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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

A project is run by a team and without one, it won’t even begin or complete. When a team is finally formed, they would then have to formulate a plan and act on the same to complete the project. Thus, it becomes an issue of great importance that the members in the team associated with a particular project are aware of what they have to do, what they can expect from others as well as their team members, to whom they have to report their work, and who shall do the brainstorming and decision-making, and this article focuses on providing answers for these questions. Hence, this principle defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is associated with the project, from the very beginning till the closure of the project.PRINCE2® clearly suggests that a project should have well-defined, distributed and agreed roles and responsibilities among the entire team undertaking the project. It is important for an organization to distinctly identify these roles and responsibilities to enable its structure that deals with Business, User and Stakeholder interests to function properly and effectively.PRINCE2® ORGANIZATION THEMEThe organization theme is responsible for defining and authorizing the accountability and responsibilities, that form the structure of a project.PRINCE2® assumes that there will be a customer responsible for specifying the desired result and then purchasing the project. Similarly, a supplier will also be present to provide the resources and skills needed to deliver the desired results. Thus, it is safe to say that  PRINCE2® is based on a customer/supplier environment.One major feature of PRINCE2® is that all the projects should have a defined organizational structure that will ultimately bring together the various parties and teams for the common aspirations of the project. It further enhances the effectivity of project governance and decision making.These are the components of a successful project management team under the organization theme:1. Representation of all the three major stakeholders as listed in PRINCE2®, a project consists of three major stakeholders which are the Business Sponsors, Users, and Suppliers.Business Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the product or service offers value for money and is of high-quality standards.Users represent the consumer aspects, they will use the final finished products and services, and are the ones receiving the benefit of those products and services.Suppliers are responsible for providing the basic material and resources, raw or tailored and supplying proper knowledge and experience to the project. They are the producers, producing the finished products according to the designed project plan.This particular principle clearly states that the three major stakeholders must be correctly represented in the Project Management Team and in the Project Board as they act as the three staunch pillars that support and drive the project further ahead. Every successful project team must have a proper Business, User, and Supplier stakeholder representation.An effective project team should have defined responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project. These three processes paired up with accountability are the key components of a project and thus require accurate and proper distribution of responsibilities.Another component of a successful project team is the regular and continuous reviewing of various project roles assigned to the members throughout the project.The final component is to come up with an effective strategy for properly managing the communication flows that the project team must maintain to/from the external key stakeholders.It is a common understanding that the senior management board will be under a lot of workload and cannot supervise the day-to-day development of the project. Hence, the board issues certain responsibilities to certain individuals or a group of individuals, such that the direction and management of the project is separated from the delivery of the project’s outputs and results. It is done by using the principle of Management by Exception.The structure that eventually forms comprises of four levels, where Corporate level is outside the project borderlines:Corporate: It is responsible for:Commissioning the project in the first placeAppointing the Project Executive  Defining the project level tolerances to be followed by the project boardDirecting: It is undertaken by the project board, which is responsible for:Overall direction and supervision of the projectAccountable for the project’s successThey approve all the major plansThey approve completion of each stageThey authorize the start of the next stageCommunicating with the stakeholdersAuthorizing any deviation that exceeds the project level tolerancesManaging: Project Manager comes under this level and is responsible for:The day-to-day management of the project within the parameters set by the project boardTo make sure that the products are being delivered according to the time, cost, quality, scope of risk and benefit objectivesDelivering: Team Managers come under this level and are responsible for:Delivering the project’s products with the desired quality standards and within a specified time frame and costTo summarize these components, we can conclude that each project should have direction, management, control and communication within its structure and project team for providing better and fruitful outcomes.THE PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECTThe PRINCE2® methodology is based on processes and division of stages for improved performance. It also brings along a series of defined roles with specific tasks designated to them. The predefined roles in a project based on a PRINCE2® environment