Posts Tagged ‘bert hedeman’

Programs are finite, too

May 16, 2011

A project has an ending, a program sometimes has two.

Since the nineteen nineties many debates have been waged on the ending of projects and the way in which this should be achieved. Meanwhile, the fact that projects are finite has been accepted amongst project managers, although the actual ending of projects still does not always go smoothly.

But how about programs? Even to this day, some managers still hold to the believe that programs are infinite and could go on forever. And even when a program is ended, often the reason for stopping the program and the terms and conditions under which the decision was made, all too often remain unclear.  This article aims to answer some of these question, by means of a case study. Because programs are finite, too.

At the beginning of the year, in which our case study is situated, a large IT-company has entered into an agreement with a semi-governmental organization to outsource its mainframe-activities. The deal included multiple computer systems, including all related datacenter services. The program “Professionalization Outsourcing Relationship”  lies at the base of the case study described in this article. A program with not just one, but two endings.

The case study

The changes, involved in the transitional phase, are concluded in the fall of the same year except for a number of remaining issues. In the subsequent professionalization phase, in which performance goals, as agreed upon by way of Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), are being achieved, both organizations conclude improvements  are in order. To this end a survey is conducted into ways of improving the cooperation between the two organizations. The results of the survey are compiled in a report, the main body of which consists of an improvement plan, comprising some twenty separate activities. The activities range from small to large, from simple to complex and from easily achieved to requiring planning over several years.

The recommendation from the report, to implement all the defined activities, has been accepted. For the implementation a program-approach is selected, because simply implementing the various solutions as separate projects, will not guarantee the achieving of the common strategic goal. The goal of the program “Professionalization Outsourcing Relationship” is the professionalizing the cooperation of the client and IT-business organizations. Which translates in improved performance, transparency, mutual understanding and trust. The activities, as defined in the survey report, are deemed (suitable) means to these ends.

MSP in stages

The program-approach is based upon the Managing Successful Programs (MSP) methodology and consists of a number of phases or stages (figure 1)

FIGUUR 1: Program stage planning based on MSP

Stage 1 Preparation
Focus, in this stage, is on validating the survey report and setting up the initial program organization.

Stage 2 Benefit selection
In this stage the main objective is on determining quantifiable goals for the program

Stage 3 Determine Blueprint
Here the so-called Blueprint of the future organization is presented. The Blueprint describes the future organization (as goal for the program). In this case this organization is a ‘virtual’ organization, an organization on the coupling plane of Client-organization and IT-organization.

Stage 4 Defining projects
Based on predefined (and quantifiable) benefits as well as the blueprint, in this stage projects and activities will be started. These will be documented in the program planning.

Stage 5 Executing Projects
This is the stage where projects and activities are actually executed.

Stage 6 Closing down the program
The program is closed down with an evaluation of the goals and benefits achieved and the formal communication about the end of the program.  The program organization is dismantled and program documentation is archived.

Figure 1 gives an overview of the different stages in general. The chosen approach and structure of the program ensure that along the way the program requires less and less involvement of program management and results are embedded more and more in the regular organization. This article does not go into details on the actual management of the program, but instead focuses on the end, the closure of the program.

Programs are finite.

Looking at the case study we will now try to address the questions of why programs are finite and when and how they should be ended. In order to do that, we will zoom in on the factors that determine the end of a program and that necessary to round off a program smooth and successful.  We will start with the question: “Are programs finite, or should they be?”

The term ‘program’ is used in many different meanings. It is, therefore, important to use a clear and decisive definition. For this article we will use the following definition for the term ‘program’:

“A temporary and flexible organization formed  especially for coordinating and managing the implementation of a coherent set of projects and activities, aimed at realizing benefits related to the strategic goals of an organization.”[1]

This definition clearly states the temporary nature of a program. But are there any logical arguments to be found for this statement? In order to answer that question, we have to look at the basic question: Why was the change instigated through a program, as opposed to changing (the organization) as part of everyday (management-) activities?

Separate management.

In order to realize changes in standing organizations, extra efforts (above and beyond normal day-to-day activities) have to be made. Efforts which, all too soon start to exhibit all the characteristics of projects.  The many projects and activities in a line organization, the relationships between activities and influences from (often complex) surroundings set high demands, in terms of effort, on company management and their co-workers. For the implementation of organizational changes, the existing line management and implementation capacity are insufficient. In organizations, set on realizing serious changes, the need has arisen for some other way of managing the implementation of these changes.

