The PRINCE2 Project Manager will follow the PRINCE2 methodology very closely in order to ensure that the project remains truly PRINCE2, but also to give the project the best possible chance at being successful. From the very start of the project right up to the project’s closure, the Project Manager will have many duties to perform and delegate to keep the project on it’s intended path.
Below we will have a look at the different duties that a PRINCE2 Project Manager will perform during the lifecycle of a PRINCE2 project. Using the Project Manager tools gained while earning their Project Management qualification, the Project Manager will guide the project in the desired direction.
Preparing baseline management products
Here the PRINCE2 Project Manager will define certain aspects of the project such as the documentation listed below:
Project initiation documentation – This document will include the project’s goals, scope, risks, constraints, assumptions, project organisation, project control, reporting frameworks, stakeholders and planning.
The Project Brief – This will provide a balanced and firm foundation for the initiation of the project. The Project Brief will include the Project Product Description, the project definition, the Business Case, the project’s tolerances, quality expectations and acceptance criteria.
Benefits Review Plan – This will outline the benefits that will be measured, accountability for the expected benefits, how measurement will be done, when they will be measured, the resources needed to measure benefits, baseline measurements and how performance of the products will be reviewed.
Stage Plan – This will detail the plans set in place for a certain stage of the project.
Exception Plans – These will replace other plans when an exception occurs.
Work Packages – This will include the team or person in charge of the work package, product descriptions, techniques and processes to be utilised, the quality check method, constraints and problem reporting procedures.
Create and maintain reports and records
The following reports and records need to be prepared and updated by the PRINCE2 Project Manager:
Highlight Report – this will show the progress of the project and will allow for the monitoring of stage progress.
Issue Report – outlines any issues that may occur such as a request for change or specification deviations.
End Stage Report – details the overall progress and status of the project.
Lessons Report – contains information on the lessons learned during the projects and is used to improve future projects.
Exception Report – this will be created whenever a stage or project plan is forecast to exceed the agreed upon tolerances.
Issue Register – this report is created whenever an issue arises during a PRINCE2 project.
Risk Register – this will document all risks that are identified and will include the probability of a risk arising, it’s impact etc.
Daily Log – this is used to document informal issues that can be handled by the PRINCE2 Project Manager.
End Project Report – created at the end of the project and presented to the project board detailing how the project performed against initial forecasts.
The PRINCE2 Project Manager needs to ensure that all relevant information is made available to the relevant project members as it is needed. One of the leading causes of project failure is miscommunication which can be easily avoided by ensuing the right information is conveyed at the right time.
There are other platforms that can help the Project Manager keep the lines of communication open, such as e-mailing, project management applications with a synchronisation function and, in some cases, even social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Authorising work packages
When specialist work needs to be carried out during a PRINCE2 project, it is essential that the work only begins once it has been authorised. The PRINCE2 Project Manager will make use of work packages to schedule the start of such work.
During the creation of work packages, the stage plan needs to be consulted in order to identify the products that are to be created as well as the cost of the work to be done and any tolerances that need to be adhered to.
Working with the project team
The Project Manager will need to liaise closely with the project team throughout the duration of the project. He will need to direct and manage them in order to ensure that the applicable work is done when it is required.
Working on a project can often be daunting and tiresome for project team members, especially if the project will take a long time to complete. This is where the PRINCE2 Project Manager needs to keep the team motivated and focused on the end goal, outlining the benefits that are to be attained.
The resources that are available to undertake and finish a project are invaluable and need to be managed very carefully. The applicable resources need to be made available to the right departments at the right time in order for work to continue uninterrupted.
The cost involved in attaining resources also needs to be managed properly as it could have a large impact on the success of the project. If too many resources are procured, it will lead to waste at the end of the project, where the Project Manager will look to either use them on another, or a future project.
Acting as liaison
As the project follows it’s lifecycle, the Project Manager will need to liaise with corporate management to ensure that there isn’t any work that has been overlooked and neds to be added to the existing work being done. They will also keep each other informed of any products being produced on related projects to ensure that they aren’t duplicated.
PRINCE2 Project Managers will also liaise with external suppliers and Account Managers to ensure the relevant resources are available when needed to be distributed to the relevant departments and that the funds needed to procure those resources are available in time.
The work of a PRINCE2 Project Manager takes many forms and we have listed but a few here. Other duties could arise according to the needs of each individual project, or due to departmental shortages or changes. A good PRINCE2 Project Manager, however, can take up many roles and delegate tasks according to whichever situation may arise.