Prince2®: Project Management Methodology

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Introduction

Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling activities to achieve a goal while predicting and eliminating risks. According to Jugdev et al. (2013), various methodologies and tools are implemented to ensure the project’s success. Focusing on scheduling, setting objectives, and allocating resources allow project managers to control every step of the way. This report aims to analyze the appropriateness of PRINCE2® to different project contexts, discuss the method’s advantages and disadvantages, consider alternative methodologies, and provide recommendations for an organization without a formal project management method.

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Background

PRINCE2®, or PRoject IN Controlled Environments 2, is a process-based method, recognized and implemented by many organizations in various sectors to improve their projects. As Wang, Sasanipoor, and Wang (2020) state, the UK’s government initially created the tool for information technology (IT) projects. However, the methodology eventually became widely utilized in a number of industries, such as marketing, operations management, engineering, banking, and the public sector (Hughes, Rana and Simintiras, 2017). Furthermore, the healthcare industry also benefits from the application of PRINCE2®. In particular, the NHS, British Red Cross, and other health-related organizations use the methodology for their solution-based projects.

This report focuses on a healthcare organization that currently does not have a formal project management method in place and considers PRINCE2®. Namely, it is a private hospital that wishes to align all its current processes with its strategic objective. The organization launches IT projects and business projects, aiming to enhance patient care delivery and improve financing. In particular, transformational projects that change learning pathways require the structuring of all processes. For controlled environments like IT, PRINCE2® can be particularly useful since it breaks solution-based projects down into manageable stages.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Adopting PRINCE2®

Overview of Basic Method Phases
Figure 1: Overview of Basic Method Phases (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017, p. 44).

Methodology implementation involves several steps, such as identifying the appropriate method and specific requirements, adapting the methodology, and realizing it. According to Rasnacis and Berzisa (2017), the approach development presented in Figure 1 is based on “problem identification, design of the proposed method and evaluation with the case studies” (p. 44). Furthermore, an overview of the methodology adaptation phase and its key aspects are shown in the Appendix. For the hospital under review, it is crucial to evaluate the PRINCE2® methodology and consider its compliance with the organizational goal before implementing it.

First, the advantages of adopting the PRINCE2® strategy should be analyzed. The methodology allows for controlling all project stages based on rational decisions to work within a set framework (Matos and Lopes, 2013). In particular, PRINCE2® is applicable to highly technology-driven management organizations. The tool implements a holistic approach and considers the project’s lifecycle to organize the processes. Furthermore, PRINCE2® certification is widely recognized across different industries, and its flexibility implies that the method can be adjusted in accordance with the company’s needs.

Nevertheless, some of the drawbacks of the methodology should be considered. PRINCE2® is often considered excessively bureaucratic, and the project manager needs to get familiar with and maintain a significant amount of documentation. To successfully implement the strategy, an experienced employee is required. Senior management’s involvement is needed; hence, the operational processes are at risk of being slowed down (Perrier, Benbrahim and Pellerin, 2018). At the same time, PRINCE2® does not provide a sufficient consideration of soft skills. Finally, the hospital sector approaches project management differently than other industries since providing care always remains the primary responsibility.

Analysis of the Appropriateness of PRINCE2® to Different Project Contexts

PRINCE2® is an adaptive methodology; however, the seven fundamental principles should remain unchanged. The Processes and the Themes, along with the documentation, can be altered to suit different project contexts. For instance, public projects benefit from the PRINCE2® methodology since it allows for a justified financial expenditure (Edmonds, 2010). In the healthcare context, solution-based projects can be managed better, and the high quality of services can be ensured. The oil and gas industry and the construction industry utilize the approach to eliminate risks and issues involved in projects and increase their productivity (What organisations use PRINCE2®?, no date). Engineering is another sector that relies on the expertise of project managers and a determined plan of action (Matos et al., 2019). Overall, process-based project management focuses on strategic tasks set in accordance with the objectives of the company.

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The opportunity to manage project objectives with the organization’s mission and corporate values makes PRINCE2® appropriate to numerous contexts. In particular, banking projects have proven to benefit from the certification, which allows to control and evaluate the long-term outcomes (What organisations use PRINCE2®?, no date). Furthermore, operations management and marketing depend on the preset budget and quality requirements. PRINCE2® fits the needs of the marketing industry since it establishes clear roles and uses a common framework (Joslin and Müller, 2015). It allows for managing multiple projects at one time and ensures the satisfaction of stakeholders. As indicated in Figure 2, the PRINCE2® methodology can be utilized in many contexts, such as projects as standalone entities or parts of programmes or portfolios. As PRINCE2 projects in context (no date, para. 1) indicates, “PRINCE2 assumes that there will be a customer who will specify the desired result and a supplier who will provide the resources and skills to deliver that result.” Generally, PRINCE2® is useful for designing IT frameworks, maintaining business focus, and optimally allocating resources and responsibilities.

Overview of the Project Contexts Compatible with PRINCE2
Figure 2: Overview of the Project Contexts Compatible with PRINCE2® (PRINCE2 projects in context, no date).