Program management is such a way, when it comes to managing the implementation of a coherent set of projects and activities. With the creation of a separate program-organization dedicated to achieving the strategic goals set, the line organization saves itself time and money. The savings possibly achieved by means of a program approach, know many aspects. One of these aspects is the fact that, the moment the biggest change is achieved, the major gains (partially) have been realized and the overall impact on the regular organization is reduced, a choice can be made to hand-over the remaining, outstanding, activities to the line organization. In any situation there will come a time when the costs of maintaining a separate (program-) organization does no longer outweigh the benefits of such a decision. This may well be the most important reason for ending a, otherwise successful, program.

“When the objectives of the program have been achieved, or when it is concluded that the remaining benefits do not merit the maintaining of a separate program-organization, the program should be terminated.”

If the above answers the question of whether a program should be ended, there still remains the question of how to do so. In the program from this case study, “Professionalization Outsourcing Relationship”, this question was addressed very conscientiously. Lessons learned during this process have become references for future programs.


The program “Professionalization Outsourcing Relationship” has reached the stage where the standing organization can direct en finish the ongoing activities, without the support of program management. This situation has been reached in accordance with the initial program planning, due to the combined effort of the program organization, which has focused on this goal. Based on the situation, the program board has decided to end the program and hand-over the remaining program activities to the standing organization for completion.

Business change management ensures that the changes, brought about by the program, become embedded into the standing organization. In this program the role of BCM was fulfilled by line managers from both organizations.  This was a deliberate choice, since the process continues after all projects and activities are completed. In the end ‘maintenance and control’ as well as further optimization will be carried out completely by line management. In this way parts of the program structure remain present in the line organization, even after termination of the program.

Figure 2 shows assurance in the line organization, after termination of the program.  Control transfers from the program organization to the line organization. The ‘relation escalation board’ remains unchanged and consists of the senior management of both organizations. The regular strategic meetings are supplemented with members from the program board. Program management is transferred to the contract manager and the service manager who take part in the service management meetings. The contract manager and the service manager performed as Business Change Managers during the program.

FIGUUR 2: Assurance of program results after the formal end of the program

Closing down the program (1)

Just like projects, programs are finite. The criteria for closure as described in this article are recognizable for stakeholders and easily identified at the start of the program. This makes the program tangible and provides insight.

In fact there are two reasons for ending a program:

  • When the blueprint and benefits have been realized, or
  • The organization is capable of continuing the changes in the line organization,

The program is complete and the program organization can be dismantled.

Closing down the program (2)

The actual program has now been terminated but, as mentioned, there are still a number of activities form the program being carried out by the line organization. At some point in time these too will be embedded in the standing organization and the last remaining elements of the program organization will merge with the line organization. At that point the program will be completed entirely.

Finally some recommendations that may prove useful in the execution of a program;

  • Keep in mind that the difference between programs and projects is not always immediately clear of all participants and it takes time for people to get used to this;
  • The demarcation between program and line management is a fine line and needs to be monitored. This is particular true because both operate in the same context. Division is important because the goals of the program (professionalization) differ from the (daily) line management goals.
  • Ensure ample capacity (time) for Business Change Management. The program and the line organization come together at Business Change Management. This double function demands for extra  effort outside normal duties.

Hedeman B., Vis van Heemst G.

Program management, an introduction based on MSP

Van Haren Publishing, 2009

Hendriks T., Vis van Heemst G.