are:Project Board - It is a group of professionals that includes :Executive: The executive has the custody of the business case and is the person ultimately taking responsibility for the project.Senior User: This position can be held by an individual or a group of professionals. Their primary objective is to represent the demands of the final user.Senior Supplier: This position can also be assigned to one or more individuals. Their responsibility is to ensure the representation of the interests of the suppliers.Project Assurance: The primary goal of Project Assurance is to make sure that the interests of the stakeholders are met.Change Authority: They are responsible for deciding the major change requests on behalf of the Project Board.Project Manager: The person responsible for undertaking the day-to-day supervision of the project on behalf of the Project Board.Project Support: It is the body responsible for assisting the Project Manager in the Project Management tasks and duties.Team Manager: This position can be assigned to one or more professionals that ensure the quality and other elements of production in the various teams that focus on a particular skill or knowledge from various departments.1. Roles Associated with the Project BoardThe project board represents the direction level of the project and consists of the following roles : a. The Executive: The executive actually owns the business case and his role is that of a business-oriented leader who is ultimately accountable for the project. The executive also has the authority of delivering the final words and decisions that are taken in the project. Thus, the project board doesn’t demonstrate any signs of democracy and equal decision-making rights.The executive is appointed by the corporate of programme management, he is the one responsible for the project with additional support from the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The executive is also responsible for designing and appointing the project management team, including the rest of the project board and also appoints the project manager b. The Senior User: It represents the final user’s requirements in the board. It specifies the needs of the user that will use the finished product or service and also establishes communication between the project management team and the users, and ensuring that the products will cater to the needs of the users, especially the quality of the product or service and ease of use. It also supplies benefits information for the Benefit Review Plan. c. The Senior Supplier: It represents the interests of the supplier. It represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating and implementing the project’s product and services, they provide supply to the project and make sure that only the right tools, people, equipment and expertise are in place. They also ensure that the product meets the expected criteria including the quality criteria.   Only one person can be the executive, but both the other two roles i.e the senior user and the senior supplier can be assigned to one or multiple individuals.Associated DutiesThe project board is responsible for holding accountability for the success and the failure of the project.Another duty is to provide unified direction to the project and the respective Project Manager.The project board also provides the resources and also authorizes funds utilized in the project.They should also provide additional visible and continuous support and assistance to the Project Manager.They ensure that there is effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders.In real life, there are many organizations that have a project board that is incapable of handling projects or is either inexperienced or not at all interested in the project itself. This is a serious issue and a major drawback that could sabotage the entire project and the team associated. Henceforth, a great project board is a must to ensure that the direction is on point and effective. 2. The Project Assurance RoleIt is the responsibility of the Project Board to ensure that the project performs well and the products/services are produced, this is known as the Project Assurance. The board usually checks it directly through the Project Manager. But in large projects, many of the board members are busy with their respective tasks. Thus, the board can delegate this responsibility to someone else. The basic method is to double-check the information and this is called Project Assurance.It monitors the performance of the project and provides assistance to the Project Manager by giving insights on corporate-related issues. That’s how the board uses its Project Assurance responsibility to ensure that everything is going according to plan and the Project Manager is up to date with corporate regulations.Different board members have their respective Project Assurance responsibilities. For example:The Executive is responsible for Business Assurance (Business Value)The Senior User is responsible for the User AssuranceThe Senior Supplier is responsible for the Supplier’s Assurance 3. The Change Authority Role The responsibilities associated with the Change Authority are as follows:This role lies under the Project Team Management.The Project Board may decide if an individual should be appointed or an entire group is required to undertake this role.The primary objective of  Change Authority is to review the requests for change or the off-specifications related to the project.The Change Authority is also capable of delegating responsibility to a number of levels depending on the intensity and the complexity of the change.Asperity of Change RequestDecided ByLevel 1Project Support / Help DeskLevel 2Project ManagerLevel 3Change AuthorityLevel 4Project BoardLevel 5Corp / Programme ManagementIf smaller changes are expected in a project then the Project Board can handle them. But when many major changes are expected then it is more efficient to use a separate Change Authority group.A separate Change Authority group simplifies the change process and saves the Project Board from all the hassle. 