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Stage boundaries (commitment of more resources after checking results reached).

Ad hoc direction (monitoring progress, providing advice and guidance, and reacting to exception situations).

Project closure (confirming the project outcome and controlled close).

This process does not cover the day-to-day activities of the project manager. In the middle tier, we find the phases, which are equally important to any project manager wishing to adhere to this methodology. The phases are:

Starting up a project. The first process in PRINCE2 is a preproject process, designed to ensure that the prerequisites for initiating the project are in place. The process expects the existence of a project mandate, which defines in high-level terms the reason for the project and what outcome is sought. Start-up of a project should be very short and should include the following:

Ensuring that the information required for the project team is available.

Designing and appointing the project team.

Creating the initiation stage plan.

Agreeing whether there is sufficient justification to proceed with the project.

Establishing a stable management basis on which to proceed.

Documenting and confirming that an acceptable business case exists for the project.

Ensuring a form and accepted foundation to the project before starting work.

Agreeing to the commitment of resources for the first phase of the project.

Providing the baseline for the decision-making processes required during the project's life.

Ensuring that the investment of time and effort required by the project is made wisely, taking in account the risks to the project.

Managing stage boundaries. This process provides the project board with key decision points on whether to continue with the project. The objectives of this process are to:

Assure the project board that all deliverables planned in the current stage have been completed as defined.

Provide the information needed for the project board to assess the continuing viability of the project.

Provide the project board with information needed to approve the current phase's completion and authorize the start of the next phase.

Record any measurements or lessons that can help later phases of the project(s).

Controlling a stage. This process describes the monitoring and control activities of the project manager involved in ensuring that a phase stays on course and reacts to unexpected events. The process forms the core of the project manager's effort on the project and handles the day-to-day project management tasks and activities. Throughout each phase, there is a cycle consisting of:

Authorizing work to be done.

Gathering progress status on work.

Watching for changes.

Reviewing the situation.

Reporting.

Implementing the necessary corrective action.

Managing product delivery. The aim of this process is to ensure that planned products are created and delivered, by:

Making sure that work on products allocated to the team is effectively authorized and agreed on.

Ensuring that the work conforms to the requirements of interfaces identified in the work package.

Ensuring the work is done.

Assessing work progress and forecasts regularly.

Obtaining approval for the completed products.

Closing a project. The aim of this process is to execute a controlled close to the project. The process covers the project manager's work to wrap up the project either at its end or at premature closure. Most of the work is to prepare the input for the project board so that they may sign off the project. The objectives for this phase are:

Checking the extent to which the objectives set out in the project initiation document have been met.

Confirming the extent of the fulfillment of the project initiation document and the client's satisfaction with the deliverables.

Obtaining formal acceptance of the deliverables.

Ensuring to what extent all expected products have been handed over and accepted by the client.

Confirming that maintenance and operation arrangements are in place (where appropriate).

Making any recommendations for follow-up actions.

Capturing the lessons learned from the project and completing a lessons learned document.

Preparing the end project report.

Notifying the host organization of the intent to disband the project resources.

On the lowest tier, we find the planning process. It is important because it considers key project processes, which are:

Planning an initiation phase.

Planning a project.

Planning a phase.

Producing an exception plan.

Overall, PRINCE2 proves to be a sensible and practical project methodology. The best feature is that no license is required for using this methodology, except one obtaining the required documentation. Additionally, it is not necessary to purchase special project management tools, as PRINCE2 allows use of any project management tool to manage projects. Project managers who are familiar with PRINCE2 are able to:

Establish terms of reference as a prerequisite to the start of the project.

Use a defined structure for delegation, authority, and communication.

Divide the project into manageable stages for more accurate planning.

Ensure resource commitment from management is part of any approval to proceed.

Provide regular but brief management reports.

Keep meetings with management and stakeholders to a minimum but schedule them at vital points in the project.

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