Programs can end

Projectie Augustus 2005

[1] Hedeman, Vis van Heemst, 2009

Tailoring (part 2) – Projects in Programmes

October 11, 2010


As I wrote in my last article about tailoring, it’s all about making choices! What do I have to do to be successful. This article I will getinto tailoring PRINCE2 to fit for projects within a programme and large projects versus small projects.
As was indicated earlier, one programme recognizes one or more projects and a number of activities. Think, for example, of an organization that is starting up a warehouse as a programme, where all kinds of projects are necessary to bring about its utilization. The aim of the programme is then formulated in terms of profits, stocks, number of customers (per time unit), etc. Examples of projects could be: the organization of the shop, constructing the parking bays, hiring of staff, etc. Nevertheless activities are still required to enable development and to realize benefits , such as the buying and selling of products.
With the tailoring of a project as a part of a programme, a few aspects are adapted: themes, processes and management products. For the programme management aspects reference is made to ‘Managing Successful Programmes’ (MSP) from the OGC.
With Starting up a Project within a programme there will usually be a good overview in place of what must happen in outline. The project mandate will mainly contain the information that is necessary to enable a Project Brief . Sometimes the complete Project Brief has already been delivered by the programmes. However, this Project Brief must not simply be accepted. It remains important to check again every time whether the delivered particulars are consistent and realistic. That is the responsibility of the Project Manager .
The Business Case of the project is defined on the basis of the standards of the programme. Sometimes the Business Case is provided by the programme or it can be a reduced level of content. The responsibility for realizing and monitoring the benefits of the project lies with the programme. The Benefits Review of the project can be a part of the benefits realization plan of the programme.
The organization structure is about an optimal connection being created between the programme and project organization for an efficient manner of reporting and reviewing. Often the role of Executive will be filled by the programme manager or a direct delegate. In this way coordinated Project Support and Project Assurance is also organized in most cases. This helps enormously with communication in the programme and across projects. In this way the underlying projects will get the necessary information of the programmes much more directly. And vice versa, with information about, for example, a project experiencing scope creep reaching other parties involved in the programme more seamlessly.
Another example of the possible integration of roles is that the change manager(s) in the programme can fill the role of Senior User(s) in the project. The design authority, or the architect of the programme, can also fill the role of Project Assurance or Change Authority in the project (see figure 1). What is important is that there is a clear division of responsibilities and that overlap is prevented.

Figure 1. Project and Programme management roles
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

With any project that exceeds the planned level of change, coordination with programme management must take place and, where necessary, programme management will have to take decisions. Here one can for example think of not only changing of the objectives, but also changing the Business Case.
Another aspect is that the programme can supply the Quality Management Strategy for the project. In this way the programme can give advice about quality methods and provide help with the execution of quality control and quality assurance activities. With the planning of the project, care must be taken that the standards of the programme monitoring and control are followed. In the Project Plan dependencies with other projects within the programme must be covered.
When determining a project’s strategies, the strategies of the programme should form the starting point. It also has consequences for the techniques and classifications to be used, in the project. The issue solution strategy of the programme is used as a guideline for the issue and change procedures of the project.

The information management strategy of the programme will be a guideline for the Configuration Management Strategy of the project. In the same way the monitoring and control strategy of the programme is a guideline for reporting and monitoring activities of the project. In addition the programme determines the project tolerances and the number and length of the stages.

Scale of the project
The scale of a project doesn’t only relate to its size, but also the complexity, the risk and the importance of the project. For all PRINCE2 principles it must be established how they can be used instead of not using certain principles. The use of PRINCE2 can be regarded as the reduction of project failure. If an element of PRINCE2 is taken less seriously, it must be regarded as a risk.

Table 1. Examples of projects of different scales
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

Large versus small projects
Medium-sized and large projects recognize several delivery stages in addition to the initiation stage. With short-running, non-complex projects with limited risks, the project may only consist of two management stages: the initiation stage and the delivery stage. With small and straightforward projects the Starting up a Project and Initiating a Project processes are sometimes combined (see figure 2).
In such cases the two processes can be informally dealt with together in a single discussion. It is advisable in such instances to record the decisions in a discussion memo. For example this could be possible where the project involves a small internal move within one department or something similar.

For small projects the Controlling a Stage process can be summarized in the following activities:

  • Allocating work to be executed;
  • Monitoring the progress;
  • Ensuring that the agreed quality is realized;
  • Ensuring that changes are carried out after approval;
  • Monitoring risks;
  • Reporting the progress of the work;
  • Keeping a watchful eye for changes occurring to the plan.

These activities must be carried out even in the smallest projects. The question is, however, whether reporting on these activities must always be done by means of bulky reports. In small and informal projects quite simple reports are adequate, or reporting can even be done verbally or via e-mail. However, the project management team must realize that verbal reports have inherent risks. An argument may develop about what had been agreed. And what happens if the Project Manager is temporarily unavailable or leaves the organization? The other themes can also be completed in a simpler manner, which results in smaller overheads.