4. The Project Manager RoleThe Project Manager role has the following impact on the project:Their primary objective is to manage the project on a daily basis. Their main focus is on the day-to-day progress of the project.This particular position of a Project Manager can never be shared and only one is appointed for a particular project.The Project Manager runs and supervises a project on behalf of the Project Board within a few specified constraints and collaborates throughout the project with the Project Board and the Project Assurance.In the case of PRINCE2®, it is usually preferred that the Project Manager belongs to the customer side.The Project is also responsible for running all the principal processes except Directing a Project Process (DP).The Project Manager is responsible for the Project Support and assistance and also the Team Managers.In several smaller projects, where there are no Team Managers, the Project Manager can manage the team members directly. Additionally, in cases where there is project support, the support task is completely on the shoulders of the Project Manager.5. The Team Manager RoleThe role of a Team Manager is actually optional and not necessary in smaller projects. The role  of a Team Manager only comes into the scene if:The Project is quite huge and requires a lot of members. Thus, a number of Team Members would be required to manage and supervise several teams from different departments and expertise.Team Managers are usually required for a specific skill, skillset or knowledge of the products to be produced. For example, a project requires an individual with great expertise of JAVA to provide assistance in handling and developing the applications or programs or researching on a particular product.They are also the need of the hour when the project is affected by geographical reasons. The project might include remote teams that provide assistance from remote locations, then that particular remote team is managed by a Team Manager.If the project is using an external company, then it would be easier to coordinate with the Team Manager rather than all the team members directly and individually.6. The Project Support RoleThe project support role offers the following services to the project:The Project Support provides administrative services to provide assistance to the Project Manager in the form of filing, distributing documents, adding documents to an IT System, etc.Project support also advises and offers guidance regarding the use of project management tools and configuration management.The Project Support also provides additional assistance in planning and risk management. For example, keeping the planned documents up to date and also highlighting what has been completed and what aspects of the projects are delayed.The prominent responsibility of the Project Support is Configuration Management and following the guidelines under the Configuration Management Strategy Document: it is one of the four strategy documents formulated at the beginning of the project.The responsibility of the Project Support is under the authority of the Project manager. To put forward in simple words, the Project Manager is responsible for the administrative duties associated with the project. Therefore, this role is not optional, however, the Project Manager can delegate this responsibility to another person or group.In a case, where the Project Manager is unable to delegate this role to someone else, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to assume the role of the Project Support. This is the reason why we see many Project Managers working late in the evening and doing overtime. As they are trying to catch up on their administrative tasks and keep forgetting to plan all this in their normal working hours.STAGE-WISE MANAGEMENTA great way of handling a big and chunky task or project is to divide it into smaller and manageable fragments. This is the same methodology implemented in the PRINCE2® method of project management. But, instead of chunks or fragments, in PRINCE2® a different terminology is used, i.e. stages - Management Stages. The PRINCE2® methodology focuses on running and operating a project under a planned and controlled environment through a stage by stage basis.These stages are separated and decided by the Project Board on the basis of Decision Points. After the completion of each stage, the Project Board assesses the performance of the previous stage, analyzes the plans for the next stage, and ultimately decides whether to proceed to the next stage or not. The higher the number of stages, the more control is possessed by the Project Board, but it also increases their workload. Fewer stages in a project require less amount of work from the Project Board which indicates that the Senior Management will have less control over the project.  The division of a project into stages has some advantages as mentioned below:It allows the project to be divided into smaller and simpler fragments that can be easily managed.It leads to a high-level plan for the project and a very detailed Stage Plan.It also incorporates learning from the previous stages while devising a plan for the upcoming stages.There should be a minimum of two management stages in a project under a PRINCE2® project environment:The Initiation StageThe Management StageThe Closing a Project process is the last part of the second stage in a two-stage project.In this manner a particular PRINCE2® project is controlled, managed, and monitored on a stage by stage basis.
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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

