PRINCE2 Product Description: A Complete Beginner's Guide

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Last updated on
29th Sep, 2022
09th Aug, 2022
PRINCE2 Product Description: A Complete Beginner's Guide

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is the most widely used project management methodology globally, with teams in over 150 countries using it. To help the British government better manage IT projects, PRINCE was developed in the late 1980s. A review panel comprising 150 public and commercial enterprises and a team of project management experts examined and modified the technique in 1996 to broaden its applicability across various industries. 

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach to project management that focuses on the structure and control of the project from beginning to end. All aspect of a project is well mapped out before it begins, every step along the way is well-defined, and any loose ends are neatly tied up at its end. 

The PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner training is designed to provide project managers with in-depth knowledge of this framework. This program delves into the PRINCE2 project management framework's themes, principles, and processes. PRINCE2® practitioner and foundation is a globally recognized certification that can be used in both the private and public sectors. It validates your skills as a senior project manager by increasing your ability to execute projects in a business setting. 

What is the PRINCE2 Product Description?

The Product Description provides information about the components of a project. The product breakdown structure (PBS) visualizes these, while the description deconstructs them. Product descriptions are used for the following purposes: 

  • Understand the product's purpose and function. 
  • Define who will use the product and how they will use it. 
  • Determine the level of quality required for the product so that it can be used (fit for purpose). 
  • Define the skills required to create the product as well as to review and approve it. 
  • Identify the activities to create, review, and approve the product. 

Product Descriptions for all products should be developed before the project plan can be finished as part of the planning activities. Because it is not always possible to complete all Product Descriptions during the Initiation Stage of each project, Product Descriptions may be created or amended during the Stage Boundary process. If necessary, a Product Description is created for each of the recognized goods in the product breakdown structure.

Many institutions offer PRINCE2 Foundation certification online courses to help you gain a thorough understanding of the project product description and improve your project management skills. PRINCE2 is also widely recognized and used in the private sector around the world for project management in a variety of domains. 

PRINCE2 Product Description: Composition

To make the PRINCE2 product description composition or template more relevant to the project environment, it can be customized. However, the following are the major components of a product description:

  1. Identifier - A unique key that includes the item name, project name, and version number. 
  2. Title - The name given to the product. 
  3. Purpose - This specifies the function of the product and who will use it. Understanding a product's features, size, quality, complexity, and robustness are all made easier with this information. 
  4. Composition - This is a list of the product's components. For example, a list of expected chapters and sections if the product were a report. 
  5. Derivation: What are the originating points from which this product is derived. For example, A product is purchased from a supplier, a declaration of the expected advantages is received from the customer, and a design is created using specifications provided by the customer. 
  6. Format and presentation - The product's characteristics; for example, if the product is a report, this would specify whether the report should be a document, presentation slides, or an email. 
  7. Development skills required - Those with Project Management training certification can list out a description of the skills required to develop the product or an indication as to which area(s) should supply development resources. Identification of actual people may be delayed until the management stage in which the product is to be created is planned. 
  8. Quality criteria - What quality standards must the product meet, and what quality measurements will be used by personnel examining the finished product? A simple reference to one or more well-known standards, or a detailed description of a yardstick, could be included here. Each state's quality standards should have been collected together if the product is to be developed and certified in multiple states (e.g., dismantled machines, moveable machinery, and assembled machinery). 
  9. Quality tolerance - Tolerance for any deviations in the product's quality criteria. 
  10. Quality method - The type of quality method (e.g., design verification, test, pilot, inspection, or review) to be used to check the product's functionality or quality. 
  11. Quality skills required - An indicator of the quality method's expertise requirements or a hint as to which areas should provide the resources for quality check. Identification of actual people may be delayed until the management stage in which the quality inspection is to be performed is planned. 
  12. Quality responsibilities: define the product's producer, reviewer(s), and approver(s). 

Format of PRINCE2 Product Description

  • A presentation slide 
  • A document 
  • A mind-map (not so popular) 
  • Entry into a project management tool 

Quality Criteria of PRINCE2 Product Description

A product description must meet the following quality criteria: 

  • The product's purpose is clear and consistent with that of other products. 
  • The product description is brief but sufficient to allow the product to be manufactured, approved, and reviewed. 
  • Responsibility for the product's development is clearly defined. 
  • The product is described in sufficient detail to plan and manage its development. 
  • Responsibility for product development is within the scope of project management team roles and duties and the quality management strategy. 
  • The quality criteria adhere to the project's quality standards, standard checklists, and acceptance criteria. 
  • The quality criteria can be used to determine when a product is suitable for its intended purpose. 
  • The senior user(s) confirms that the product meets their requirements as defined in the product description. 
  • The types of quality inspection required can confirm that the product meets the stated quality criteria. 
  • The senior supplier(s) confirms that the product's requirements are met, as defined in the product description. 

PRINCE2 Product Description Tips

  • Begin with a well-defined Product Breakdown Structure and take your time as this is the scope of the project. 
  • Determine what the project will not do (what is not within its scope). 
  • Keep a better overview of the entire scope first rather than going too quickly into detail. 
  • Keep the Product Descriptions as straightforward as possible. 
  • Add a quality requirement to each feature, so that you can easily focus on the quality of each Product Description criterion. For example, instead of saying "PC with a lot of RAM," say "RAM 16 GB." This way it is much easier to determine whether or not the product meets the requirements. 
  • Instead of writing out the detailed specification, refer to standards whenever possible. 
  • Once the Project Plan is complete, baseline the Product Descriptions. Also, remind all users about the c hange control procedure. 

PRINCE2 Product Description Samples


Project management has recently emerged as one of the most sought-after occupations, even outside of the technology industry. Project Management training certification can help you get lucrative jobs in IT, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and other exciting industries. 

A PRINCE2 certification can assist you in developing skills to manage projects of varying complexity. You will learn how to tailor projects to the environment, manage product delivery, manage resources, and successfully manage project risks during this PRINCE2 training. With the PRINCE2 Certification, you will be able to advance your project management career regardless of your level of experience. 

Enroll in the KnowledgeHut’s PRINCE2 foundation and practitioner training, an AXELOS Certified Partner and PeopleCert® accredited training organization (ATO), to strengthen your knowledge and advance your career in project management. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What do you mean by product description in PRINCE2?

The product description in PRINCE2 gives information about the component products of any project. It is a detailed description of all the identified products prepared as a part of the Project Plan. 

2. How do you write a project product description?

The Project Product Description is typically a 1-3 page document of the primary product that the project will create. Both the plan and the quality themes are addressed in the document's structure. This information is extracted from the senior users and the subject matter experts. It is the Project Product Description that specifies what the project must accomplish to be accepted by its target audience. 

3. Which is the purpose of the project product description?

  • Obtain understanding from the user on what they require(project scope); 
  • Define the customer's quality expectations to manage the project to deliver a relevant product;
  • Define the project's acceptance criteria, responsibilities, and method. 

4. Which are the quality criteria of a project product description?

  • A clear purpose for the primary product 
  • A complete range of the project, specifying what must be excluded 
  • Clear (not ambiguous) and achievable acceptance criteria to evaluate the project. 
  • Specify how the evaluation for the primary project product. 
  • Ensure that all criteria can be measured.
  • Ensure that each criterion is individually realistic. 

Aditi Jain

Blog Author

Aditi is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at KnowledgeHut. She is an avid writer with a masters in English literature and specializes in long-form articles and crisp marketing copies. She loves playing the guitar and covers soothing songs. Scrolling Instagram is also part of her mindfulness!