Figure 2. Phasing projects
(Source: Project management based on PRINCE2)

For smaller projects and for those projects with only one team that reports directly to the Project Manager, the coordination between the Project Manager and the Team Manager can also be less formal. The Project Manager and the Team Manager may be one and the same person. The work of the Team Manager can be summarized as:

  • Setting up agreements on work that must be done;
  • Planning the work;
  • Supervising the execution;
  • Keeping an eye on the progress;
  • Reporting the progress;
  • Having the product s tested;
  • Recording the results;
  • Keeping up with the changes;
  • Ensuring that the products are checked;
  • Delivering the products to the Project Manager.

The role of Project Support can also be undertaken by the Project Manager.
For small projects the Closing a Stage process can be summarized in the following activities:

  • Checking whether everything has been delivered and accepted;
  • Checking that there are no loose ends;
  • Recording outstanding points;
  • Archiving the project file for later assessments;
  • Signing off people and resources.

Small projects and bureaucracy
Sometimes small projects are choked by too much paper and bureaucracy. Most procedures and templates in organization s that are developed to organize and manage projects, are based on large and complex projects. For organizations that have ISO certification, it is applicable for management and specialist activities to be thoroughly undertaken. That requires additional paper work and the accompanying signatures. This is not a PRINCE2 requirement, however.
PRINCE2 can reinforce all of this because the method is complete and is underpinned by a large number of templates. All available PRINCE2 templates are often also used to guarantee a feeling of maximum control over the project. The result is an overkill of documents. This can detract attention from what is really important and can create an aversion to all documents, including instances when a document is in fact important. An overkill of documents in any case costs a lot of time and attention to produce and study. This time and attention can often be better spent on other matters.
All PRINCE2 processes must be adhered to in every project. However, the question is whether all processes in a given project are so important that specific procedures and templates for the execution of these processes are necessary. It is important to use only those procedures and templates in a project that are really important in the given circumstances and provide added value for organizing and managing that project. For small projects certain processes can be gone through and completed quickly and informally.

Project Manager versus Team Manager
Small projects typically use one project team. Only members of the project team itself work on the project, reporting directly to the Project Manager. In addition two situations can arise:

  • Separate Work Package es are to be differentiated, but these Work Packages are still undertaken by one person. This person is then simultaneously a member of the team and Team Manager. In such a case the Project Manager and the Team Manager are separate people.
  • The Project Manager does not direct the team member at the level of Work Packages, but at the level of activities. That is also the case if the team member is not yet sufficiently senior to execute the Work Package independently and the Project Manager has sufficient subject content expertise about the work area to be executed. In such a case the Project Manager and Team Manager are one and the same person.

In small projects both situations can occur simultaneously. The second option, however, has the inherent danger that the team member concerned feels insufficiently involved and will sit back, “The Project Manager tells me what to do anyway. It is their project/problem and not my project/problem.” This develops especially when a team member (in their own estimation) has sufficient expertise to function as Team Manager, but is not given this responsibility. This is not good for team building and commitment in the team and only reinforces the risk that the Project Manager will still interfere with the content. Too often the Project Manager strongly interferes ‘out of habit’ with the content of the activities. It could be that the Project Manager is not used to directing on the basis of Work Packages and remains stuck in the old procedure. Coaching by a senior Project Manager is then necessary to avoid similar situations.

Large projects
There is essentially no difference between a ‘small’ and a ‘large’ project. A product or service still has to be delivered. A large project, however, is regarded as a project with several project parts where each is directed as a project, for example with its own Executive , Project Board and Project Manager. A Project Board that coordinates all the different Project Boards is responsible for the entire project. The building of the space shuttle is a huge project, just like the building of the Channel Tunnel. However, the result that is delivered is nonetheless still a product. It is for the customer to use the product and to realize their objectives with it. So, it remains a project and not a programme .
The difference between a portfolio of projects and a large project is that in a portfolio of projects the different projects sometimes deliver several results, sometimes solitary and sometimes in clusters, with each being capable of delivering added value for an organization; with a large project, one inextricably bound total result is delivered.
With a large project one can naturally use the same methods and techniques as with multi project management and with managing a portfolio of projects, and these techniques are found again in the management of programmes.

