PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 5: Organization Theme
Important: The new PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams (PRINCE2® 2017) are available from 10 July 2017 (details of the changes here). Don’t worry, the changes are quite minor indeed as all the 7 principles, themes and processes remain the same. From now on until the end of 2017, candidates can take either the existing or updated English versions of the PRINCE2® exam. All PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams will be based on PRINCE2® 2017 from 1 January 2018. You can still seize the time to get certified based on the current version! Once you get PRINCE2® certified, your certification is still valid under PRINCE2® 2017 and onwards!
Introduction: In PRINCE2®, there are 7 Themes describing important aspects of project management that are vital to the success of the project. The Organization Theme is the second PRINCE2® Theme which focuses on establishing the accountability and responsibilities structure for the project and is primarily based on the PRINCE2® Principle of “Defined Roles and Responsibilities”. The PRINCE2® Foundation Study Notes for the Organization Theme below details what are needed for the PRINCE2® Foundation Exam.
PRINCE2® Theme: Organization
- The Organization Theme aims at providing a clear definition of the “Who” of the project, their responsibilities and the accountability (e.g. reporting structure).
- Every PRINCE2® project is based on the customer/supplier environment.
- PRINCE2® defines the roles (not persons) and their associated responsibilities in the project. While the roles might be shared / combined depending on project needs, the responsibilities must be allocated.
- Some roles can be combined or shared while others must be independent in order to provide the needed accountability
4 Levels of Project Organization
- Corporate or Program Management (outside of project team)
- responsible for: commissioning the project, identifying the Executive and defining project-level tolerance
- Project Management Team
- Directing — Project Board (Executive + Senior Supplier(s) + Senior User(s)), accountable for the overall success of the project
- Managing — Project Manager, responsible for day-to-day management
- Delivering — Team Manager, responsible for delivering the agreed products
Primary Categories of Stakeholders
- Business — represented by Executive role, the business stakeholder is there to ensure value for money of the investments of the project
- User — represented by Senior User role, including those who will use, operate, maintain or support the products to ensure the agreed quality level will be achieved
- Supplier — represented by Senior Supplier role, including those who will provide the skills and resources to produce the product (can be in-house or external)
(Note: in PRINCE2®, “Customer” is used in the context of a commercial customer-supplier relationship (i.e. customer is a collective term for business and user stakeholders))
Roles of PRINCE2® Projects
- Project Board — provide the direction for the project by making/approving key decisions for the project and resources/funding/support to the project
- 4 key characteristics of the Project Board
- Authority and Credibility: must be senior enough within the corporate organisation to provide strategic decisions/allocate funding
- Ability to delegate: can delegate authority to the Project Manager for the day-to-day running of the project
- Availability: should be easily available for making decisions and providing directions
- 4 key characteristics of the Project Board
- Executive — appointed by Corporate or Program Management to be accountable for the project; develop the business case
- Senior User — a bridge between the project and users by specifying the needs/requirements of the products
- Senior Supplier — represents the interests of those who deliver the products
- Business Analyst — help the Executive to develope the Business Case
- Project Assurance — help the Project Board/Project Manager by being responsible for checking and advising Business/User/Supplier assurance — providing guidelines, guidances on corporate standards; must be independent of the Project Manager
- Change Authority — help the Project Board for assessing and approving “lower level” change requests (within the “Change Budget”); may be the Project Board for small projects
- Project Manager — responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and be responsible for all of the PRINCE2® processes (except “Directing a Project”)
- Team Manager — (the only optional role) help the Project Manager to manage the project team members
- Project Support — tasked with administrative/routine activities (e.g. Configuration Management) [NOT optional, defaults to the Project Manager]
- Project — a temporary organization created for delivering one or more business products specified in the Business Case; projects are to bring about changes to meet business challenges.
- Programme — a temporary flexible organisational structure responsible for coordinating, directing and overseeing the a set of related projects/activities to achieve synergy in delivering the strategic objectives of the organization.
- Stakeholder — anyone that can be affected by the project / have an effect on the project
- Corporate Organization — refer to the organization leadership; there are two major types of corporate organization:
- Line management/function management — in functional organization
- Centre of Excellence Concept — consisting of units providing standards and skills/resources, e.g. PMO
Organization Theme: Roles and Responsibilities
- Corporate or Programme Management: appoints the Executive (and the Project Manager) and provides Communication Management Strategy template (from organization practices)
- Executive: forms the Project Board & Project Management Team and approves the Communication Management Strategy
- Senior User(s): commits user resources and act as a bridge for the communication between users and the project
- Senior Supplier(s): provides supplier resources
- Project Manager: prepares the Communication Management Strategy (in Initiating a Project process) and Role Descriptions (in Starting Up a Project process)
- Project Assurance: advises on the project management team formation and ensures the Communication Management Strategy is appropriate
Stakeholders Engagement and Communication Management
- Stakeholder Engagement is about
- identifying who are the key stakeholders,
- analyzing their influences/attitudes in the project,
- formulating effective stakeholder engagement strategies,
- performing these strategies; and,
- measuring the effectiveness.
- Communication Management is about
- defining the means and frequency of communication to all stakeholders (internal and external)
- the Communication Management Strategy is documented and approved by Project Board in initiating the project process; and updated with approval in subsequent steps.
(The PRINCE2® Organization Theme (in particular the stakeholder engagement and communication management) is similar to the Project Communication Management and Project Stakeholder Management as described in the PMBOK® Guide for PMP® Certification Exam dealing with planning, executing, managing and monitoring stakeholder engagement and communication among project team/stakeholders in the PMP® Exam.)
Wish you PRINCE2® Foundation Exam success!