Strategic and operational benefits of using PRINCE2 method in project management
Project management is a strategic tool where processes involved in the attainment of a certain undertaking are planned, implemented controlled, monitored, and the final closure is celebrated after the attainment of objectives and goals set out in the project initiation documents. When a company is undertaking a certain endeavour, it aims at deriving the best results using the available resources; resources can either be human, information or physical resources.
To combine the resources and manage them effectively for the good of the company calls for strategic project management; there are different methods of project management; the most recent that was developed in the late 1990s is called PRINCE2 method.
PRINCE2 management method takes place within micro-projects of related and interlinked processes; they follow multi-project management within an organisation. The project management approach gives room to the execution of multiple important activities (projects) simultaneously without conflicts of interest and each enjoying from the intensive cross-functional cooperation. Resources are scarce; thus, they need to be managed effectively, when implementing a multi-project organisation, it offers a channel of flexibility in resource allocation, the flexibly assists in allocating resources effectively and reducing any chance of waste or delay in completion of a project for resources purposes.
PRINCE2 management style aims at fulfilling corporate objectives through effective human resources management, talent management, resource management, and management of dependencies existing among different processes in a project.
Roles and responsibilities of the Project Manager and Project Director
PRINCE2 method of the project has four main lines leadership; Senior User level (a member of the corporate board), Project Director and a Project Manager (they are the people who are on the ground) and project staff.
Project manager and project directors are the people who are on the ground seeing the operation and utility of effective resources management; they are the people who manage human resources, physical resources, and information. They have the blueprint of the project as well they can see the project progress. With the materials and the blueprints (blueprints include, flow chart diagrams, Gantt charts, work schedules, and project initiation documents), they can gauge the progress of the project and probably offer some guidance to team members and advise to the top management.
Project leaders/directors are mandated with the task of ensuring that a project is run effectively and is completed within the set period. When making objectives of a project, managers should ensure that they not only have the goals and objectives set but should be pioneers of policies to see their attainment. In case management fails to fulfil its leadership role, then the project is likely to fail. Interlink and collaboration of several micro-projects call for the integration of management and their skills so as micro-project leaders can enjoy from intellectualism from the other (Lock 7-11).
Leadership, communication and roles in the project team
The leadership of a project in whichever the level is crucial for the attainment of corporate objective, goals, and responsibilities; different projects calls for different leadership approach; however, some common attributes are needed for effective project management. Democratic leadership style with some elements of autocratic leadership is crucial for an effectively managed team. According to the approach to management, the team leader engages and involves his subordinates in decision-making; however, he takes the responsibility and accountability of the decisions he has pioneered in the making. Communication is vital in the making of a successful team; a democratic leadership style blends to team with the following roles:
- Functional roles: these are the responsibilities of every team member to undertake the tasks allocated diligently
- Task roles: it involves having teams who well understand their tasks, and have the skills, support, and expertise to undertake them
- Team roles: this is a common destiny that every member of the team peddles the team towards (Lock 7-11).
The contents, purpose and effectiveness of the Project Initiation Document
In the four stages in the Project Life Cycle, mandate, initiation, Implementation, and handover, managers have to develop some blueprints that offer guidance and management reference of the project: project Initiation Document (PID) develops a blueprint that interpolates the procedure, process and the approach that the project is likely to undertake.
Well-structured PDI documents should involve the following areas
- Aim(s), goals and objectives of the project;
- costs and benefits of the project;
- Operational flow charts and Risk Management Plan;
- Project documentation.
With the above documents and procedures at hand, and having the project running, the PDI is a management, monitoring, and control document; it offers project managers a reference point where they can learn whether the project is going according to the task or plan (Lock 67-118).
PRINCE2 method of Project Management
In the available different project management procedures and methods, PRINCE2 has some advantages that make it stand out from the rest. The approach establishes the existence of interdependence of different processes within the main project; it evaluates the operation in the form of a framework where a deficit in one area/process is believed to be transferred to the entire process.
The approach is superior since for quality assurance and quality management every stage should be on the focus, PRINCE2 has such an approach.
Another strong point of the management approach is the value that it places of its employees (project team). However, the company has the blueprint, the resources as well as the structure of the project, PRINCE2 management emphasises that the attainment of project goals can only be attained if the teams undertaking the project are well managed.
The approach to project management has the use of information at heart it ensures that the information from the project is well interpolated to benefit the entire project as well as improve processes and delivery mode (Lock 67-118).
Risks assessment in project management
Risks in a project need to be identified, assessed, and effective methods of preventing, managing and mitigating against their losses put in place; risks may appear at very early stages in the project, they may even be contained in the Project Initiation Document (PID)) or they can appear in later stages as the project unfolds.
To assess the occurrence of a risk, project managers are mandated with the task of having a continuous method of project valuation, appraisal, analysis and control. They should monitor the entire processes, and in case there is anything that seems not to be going according to plan, then it should be blacklisted for further analysis. Some common risks can be predicted and predetermined, they are also risks that can be expected, they include costs increase risk and some delays, managers should sense their occurrence and act with immediate effect.
Risks can be generally be classified as high or low risks; when identified, they are plotted on a 2×2 chart with High and Low assessments for each dimension (axis). A 2×2 risk chart efforts the management a simple visual assessment of risk; that they can make the right decision regarding the risks. The use of information technology tools to manage and access risk is highly recommended.
Risk management styles can be as simple as changing or adjusting some processes, and they can be complicated as changing the entire project approach or even change the processes altogether, depending with the risk at hand, the managers should look for the best way to handle the situation (Lock 67-118).
Roles and responsibilities of senior staff in project management
Project management is a strategic approach to see the effective attainment of corporate goals and objectives; it involves a system that facilitates communication within the project factor that facilitates the invention and innovation of better resource management systems. In an effective multi-project in an organisation, each stakeholder has a role to play in fulfilling the final obligation of the project. Neither role should be seen as inferior to the other. However, all tasks should be seen as equal.
Like in typical organisations, projects have their leaders or senior staffs who are mandated with the main role of seeing the project successes; in PRINCE2 method of management, the levels of power can be designated into Senior User level, Project Director, Project Manager, project staff, the seniors have the following tasks or roles:
- Managing human and physical resources to ensure that the project is run effectively.
- Management of the project time and manhour, this involves the day to day operation of the project.
- They are mandated with the role of building a winning team; the winning team have effective communication methods, highly motivated team members and have the same focus.
- Give guidance to the project team and offer advice to the top management in case there is anything special they have to report about in the project.
- They should make periodical reports to the management to show the progress of the project, areas that need improvement as well as areas that have been overlooked in the initiation stage.
Although the tasks of senior project staff may vary with projects, they have the main objective of seeing the project successfully within the period and resources allocated. To see this happen, they have to manage their human and physical resources effectively (Lock 1-18).
Lock, Denis. Project Management. New York: Gower Publishing, Ltd., 2007. Print.