In the next article I will go into tailoring PRINCE2 for different kinds of projects and in different context. All kinds of projects have their own characteristics and possibilities to tailor it towards success!
Please feel free to comment on my articles. I’d love to get into remarks and questions.

For any other information, please mail me (

Great Event at Atos Origin!

July 15, 2010

What a great event and an overwhelming number of visitors! Over 100 people came to the competence meeting of AtosOrigin of June 15th where I gave my presentation about the co-operation between project executive and project manager.

It was a mixed public of project and programme managers, transition managers and other people involved with Atos projects.

foto: Patrick de Goede van Eijk

The title of the event was: ‘Project Managers are from Mars, Executives are from Mercury’. The key question of the evening was if this was really the case and if so what is needed to bridge the differences and make it a successful combination.

I started with a video newsflash about two in itself successful projects, but together were a great fiasco; new street lightning and parking spaces in a street in Rotterdam. The parking spaces were neatly paved and big enough for the cars. The lampposts were standing straight up and working properly….but some of them were standing in the middle of the road or the parking spaces.

Where did this go wrong? How can we prevent ourselves for these kind of fiascos?

In the presentation we took some time to look at the major failure factors for projects and concluded that at least half of them involved the project executive, the project manager and mainly their relationship and co-operation. So naturally, we had to look at what to do about these kind of situations, with the main focus on the project managers site. We can’t order the executives to change, we can only change our own behavior.

What can I, as project manager do, so the project is going to be successful? And what is my responsibility to work successfully with the executive?

Am I professional enough to ask myself the questions ‘Do I start a project while I know it can’t be done? Do I start when no ownership or commitment by the executive is in place?’. The main question is if the project manager is responsible to solve everything.

It is all there in the beginning of the project. We have an idea about what the project should be. Let’s consciously appoint the project executive and manager! It feels to business as usual to say, but the reaction in the audience was clear. This is felt as an issue for their projects. How to get the executive to not only accept the role, but also to fill the responsibility? So he is comfortable with his role and knowing how to co-operate together with the project manager.

The project manager is not a tumbler you can push around and following every move of the executive. We have to be a professional all the time, that’s what the executive may expect from us. Project managers are responsible for managing the project and that’s what we do best. But still things can go wrong or change during the project. Then we have to be clear about the situation, the causes, possible solutions and our advice. It is in these situation where the project is getting exciting and were our project management skills are needed most. This is where we can proof the executive he has a partner in crime and we are working on the same goal.

But to get such a relationship you have to build one. So have a formal but also a informal communication with your executive. This helps to build trust and understanding between the two of you. He will probably make time for you easier, when you have a good relationship. It also makes the formal and more difficult discussions easier to handle, because you both feel your are still on the same page.

In the first half of the presentation I told the story about the fundamentals of the project. Basically it was about creation a common feeling of working on the same goal in a project. There was some small discussion during the first half, but our goal was to have a strong discussion in the second half after dinner. We had some propositions where people could react on by holding up a green or a red card

Some of them felt like a commonly known fact, but still there was lots of discussion about these propositions. For example:

Proposition 1; hiring a (internal) project manager solves all the executives problems.

95% of the people were not supporting this proposition. They claimed that they were there to manage the project but they don’t have the power to solve all possible issues. There the executive is needed.

In the projects they were sometimes feeling the executive is using them as bin. ‘Why should I be bothered with these problems, where do I have you for then?’. It is important to keep the executive committed to the project and aware of his responsibilities. Manage his expectations about your co-operation and make sure he has a quick win every 3 months (for example) to show around.

Another proposition; a capable project manager doesn’t look beyond the borders of his own project.

A common feeling with the project managers in the room was that this was a bad suggestion in a theoretical environment, but a wise suggestion in their daily business. There was more than enough issues in their own project to cope with. It is hard enough to realize the project without managing the interfaces with the ‘outside world’ and by doing so the project would stretch the planning even more.

There was quite a discussion about this topic. Everybody felt this was what really should be done, but how to do this in their project environment? Focus on the projects end result and end goal is good, but don’t forget the stakeholders and other projects and programmes. Like in the short film about Rotterdam. You can’t manage a project with blinkers on.


