Understanding who is responsible for what, and when, in a PRINCE2 project is key to delivering successful results. AMeth-IS has produced a 25 page summary of information vital to the effective operation of the Project Board.
The extract below introduces this document - if you feel that a full copy would be beneficial to you, please request one by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org . A .pdf format version of the document will be e-mailed to you as soon as possible.
PRINCE2 PROJECT BOARD GUIDELINES
The Project Board
This document is intended to assist corporate (line) managers who have been nominated to fill PRINCE2 Project Board positions. Clearly, any organisation which claims to conduct projects according to the PRINCE2 methodology should have ensured that appropriate training has been provided to all the personnel expected to fulfil roles in this type of project. Sadly this is not always the case, leading to avoidable project problems.
The intention here is to provide a summary of what is expected of a Project Board member throughout a PRINCE2 project. All formal PRINCE2 management products with which the Project Board members will need to be familiar are shown in italics (eg Project Mandate).
Why do we need a Project Board?
“Traditional” project environments do not recognise the amount of informal decision-making carried out by the Project Manager’s (PM) superiors. The allocation of resources (whether human, environmental or financial) to a project, for instance, is something which normally lies beyond the PM’s level of authority within the organisation. The requirement for resources is something that the PM can only resolve by seeking the approval of more senior people, and this occurs frequently in any non-trivial project.
Another traditional problem lies in the sustainability of a project. That is, does the project, once started, continue to be a project which is appropriate to the developing strategy of the organisation and the external, changing environment within which the organisation operates? In other words, does the project still deliver benefit to the organisation?
The traditional PM does not sit at an appropriate level of authority (or visibility) to make business decisions of this nature and so the questions are not asked – the project continues.
PRINCE2 seeks to address these failings by formalising the involvement of personnel within the project who do have the authority, and who will be available to make the key decisions as they arise.
But I’m too busy!
A key concern of any corporate manager presented with these additional Project Board duties will naturally revolve around the potential impact that these duties will have on their existing responsibilities and performance. PRINCE2 allows for this by only requiring substantial Project Board involvement in two circumstances:
- At key review points;
- When exception conditions arise.
The first circumstance can be smoothed by ensuring accurate planning, whilst the second can be minimised by ensuring sufficient tolerances and controls are in place to enable the PM to conduct the day-to-day management of the project without recourse to higher authority. Overall, PRINCE2 refers to this approach as “Management by Exception” (see final section). The practical result of this approach ensures that the PM manages the project under the occasional direction of the Project Board.
So what is involved?
The structure of this document is shown below. It has been broken down into smaller modules to allow new Project Board members to focus on the key aspects of their roles.
The PRINCE2 Project Management Team – an overview of the entire project structure.
The Project Board – joint responsibilities.
The Executive – responsibilities.
The Senior User role – responsibilities.
The Senior Supplier role – responsibilities.
Project Assurance - what is it and who does it?
The PRINCE2 Project – a more detailed look at the points within a project where Project Board intervention will be required and what is required of them at these points.
Management by Exception.
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