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 The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms.

[Niccolò Machiavelli, "The Prince"]



What is Prince2? Some selected features

Prince2 - How does it work?

Prince2 - Page nr. 2

Prince2 and modular SW in a demanding project - Case Study (Italian)





Prince2 - Diagrams of Components and  Processes



Prince (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a project management (link) methodology; it was born in the UK to solve the problems which troubled Information Technology projects. Its success was such, that Prince2, studied from the very beginning as a universal methodology (not restricted to the IT world), was created



Prince2 is the most diffused and effective project management (project management - solutions and results) methodology in the world; Prince2 was and is sponsored by the British government. Before its introduction, the unsuccess rate of projects had reached 80% in technological sectors. With Prince2, the success rate has dramatically increased. The Prince2 Practitioner qualification is rare in many countries and almost non-existent in Italy and Ticino 


bulletIts success has led to its being considered the  the most effective project management methodology in the world; even China has recently imported Prince2, and thousands of firms are embracing it worldwide



bullet Prince2 differs from other methodologies in being practical, with an operational manual; Prince2 stresses the project operational management of projects, leaving to the project team the tool choice (pen and paper, advanced software, and so on)



bullet Prince2 has a controlled beginning, life and end. Above all, Prince2 projects have an end; under special circumstances, a project will be closed anyway (not to let it creep forever) in order to start another (or more than one) project specifically aimed at possible problems which may have arisen



bullet Prince2 is “property” of the British government (OGC -Office of Government Commerce) but is free to be used. To become (Prince2 Practitioner) certified project manager, one has to take two “governmental” exams.





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Operations in Ticino, Switzerland, Italy, Europe. In particolar, we bring Project Management, Prince2 and the other solutions to: Lugano, Zurich (Prince2 Zurich), Milan (Prince2 Milano), Rome, London and the UK, France.























Prince2 - How does it work?



Prince2 - Page nr. 2



Prince2 and modular SW in a demanding project - Case Study (Italian)


Some of Prince2’s more interesting features are:



1.      Product-based

The product is the fulcrum of everything: once defined the final product, the PBS (Product Breakdown Structure), where all the sub-products till the necessary detail level appear, is drawn.


By means of the PBS, the PFD (Product Flow Diagram), where all the activities necessary to realize the product and its sub-products appear, is drawn.


Together with the customer, the product is defined in all its aspects (features, quality, acceptance, and so on); each modification of what has been agreed and approved has to be approved by the Project Board (see bullet 2) – Change Control is one of Prince2’s eight Components.

A table obtained from Product Descriptions, with all the deadlines, can be used instead of Gantt diagrams.

As it can be seen, one starts from the product, not from activities; all that is not needed for the final product is not even taken into consideration



2.      Project Board

The Project Manager is responsible towards the Project Board (i.e., the Executive because the Proj. Board is not a democracy), which has final responsibility for the project.

Inside the Proj. Board, three interests are represented: Business (in the person of the Executive), Supplier (Senior Supplier/s), User (Senior User/s).

All important decisions have to be approved by the Proj. Board; the Executive must be a high-ranking person in the organization and he/she has to be able to draw from financial resources.

The Project Board “manages by exception”: it takes the foreseen decisions (especially at the start and at the end of each stage during the project) and receives regular reports from the Proj. Manager but, if everything is proceeding within (foreseen) tolerances and there are no important news, the PB does not intervene; this allows PB’s members to go on with their usual activities (usually, they are high-ranking and very busy people).

Final responsibility stays with the person who has authority and financial availability; all stakeholders are represented in the Proj. Board, but the Executive has the final word



3.      Business Case

The Business Case contains the reasons why the project is to be realized; the Executive is the BC’s “owner”.

The BC is improved (or created) and reconsidered during the Starting Up a project process (see bullet 4); then, it is constantly considered in view of the situation. If the BC becomes valid no more (e.g., due to changes in the law or skyrocketing costs), the Proj. Board decides what to do after considering Proj. Manager’s recommendations and on the basis of whatever is known to the PB itself: changes, a new project, project killing, and so on.

If there are no valid reasons to go on with the project, decisions (they could be drastic ones) are taken: the Business Case is continuously considered, especially in critical moments



4.      Starting Up a project (SU)

One of Prince2’s eight processes, it constitutes the first practical step in the methodology but is not part of the Project itself.

The process starts after receiving the Project Mandate which is a document written by the management; the Project Mandate constitutes the basis of the Business Case.

The process includes choosing the Executive and the Proj. Manager, improving (or creating) the Business Case, choosing Project Board and staff members, identifying initial risks and so on.

Besides, Product Description, Customer’s Quality Expectations and Acceptance Criteria are defined.

At SU’s end, the Proj. Board meets and decides whether to go on or not with the project; if the PB decides to go on, it authorizes the first project stage, i.e., IP (Initiating a Project).

The project does not start before an organization has been set, the Business Case is sufficiently developed, risks have been considered, SU has shown that it is the case to start the project



Continues ...







Lugano - Paradiso, Ticino, Switzerland

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Last updated: 08/01/14.