It was very rewarding for me to notice all the involvement during the presentation. We had some beautiful discussions and I think some eye-openers for them to work on. I am also glad to see the organization is willing to work on this and we planned some next steps where we can help the organization together. I want to thank AtosOrigin and all attendants for their input and hospitality. Hope to see you all again soon.

Differences in PRINCE2® v2009 versus v2005

June 23, 2010
In 2009 OGC, the owner of the project management method PRINCE2, has released a new edition of the PRINCE2 manual. In this 2009 edition there are several changes were applied to improve the method. The fundamentals of the PRINCE2 method have not changed. The most important improvement is that the underlying principles of PRINCE2 are now explicit guiding principles for the content of the themes and processes as these are defined within the method (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Differences in PRINCE2TM v2009 versus V2005
(source: Project management based on PRINCE2, 2009 Edition)

The principles are also emphatic guiding principles for tailoring the method to a specific project in a given context. It is explicitly stated that deviation from the use presented in the themes and processes is possible, but that if not all PRINCE2 principles are applied in a project, it can no longer be termed a PRINCE2 project. The changes that have been implemented can be distinguished according to methodical changes, changes in the structure of the manual and smaller changes within a specific theme, product or process.
Structural changes
The most important structural changes are:
• Firstly, of course, the new chapter that has been added in which the PRINCE2 principles are explicitly named and described.
• More attention has been paid to adapting the method to a specific project in a given context.
• This has now become a separate chapter called Tailoring PRINCE2.
• The method is less prescriptive. With regard to many subjects, it is stated that deviation from the approach described is possible. It is stated that it is better to work according to the spirit of the method than to adhere to the rules of the manual.
• The method is less bureaucratic. Sub-processes have been swapped for activities. Fewer management products have been defined.
• There is now greater emphasis on learning from experience. In the first PRINCE2 process, learning from experience gleaned from previous projects is expressly mentioned as an activity.
• Lessons now come up for discussion in all reporting and meetings. Conveying one’s own experiences to the corporate or programme management is now included during stage boundaries too.
• There is a clearer link to other OGC methods, such as Management of Successful Programmes (MSP) and Management of Risk (M_o_R).
• Strategies have been introduced for risks, quality, configuration management and communication, all in line with MSP.
• There is more reference to techniques to be used. Reference is made to frequently-used techniques, not only in planning but also for risks and (for example) the Business Case.
• Delivery of the results in stages is pointedly assumed.
Changes to the manual
• First of all, the manual has been reduced from some 450 pages to around 330 pages, primarily by removing duplication of components and processes.
• The components have become themes and have been put before the processes. As themes they have also become what they are, namely areas for attention, without wishing to create an impression of being integral to a project – the term ‘component’ suggests.
• The eight components have been reduced to seven themes. Configuration management has now been integrated into the Change theme.
• Control aspects have now been renamed as the Progress theme.
• The Techniques section is now defunct. The techniques are now described in the relevant themes, alongside other important techniques.
• The number of processes has been reduced from eight to seven. The Planning process has now been included as a procedure within the Planning theme. This puts planning in line with other procedures, such as those of risk management and change control, which always used to be dealt with like procedures within the components/themes.
• There are more support and guidelines for the members of the Project Board and the senior management. To this end, the OGC has even published a separate manual with a separate exam associated with it.
• The appendix incorporating risk categories has become defunct.
• The health check has now been arranged according to the different steps in the project process.
Detailed changes
• Business Case – The Post-Project Review Plan is now called Benefits Review Plan. This plan is now created during initiation of the project and assessed by the Project Board during project authorization. For each stage, the Benefits Review Plan is brought up to date. Justification of the project is now based on whether the project is wanted, viable and achievable. The lifecycle of the Business Case is now subdivided into developing, verifying and confirming. The Business Case now also contains an Executive summary, dis-benefits and benefit tolerances. In the case of delivery in stages, benefits reviews can be held during the project.
• Organization – The four levels of management are now called corporate or programme management, directing, managing and delivering. The Change Authority has now been included in the organization chart. The configuration librarian is now part of the Project Support. In line with MSP, the Senior User is now responsible for identifying and defining the benefits and the operational or programme management holds this role responsible for demonstrating that the benefits forecasted are being achieved. The agreements on communication are now detailed in a Communication Management Strategy.
• Quality – There is now greater emphasis on the quality of the products. The quality path has been replaced by a quality audit path with overlapping paths for quality planning and quality management and quality control. The ‘project product’ has been introduced, which refers to the project’s final product to be delivered. The Project Product Description contains the customer quality expectations, the acceptance criteria and the quality tolerances at project level. The Project Quality Plan has been replaced by the Quality Management Strategy. The Stage Quality Plan is no longer distinguished separately in the Stage Plan.