A project is run by a team and without one, it won’t even begin or complete. When a team is finally formed, they would then have to formulate a plan and act on the same to complete the project. Thus, it becomes an issue of great importance that the members in the team associated with a particular project are aware of what they have to do, what they can expect from others as well as their team members, to whom they have to report their work, and who shall do the brainstorming and decision-making, and this article focuses on providing answers for these questions. Hence, this principle defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is associated with the project, from the very beginning till the closure of the project.

PRINCE2® clearly suggests that a project should have well-defined, distributed and agreed roles and responsibilities among the entire team undertaking the project. It is important for an organization to distinctly identify these roles and responsibilities to enable its structure that deals with Business, User and Stakeholder interests to function properly and effectively.

PRINCE2® ORGANIZATION THEME

The organization theme is responsible for defining and authorizing the accountability and responsibilities, that form the structure of a project.

PRINCE2® assumes that there will be a customer responsible for specifying the desired result and then purchasing the project. Similarly, a supplier will also be present to provide the resources and skills needed to deliver the desired results. Thus, it is safe to say that  PRINCE2® is based on a customer/supplier environment.

One major feature of PRINCE2® is that all the projects should have a defined organizational structure that will ultimately bring together the various parties and teams for the common aspirations of the project. It further enhances the effectivity of project governance and decision making.

These are the components of a successful project management team under the organization theme:

1. Representation of all the three major stakeholders as listed in PRINCE2®, a project consists of three major stakeholders which are the Business Sponsors, Users, and Suppliers.

Three Major Stakeholders

  • Business Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the product or service offers value for money and is of high-quality standards.
  • Users represent the consumer aspects, they will use the final finished products and services, and are the ones receiving the benefit of those products and services.
  • Suppliers are responsible for providing the basic material and resources, raw or tailored and supplying proper knowledge and experience to the project. They are the producers, producing the finished products according to the designed project plan.

This particular principle clearly states that the three major stakeholders must be correctly represented in the Project Management Team and in the Project Board as they act as the three staunch pillars that support and drive the project further ahead. Every successful project team must have a proper Business, User, and Supplier stakeholder representation.

  1. An effective project team should have defined responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project. These three processes paired up with accountability are the key components of a project and thus require accurate and proper distribution of responsibilities.
  1. Another component of a successful project team is the regular and continuous reviewing of various project roles assigned to the members throughout the project.
  1. The final component is to come up with an effective strategy for properly managing the communication flows that the project team must maintain to/from the external key stakeholders.

It is a common understanding that the senior management board will be under a lot of workload and cannot supervise the day-to-day development of the project. Hence, the board issues certain responsibilities to certain individuals or a group of individuals, such that the direction and management of the project is separated from the delivery of the project’s outputs and results. It is done by using the principle of Management by Exception.

The structure that eventually forms comprises of four levels, where Corporate level is outside the project borderlines:

  • Corporate: It is responsible for:
    • Commissioning the project in the first place
    • Appointing the Project Executive  
    • Defining the project level tolerances to be followed by the project board
  • Directing: It is undertaken by the project board, which is responsible for:
    • Overall direction and supervision of the project
    • Accountable for the project’s success
    • They approve all the major plans
    • They approve completion of each stage
    • They authorize the start of the next stage
    • Communicating with the stakeholders
    • Authorizing any deviation that exceeds the project level tolerances
  • Managing: Project Manager comes under this level and is responsible for:
    • The day-to-day management of the project within the parameters set by the project board
    • To make sure that the products are being delivered according to the time, cost, quality, scope of risk and benefit objectives
  • Delivering: Team Managers come under this level and are responsible for:
    • Delivering the project’s products with the desired quality standards and within a specified time frame and cost

To summarize these components, we can conclude that each project should have direction, management, control and communication within its structure and project team for providing better and fruitful outcomes.

THE PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECT

PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECT

The PRINCE2® methodology is based on processes and division of stages for improved performance. It also brings along a series of defined roles with specific tasks designated to them. The predefined roles in a project based on a PRINCE2® environment are:

  1. Project Board - It is a group of professionals that includes :
    • Executive: The executive has the custody of the business case and is the person ultimately taking responsibility for the project.
    • Senior User: This position can be held by an individual or a group of professionals. Their primary objective is to represent the demands of the final user.
    • Senior Supplier: This position can also be assigned to one or more individuals. Their responsibility is to ensure the representation of the interests of the suppliers.
  2. Project Assurance: The primary goal of Project Assurance is to make sure that the interests of the stakeholders are met.
  3. Change Authority: They are responsible for deciding the major change requests on behalf of the Project Board.
  4. Project Manager: The person responsible for undertaking the day-to-day supervision of the project on behalf of the Project Board.
  5. Project Support: It is the body responsible for assisting the Project Manager in the Project Management tasks and duties.
  6. Team ManagerThis position can be assigned to one or more professionals that ensure the quality and other elements of production in the various teams that focus on a particular skill or knowledge from various departments.