The Application of the PRINCE2® Method to a Specific Project Situation

To analyze the appropriateness of PRINCE2® to different project contexts, one needs to consider specific project situations. In the IT and Software Installation sector, Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH adopted the methodology for its ticket fare machine project. With PRINCE2®, the company “initiated bi-monthly meetings to review the project’s success and to keep all stakeholders involved with the process – including a customer representatives group, technical operators, and senior managers” (What organisations use PRINCE2®?, no date, para. 9). The strict deadline was met, and detailed specifications were adhered to due to careful management. Another example is the utilization of the PRINCE2® methodology in the education and government industry. The British Council relies on this approach to “deliver global technical change through enhanced communication and organisational adaptations” (What organisations use PRINCE2®?, no date, para. 6). Following the method’s key principles, the organization ensured that objectives, roles, and tasks are clearly defined, and the resource expenditures are monitored continuously (Lianying, Jing and Xinxing, 2012). As a result, a plan for calculating the project’s realistic deliverables was created. The PRINCE2® methodology guides various organizations and helps improve their projects.

Alternative Methodologies

Alternatives project management methodologies need to be considered to identify whether PRINCE2® is suitable for the company under review. Project Management Professional (PMP) is another recognized certification compatible with any industry (Špundak, 2014). High market value and increased credibility are the main advantages, while the cost can be considered a drawback. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is more suitable for less experienced project practitioners; however, it is not as recognized in the industry as PMP (Marcelino-Sádaba, S. et al., 2014). Finally, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course is available that focuses on both experienced professionals and beginners (Takagi and Varajão, 2019). It allows for developing an appropriate mindset to utilize lean-agile methods; however, it might be challenging to implement in large teams.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of this report and the analysis of project management methodologies, it can be concluded that PRINCE2® is suitable for the healthcare organization under review due to its flexibility and adaptiveness. Adequate training needs to be implemented to provide the employees with the required skills and competencies. Furthermore, it is recommended that high management relies on teamwork and prevents the bureaucracy from stifling the employees’ creativity during their work on the project. At the same time, a combination of PRINCE2® and other methodologies is possible. For instance, the Six Sigma framework can be adopted for problem-solving, while PRINCE2 will focus on running the project.

To conclude, PRINCE2® is a widely utilized project management methodology that aims at managing the controllable stages of the project. According to the findings of this report, numerous organizations from a wide range of industries benefit from utilizing the PRINCE2® approach. Hence, this solution-based methodology can be useful in the healthcare context if applied correctly. It allows for controlling the processes and achieving the project objectives.

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Reference List

Edmonds, J. (2010) ‘How training in project management can help businesses to get back on track’, Industrial and commercial training, 42(6), pp. 314-318. Web.

Hughes, D. L., Rana, N. P., & Simintiras, A. C. (2017) ‘The changing landscape of IS project failure: An examination of the key factors’, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(1), pp. 142-165. Web.

Joslin, R., and Müller, R. (2015) ‘Relationships between a project management methodology and project success in different project governance contexts’, International journal of project management, 33(6), pp. 1377-1392. Web.

Jugdev, K. et al. (2013) ‘An exploratory study of project success with tools, software and methods’, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 6(3), pp. 534-551. Web.

Lianying, Z., Jing, H., and Xinxing, Z. (2012) ‘The project management maturity model and application based on PRINCE2’, Procedia Engineering, 29, pp. 3691-3697. Web.

Marcelino-Sádaba, S., et al. (2014) ‘Project risk management methodology for small firms’, International journal of project management, 32(2), pp. 327-340. Web.

Matos, P. V. et al. (2019) ‘The adoption of project management methodologies and tools by NGDOs: A mixed methods perspective’, Journal of Business Research, 101, pp. 651-659. Web.

Matos, S. and Lopes, E. (2013) ‘Prince2 or PMBOK–a question of choice’, Procedia Technology, 9, pp. 787-794. Web.

Perrier, N., Benbrahim, S. E. and Pellerin, R. (2018) ‘The core processes of project control: A network analysis’, Procedia computer science, 138, pp. 697-704. Web.

PRINCE2 projects in context (no date) Web.

Rasnacis, A., and Berzisa, S. (2017) ‘Method for adaptation and implementation of agile project management methodology’, Procedia Computer Science, 104, pp. 43-50. Web.

Špundak, M. (2014) ‘Mixed agile/traditional project management methodology–reality or illusion?’ Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 119, pp. 939-948. Web.

Takagi, N., and Varajão, J. (2019) ‘Integration of success management into project management guides and methodologies-position paper’, Procedia Computer Science, 164, pp. 366-372. Web.

Wang, J.J., Sasanipoor, N. and Wang, M.M. (2020) ‘The influence of PRINCE2 standard on customer satisfaction in information technology outsourcing: an investigation of a mediated moderation model’, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 33(6), pp. 1419-1442. Web.

What organisations use PRINCE2®? (no date) Web.

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