accomplished in a single project and managing the development and introduction of a project management method is often better undertaken as a programme.
The management of change is a specialist activity which refers to any approach to transition individuals, teams, and organizations from their current way of working to a new way of working. There are many models for managing change, however at the heart of them all is gaining the support of the individuals who are required to change their way of working, in other words, your senior leaders and project management practitioners. This involves:
- understanding the current situation
- designing how the organization will work once the transformation is completed
- identifying what changes are needed to move from the current state to the future state
- developing the necessary capabilities to meet the organization’s needs (roles, guidance, processes, systems, behaviours, training, competencies)
- engaging those affected by the change and winning their support or, at least, consent.
In order to ensure that the project management method continues to be used effectively, the method must be managed on a day-to-day basis, introducing improvements based both on experience in using it and to reflect any changes in the organization’s context and operations.
The PRINCE2 2017 Update includes lots of examples of how people in different organizations have approached this often complex task of tailoring PRINCE2 to their specific needs. This needs all your project management skills to accomplish!
See our PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 2017 sections for more information.
Read more blog posts on the PRINCE2 2017 Update
PRINCE2® 2017 update: an investment in you
PRINCE2® 2017 Update – tailoring gets better results
PRINCE2® 2017 Update: making it easier to adopt PRINCE2
First impressions of PRINCE2® 2017
PRINCE2® 2017 Update – Training the Trainers
PRINCE2 2017 Update - right thing, right place, right time
PRINCE2 2017 – tailored for a changing project management world