1. Roles Associated with the Project Board

The project board represents the direction level of the project and consists of the following roles :

 a. The Executive: The executive actually owns the business case and his role is that of a business-oriented leader who is ultimately accountable for the project. The executive also has the authority of delivering the final words and decisions that are taken in the project. Thus, the project board doesn’t demonstrate any signs of democracy and equal decision-making rights.

The executive is appointed by the corporate of programme management, he is the one responsible for the project with additional support from the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The executive is also responsible for designing and appointing the project management team, including the rest of the project board and also appoints the project manager

 b. The Senior User: It represents the final user’s requirements in the board. It specifies the needs of the user that will use the finished product or service and also establishes communication between the project management team and the users, and ensuring that the products will cater to the needs of the users, especially the quality of the product or service and ease of use. It also supplies benefits information for the Benefit Review Plan.

 c. The Senior Supplier: It represents the interests of the supplier. It represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating and implementing the project’s product and services, they provide supply to the project and make sure that only the right tools, people, equipment and expertise are in place. They also ensure that the product meets the expected criteria including the quality criteria.   

Only one person can be the executive, but both the other two roles i.e the senior user and the senior supplier can be assigned to one or multiple individuals.

Associated Duties

  • The project board is responsible for holding accountability for the success and the failure of the project.
  • Another duty is to provide unified direction to the project and the respective Project Manager.
  • The project board also provides the resources and also authorizes funds utilized in the project.
  • They should also provide additional visible and continuous support and assistance to the Project Manager.
  • They ensure that there is effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders.

In real life, there are many organizations that have a project board that is incapable of handling projects or is either inexperienced or not at all interested in the project itself. This is a serious issue and a major drawback that could sabotage the entire project and the team associated. Henceforth, a great project board is a must to ensure that the direction is on point and effective.

 2. The Project Assurance Role

It is the responsibility of the Project Board to ensure that the project performs well and the products/services are produced, this is known as the Project Assurance. The board usually checks it directly through the Project Manager. But in large projects, many of the board members are busy with their respective tasks. Thus, the board can delegate this responsibility to someone else. The basic method is to double-check the information and this is called Project Assurance.

  • It monitors the performance of the project and provides assistance to the Project Manager by giving insights on corporate-related issues. That’s how the board uses its Project Assurance responsibility to ensure that everything is going according to plan and the Project Manager is up to date with corporate regulations.
  • Different board members have their respective Project Assurance responsibilities. For example:
  1. The Executive is responsible for Business Assurance (Business Value)
  2. The Senior User is responsible for the User Assurance
  3. The Senior Supplier is responsible for the Supplier’s Assurance

 3. The Change Authority Role 

The responsibilities associated with the Change Authority are as follows:

  • This role lies under the Project Team Management.
  • The Project Board may decide if an individual should be appointed or an entire group is required to undertake this role.
  • The primary objective of  Change Authority is to review the requests for change or the off-specifications related to the project.
  • The Change Authority is also capable of delegating responsibility to a number of levels depending on the intensity and the complexity of the change.
Asperity of Change Request
Decided By
Level 1
Project Support / Help Desk
Level 2
Project Manager
Level 3
Change Authority
Level 4
Project Board
Level 5
Corp / Programme Management
  • If smaller changes are expected in a project then the Project Board can handle them. But when many major changes are expected then it is more efficient to use a separate Change Authority group.
  • A separate Change Authority group simplifies the change process and saves the Project Board from all the hassle.