• Plans – The method now states that a Product Description is required for all products identified. In contrast to this, the technique focus on products, which is now explained within the Planning theme, is less prescriptive. Thus for external products they only ‘advise’ choosing an anomalous colour or shape, for example.
• Risks – This chapter has been completely revised and therefore ties in heavily with the Management of Risks (M_o_R) method from the OGC. The agreements on approach to risk are now set down in a Risk Management Strategy. The risk process has been modified. Risks are now distinguished according to opportunities and threats. The responsibilities of the risk owner have been extended and the role of a risk-actionee is now recognized. The Risk Log has now become a formal Risk Register, which is created during the initiation of a project.
• Change – The Daily Log is now also used to record issues and risks that can be managed informally. The change procedure has been modified. Formal issues are now recorded in an Issue Register. The configuration management has been fully integrated into the Change theme. The approach to change control and configuration management is now recorded in the Configuration Management Strategy.
• Progress – The Progress theme replaces the Control component. This theme now concentrates entirely on the implementation of the project. The control aspects in the processes Starting up and Initiating a Project and Closing a Project are now no longer dealt with within this theme.
• Starting up a Project (SU) – Now also specifies the review of previous lessons. The project organization, the project approach and the Project Product Description have now been incorporated into the Project Brief. The Daily Log and Lessons Log are arranged in this process.
• Directing a Project (DP) – This process now begins at the end of the SU process in response to the request to commence initiation of the project. Apart from this, the DP process in itself has largely stayed the same. However, whereas in the past the Project Board requested initiation of the process Managing a Stage Boundary and premature closure of a project, this action is now the responsibility of the Project Board itself.
• Initiating a Project (IP) – The first activities of this process are now developing the different strategies for risk management, quality control, configuration management and communication management. The Risk Register is now arranged in this process too. The ‘PID’ is now defined as the Project Initiation Documentation. It now has to be explicitly recorded in the PID how the PRINCE2 method has been tailored to a project in this context.
• Controlling a Stage (CS) – This process has largely stayed the same. Only the sub-processes ‘capture’ and ‘examine issues’ have now been merged and extended into one activity: capturing and examining issues and risks.
• Managing Product Delivery (MP) – This process has largely stayed the same. Only the responsibility for recording the risks and the results of the quality reviews has now been returned to the Project Manager or (as the case may be) Project Support.
• Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) – The name of this process is now in the singular. The action ‘update the Risk Register’ is now part of the ‘update Business Case’ activity. The PID and the Benefits Review Plan are now being updated. The products completed in the project up until that point can already be delivered in stages and transferred to the customer. The formulation of a Lessons Report and recommendations for follow-on actions can now be part of this process.
• Closing a Project (CP) – New here are the activities prepare planned closure and prepare premature closure. Separate activities for handing over projects and recommending project closure have now also been defined. In principle, the Lessons Report and the recommendations for follow-on actions are now part of the End Project Report.
Tailoring PRINCE2
This is a new chapter. Whereas previously this aspect was addressed separately in the various processes, it has now been merged into one chapter. This subject has also been expanded considerably with regard to what had been set down in the 2005 version of the PRINCE2 manual. A distinction is made between implementing the method in an organization and tailoring the method to a specific project in a given context. The various aspects of the project and the environment that merit adaptation of the method to the project are examined. In addition to this, the differences between project and programme management are explained and the possible connections between the project and programme organization are examined. Finally it is explained how the method can be tailored to projects of different size and complexity.
• A. Arrangement of management products – The number of products has been reduced from 36 to 26. Further explanation is now given for each product. How the different management products can best be presented has been added.
• Governance – This is an entirely new appendix in which it is shown how and to what extent the PRINCE2 method covers governance of the principles of project management as published by the British Association for Project Management (not included in this book).
• B. Roles and responsibilities – The role Change Authority has been added. The role project office has become defunct. The requisite competencies for the various roles have been added.
• C. Example of product-based planning – This example has moved from the previous technique focus on products to the appendix. A Project Product Description and an example of a product breakdown structure in the form of a mind map have been added.
• E. List of terminology – This has been expanded in relation to the previous version.
• F. Other information – This contains a brief explanation of the various methodologies supported by the OGC.
So quite a lot has changed in the 2009 version, but the fundamental principals are still in place. I think the new edition is a real improvement regarding the 2005 version and easier to work with in practice. The biggest advantage are the explicitly made guidelines for tailoring PRINCE2 to your own situation.
Good luck applying PRINCE2!

