Output,Outcome and Benefit
Before starting the project, it is essential to make sure that the project is worth to conduct which means the product will be desirable after finalization and valid throughout its lifetime. Deep knowledge about the project’s product is a crucial pending planning stage. PRINCE2 using terms “output, outcome, benefits” define the product, what changes the product will bring and the improvement which can be measured. This article will cover the meaning of these terms and what is the difference between them.
PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is the newest version of methodology PRINCE which is created based on the Project Resource Organisation Management Planning Technique (PROMPT). This is one of the most common methods used during managing a different kind of projects in the world. It has been constructed in the way allowing to be applied to the projects in diversified environment irrespective of the organisation, type, and scale.
The PRINCE2 is structured of 4 aspects:
The Seven Principles
The PRINCE2 is developed according to seven principles which provide a guideline for participants involved in the project to be successful. It can be interpreted as steps leading to align the project with the PRINCE2 philosophy. If the project is conducted with omitting any rules it cannot be managed with PRINCE2 any longer.
1. Continued Business Justification – The business case must be updated after every stage of the project to ensure that is still doable.
2. Learn From Experience – Each project is a lesson so the managers should use previous experiences in order to avoid making again the same mistakes.
3. Define Roles and Responsibilities – very important thing is to increase awareness in everyone involved in the project about the individual as well as the other responsibilities. This principle also includes knowledge who is in charge of making decisions.
4. Manage by Stages – Divided project into smaller stages is easier to plan, control and manage. An additional advantage is a better overview of all aspect of the project.
5. Manage by Exception – A PRINCE2 has elaborated tolerances for each project objective. It has been done in order to reduce management intervention. Only in case if defined tolerances will be or might be exceeded then information goes to next level management.
6. Focus on Products – product focus attitude is very important in order to deliver a good quality product on time.
7. Tailor to Suit Environment - The methodology can be tailored to suit project environment according to its needs.
Not all aspects of the methodology can be fully applicable to the project, thus all have a note on scalability. It gives guidance for management team how to proceed. This solution allows the PRINCE2 methodology to be tailored to different kind of project regarding its needs.
The Seven Themes
7 themes bring an overview of how to manage the project regarding PRINCE2. Themes can be interpreted as guidance on how principles should be used in practice and established at the very beginning of project conduction and carefully monitored during realization.
1. Business Case – closely related to the first principle of business justification. Main information provided by this theme is knowledge if the project is achievable and worthwhile.
2. Organisation – theme linked with the third principle about the roles and responsibilities of the participant involved in the project. Creates the structure of the project in accordance with responsibilities.
3. Quality – theme linked with the sixth principle about the focus on the product. The idea is to establish quality requirements at the beginning of the project. This set clear aim regarding the final product and makes it easier to keep work on track.
4. Plans – explain the way how previously established goals are going to be achieved. This is developed based on time, quality and cost.
5. Risk – this theme idea is to determine and keep under control events which result is uncertain. However, it must be distinguished between negative and positive risk. Negative risk brings undesirable result which is called threat and the positive risk is called opportunities.
6. Change – the purpose of this theme is to manage unexpected changes and issues which might cause a need for change in the project.
7. Progress – this theme is about following progress in the project. Very important activity which makes it possible to be updated and control whether everything goes as is was planned or not. Progress theme reduces the possibility of failing a project.
The Seven Processes
In PRINCE2 also describe the running of the project into seven processes. Every single one is supervised by project managing team. Each step consisted of:
1. Starting Up a Project (SU) – this process is about creating project team in which composition comes project brief, executive and project manager.
2. Initiating a Project (IP) – in this process is established what is necessary to do to finalize project successfully.
3. Directing a Project (DP) – this process last from the beginning to the end of the project. Managing team supervise activities such as: initiation, stage boundaries, ad hoc direction, project closure.
4. Controlling a Stage (CS) – “which dictates how each individual stage should be controlled, including the way in which work packages are authorized and distributed”
5. Managing Product Delivery (MP) – process describe the way of communication between managing team and project manager.
6. Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) – in this process every previous stage is analyzed and after that board with project manager are making a decision whether to continue project or not. This decision is made based on analyze: plan for the next stage and update project plan.
7. Closing a Project (CP) – final process which consists of decommission the project, identify follow-on actions and preparation of benefits.
This aspect is closely related to the 7th principle. PRINCE2 can be used in many different projects regardless of organization type, how big the project is or its complexity because methodology provides guidance on how it can be tailored.
What is Output?
According to PRINCE2 term output can be understand as a product delivered by the project. In this subsection following information is going to be given.