 4. The Project Manager Role

The Project Manager role has the following impact on the project:

  • Their primary objective is to manage the project on a daily basis. Their main focus is on the day-to-day progress of the project.
  • This particular position of a Project Manager can never be shared and only one is appointed for a particular project.
  • The Project Manager runs and supervises a project on behalf of the Project Board within a few specified constraints and collaborates throughout the project with the Project Board and the Project Assurance.
  • In the case of PRINCE2®, it is usually preferred that the Project Manager belongs to the customer side.
  • The Project is also responsible for running all the principal processes except Directing a Project Process (DP).
  • The Project Manager is responsible for the Project Support and assistance and also the Team Managers.
  • In several smaller projects, where there are no Team Managers, the Project Manager can manage the team members directly. Additionally, in cases where there is project support, the support task is completely on the shoulders of the Project Manager.

5. The Team Manager Role

The role of a Team Manager is actually optional and not necessary in smaller projects. The role  of a Team Manager only comes into the scene if:

  • The Project is quite huge and requires a lot of members. Thus, a number of Team Members would be required to manage and supervise several teams from different departments and expertise.
  • Team Managers are usually required for a specific skill, skillset or knowledge of the products to be produced. For example, a project requires an individual with great expertise of JAVA to provide assistance in handling and developing the applications or programs or researching on a particular product.
  • They are also the need of the hour when the project is affected by geographical reasons. The project might include remote teams that provide assistance from remote locations, then that particular remote team is managed by a Team Manager.
  • If the project is using an external company, then it would be easier to coordinate with the Team Manager rather than all the team members directly and individually.

6. The Project Support Role

The Project Support Role

The project support role offers the following services to the project:

  • The Project Support provides administrative services to provide assistance to the Project Manager in the form of filing, distributing documents, adding documents to an IT System, etc.
  • Project support also advises and offers guidance regarding the use of project management tools and configuration management.
  • The Project Support also provides additional assistance in planning and risk management. For example, keeping the planned documents up to date and also highlighting what has been completed and what aspects of the projects are delayed.
  • The prominent responsibility of the Project Support is Configuration Management and following the guidelines under the Configuration Management Strategy Document: it is one of the four strategy documents formulated at the beginning of the project.
  • The responsibility of the Project Support is under the authority of the Project manager. To put forward in simple words, the Project Manager is responsible for the administrative duties associated with the project. Therefore, this role is not optional, however, the Project Manager can delegate this responsibility to another person or group.
  • In a case, where the Project Manager is unable to delegate this role to someone else, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to assume the role of the Project Support. This is the reason why we see many Project Managers working late in the evening and doing overtime. As they are trying to catch up on their administrative tasks and keep forgetting to plan all this in their normal working hours.

STAGE-WISE MANAGEMENT

A great way of handling a big and chunky task or project is to divide it into smaller and manageable fragments. This is the same methodology implemented in the PRINCE2® method of project management. But, instead of chunks or fragments, in PRINCE2® a different terminology is used, i.e. stages - Management Stages. The PRINCE2® methodology focuses on running and operating a project under a planned and controlled environment through a stage by stage basis.

These stages are separated and decided by the Project Board on the basis of Decision Points. After the completion of each stage, the Project Board assesses the performance of the previous stage, analyzes the plans for the next stage, and ultimately decides whether to proceed to the next stage or not. The higher the number of stages, the more control is possessed by the Project Board, but it also increases their workload. Fewer stages in a project require less amount of work from the Project Board which indicates that the Senior Management will have less control over the project.  

The division of a project into stages has some advantages as mentioned below:

  • It allows the project to be divided into smaller and simpler fragments that can be easily managed.
  • It leads to a high-level plan for the project and a very detailed Stage Plan.
  • It also incorporates learning from the previous stages while devising a plan for the upcoming stages.

There should be a minimum of two management stages in a project under a PRINCE2® project environment:

Stages in the project Environment

  • The Initiation Stage
  • The Management Stage

The Closing a Project process is the last part of the second stage in a two-stage project.

In this manner a particular PRINCE2® project is controlled, managed, and monitored on a stage by stage basis.