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

Our goals for our book “Project Management based on PRINCE2™”

May 7, 2010
In the last couple of years I published several books about project management and programme management. For most of them I worked with Bert Hedeman, my good friend and fellow guru in this field of expertise. With every book we wrote we had some goals in mind we wanted to achieve. We wanted our books to add value to the books already available. In this article I want to give you some insights on our goals and ideals.
The reason for us to think about writing a book about project management was the observation that an increasing number of organizations were working in a project-like manner and were using the PRINCE2® project management method. For these organizations the advantages of using one uniform standard method are obvious: a uniform method of working and terminology makes projects comparable, transferable and orderly. Moreover, PRINCE2 has additional qualities, such as the standard ‘no go’/’go’ decision with each stage, the Business Case at the centre of the project and clear agreements about who is responsible for what.
Our book is intended for everyone doing projects in their daily work. It is written for Project Managers, Project Leaders and Team Managers and all others who are involved with the starting up and management of projects. It aligns with the 2009 Edition of the PRINCE2 methodology, with many lists serving as reference material for all project types and sizes. As our book illustrates, PRINCE2 is quite logical and this title demonstrates why it is often referred to as a structured best practice for project management. In addition, the contents of the book meet the majority of the theoretical requirements set for successfully passing the PRINCE2 Foundation exam. It also provides a good reference title as part of the wider reading and practical experience required from those taking the Practitioner exam.
In this book, we have tried to combine our long experience in project management and PRINCE2 training. Using this background we explain the PRINCE2 approach in a structured manner, complemented with useful examples to help bring the theory alive. The Themes, Processes, techniques and Management Products as defined in PRINCE2 are explained in an easy-to-read, concise text. In the appendices you will find an example of a Project Brief and a paragraph on how to deal with lessons learned in a project.

Enriching the PRINCE2 Manual
Although this book is based on the manual ‘Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2™’ from the OGC, which was fully revised in 2009. It is by no means the intention to ’translate’ the manual, but rather to make the methodology more accessible to the reader and to ‘enrich’ it with additions, practical tips and examples. It provides insight into how PRINCE2 can be used to manage projects and thus serves as a practical reference work for the experienced Project Manager. Thanks to its accessibility, the book is also extremely well suited to being used by anyone wishing to acquaint himself/herself with the method or working on a team engaged in projects (PRINCE2 or otherwise).
For instance, we wanted to provide the reader with extra information about working in a project management environment. So with Chapter 1 we added an introduction to Project Management. This first chapter provides the reader with insight into what a project is or is not, why projects are ‘different’ and what managing projects entails. In chapter 2  we introduced PRINCE2 and specifically examines what the PRINCE2 method encompasses, the structure of the method, its relationship to other OGC guidelines, what is not included in the method’s scope, the benefits of the method and the differences between the 2005 version and the 2009 version. In the rest of the chapters we go through the fundamental principles, themes and processes of PRINCE2.

Preparation for exams
In the PRINCE2 method, a PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner exam can be taken based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2TM.
The PRINCE2 Foundation exam is aiming to measure whether a candidate could be act as an informed member of a project management team on a project using the PRINCE2 method. The PRINCE2 Practitioner exam is aiming to measure whether a candidate could apply PRINCE2 to the running and managing of a non-complex project within an environment supporting PRINCE2. With this book we provide a good basis for both exams.
So overall we aimed for a practical, easy-to-read book for project managers with all knowledge of PRINCE2 to pass the examination. But also a comprehensive book about working in a project management environment. Follow this link when you want to know more about the book or buy it.

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