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What is SMART in Project & how to get Successful Outcomes

What are SMART goals? How are they used to ensure the best outcomes of business projects? Clearly, every company regardless of the size must establish attainable goals to continue developing and improving the operations. The project planning process therefore needs an effective way to determine stages, objectives, and results and SMART goals are the best at helping businesses to accomplish that. What is SMART? Internet sources give different definitions of this term but the most widely used one states that SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. It is one of the most effective methods to measure project stages and outcomes used in business today and can be used by individuals and teams. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one could ask the following questions regarding the project to develop SMART goals that ensure successful outcomes. S: what is specific about the goal/objective? M: can the goal be measured? A: can the goal be achieved? R: can the goal be considered as relevant to performance expectations? T: What time is needed to complete the task? When can it be completed? Let’s review an example to make sure you know how to develop goals that meet the criteria above. For example, let’s assume that your project has the following goal: Increase the conversions on the company’s landing page. What do you think? Does this goal meet the SMART criteria? Obviously, it doesn’t because it lacks many critical elements, so can serve as a draft rather than the final version. For example, how does one “increase the conversions”? How can the person assigned to this task be sure that he or she is working on the right strategy? Also, how can they know when the goal of increasing the conversions is reached? Let’s revise that goal using the SMART approach. Each week, the landing page of the company should be updated with new promotional offers and relevant materials; they should be published on Monday. Every Friday, an analysis should be completed to determine the lead generation progress using online tools. See the difference between these two goals? The second is clearly more comprehensive and meets the SMART criteria. For example, it is specific because it defines the dates, tools, and materials, so the assigned persons won’t have any questions regarding these areas. Next, it is measurable because it has the schedule for the updates. SMART Brainstorming Let’s take an example project and follow SMART approach to setting goals and objectives so you would be familiar with the brainstorming process. Let’s imagine you are running a sports clothing company and you need to design shoes for one specific target audience: customers who will use them to play basketball. At this point, you should remember that the project scope needs to be defined before you engage in creating SMART goals. S (Specific): we have a task to design new shoes for street basketball players. Apparently, many companies have done the same job before us, so we need to be unique in our approach to ensure product differentiation and something to highlight in our advertising materials. To do that, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: what can be done to improve the models developed by other companies? Do basketball players prefer their shoes to be light or heavy? Can we consider the use of recycled materials for manufacturing? These and other questions will define the specific features of the shoes that need to be developed. M (Measure): to make sure we completed this stage, the measurement of the design’s success needs to be developed. It will allow to evaluate the final model and test it both by you and your customers. Companies today use different tools to measure the goals of projects, with project tracking tools being the most popular ones. For example, admission-service company that employ many writers from different countries often use Zoho Projects because it allows free unlimited users option and provides great communication opportunities. A (Attainability): every stakeholder in the project must be ensured that it is achievable by using the existing resources of the company. If some additional resources are needed, you can develop a plan that outlines the amount of loan and the time when the product will provide returns above the initial investment. At this point, you should also access the risks associated with the production of the prototype pair. R (Realistic): when we have the risks under control and the resources ready to begin the production, it is necessary to ensure that all goals set in the project are realistic and doable. Will the customers who play basketball like these shoes? Did the management set reasonable goals that can actually be achieved? T (Time): the SMART approach considers time-based goals as critical for the project success, so the management has to ask the right questions and give the right answers before engagement. If the company needs to have the new shoes in the sports shops by the summer shopping season, will it be able to meet this deadline? Also, what are the possible challenges that it can encounter along the way? How to ensure that everything is considered? Experienced entrepreneurs say that mind mapping software are one of the best ways to implement SMART goals because they allow to include many factors. Indeed, these tools are awesome because they create mind maps with detailed notes, colored branches, and nodes, images, messages, answers. Moreover, they allow collaboration with team members and even real-time chat. As the result, every aspect of the project gets discussed and planned. Conclusion A goal without proper planning is nothing more than a wish. This attitude is clearly unacceptable in business because the one can win only if provides necessary planning. SMART goals are a way to ensure that project outcomes are achieved in an organized and careful way, which gives a great competitive advantage. Using them will place you ahead of others and enhance your business, so don’t hesitate to try this amazing method.
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What is SMART in Project & how to get Successf...

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What is PRINCE2®

PRINCE2® is one of the methodologies which will lend you a helping hand in managing your project in a successful manner.In this article, we will discuss its various aspects, just enough to provide you with the perfect launching platform to comprehend everything about PRINCE2®, all the information that you will need before you dive in for more details later on.Not only that, you will also get an overview of how you need to engage yourself with this project management method.Let us begin with the basics.What is PRINCE2®?PRINCE2®, an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, in fact, is a process-based method to manage any project effectively.One of the frequently-used project management methods, PRINCE2® is used by many people and organisations from various sectors and industries. It is practical, flexible, and innovative. Whatever project it may be, whether it is about constructing a flyover, developing software, or even putting forward an advertising campaign, the themes, processes, and principles of PRINCE2® will help you realise all of them. This method belongs to the public domain, and provides a generic but the best guidance to managing any project.Here are the key features of PRINCE2®:Focus on business justificationDefined organisation structure for the project management teamProduct-based planning approachEmphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stagesFlexibility that can be applied at a level appropriate to the project.History of PRINCE2®PRINCE2® originated from PROMPT II (Project Resource Organisation Management Planning Techniques).PRINCE was originally based on PROMPT, a project management method created by Simpact Systems Ltd in 1975, and adopted by CCTA in 1979 as the standard to be used for all Government information system projects.In the year 1989, a version of PROMPT II was adopted as a UK Government standard for information systems (IT) project management by CCTA, Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency. In June 2010, the Office of Government Commerce Best Practice Management functions moved into the Cabinet Office.However, it was renamed in a Civil Service competition to ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments’. In a short span of time, PRINCE was applied even outside the IT environment, both in the UK Government and private sectors.On PRINCE being launched in the year 1989, it effectively superseded PROMPT within Government projects. PRINCE remains in the public domain and the crown holds its copyright. PRINCE2® was published in 1996, having been contributed to by an association of some 150 European organisations.PRINCE2® was released in the year 1996 as a common project management method.Since then, it has gained increasing popularity, and now it is a de-facto standard for project management in many UK Government departments and across the United Nations systems as well.After being revised again in the year 2009, the acronym was changed, this time to ‘PRojects IN a Controlled Environment’.Ever since PRINCE2® was launched (1996), it has undergone two significant revisions:‘PRINCE2®:2009 Refresh’ in the year 2009‘PRINCE2® 2017’ Update in 2017Which are the most popular regions for PRINCE2®?As you came to know in the section above, PRINCE2® was born in the UK, and later on, this methodology took many regions of the world by storm. Its simple, yet effective themes, processes, and terminologies have brought a new perspective in the world of project management.Till date, the UK has more PRINCE2® certificate holders than any other country across the globe. But now, there are more certificate holders across the rest of the world.According to the Axelos 2016 report:88% of PRINCE2® certificate holders said it had been valuable to their career85% of practitioners stated that PRINCE2® certification has been useful current roleOver 80% of professionals surveyed see the value of working in an agile way.Meanwhile, along with the massive global presence and momentum of PRINCE2®, there are already many established countries that adopted PRINCE2® .Here are the most traditionally popular PRINCE2® regions:UKThe NetherlandsAustraliaEastern and Western Europe – Poland, Denmark, GermanyIt has been some years now, and PRINCE2® has really strengthened its grip in the economic market of superpowers like India and China. In the year, 2012, PRINCE2® examinations in India increased by 168%. A year later, the increase in the rate of examination in China overtook India. These figures look perfect for the project managers. China and India both are ambitious nations and it makes complete sense about why they have adopted PRINCE2® methodology for their projects.More current figures from AXELOS, represent the regions going through the biggest increase in PRINCE2® examinations with every passing year:Why do I need to implement PRINCE2® in my organisation?Well, as stated earlier, PRINCE2® is a high standard method for project management. But what makes it stand out from the other methodologies?Simply because it is adaptable and flexible. Let us elaborate on this.The reason why PRINCE2® is adaptable and flexible is that it represents years of best practice in project management. It focuses on a diverse variety of disciplines and activities, ones which are important while driving a project, and emphasises on the direction the project needs to head towards, that is, ‘Why’, ‘When’, and for ‘Who to’.What it has to provide your organisation with are stated below-It provides a common and seamless approach.Helps in keeping a project organised throughout the process.Repeated and timely reviews of progress are made against plan and Business case flexible decision pointsEnsures that the project continues to meet the business requirements.Provides flexible decision points.Aids to management control of any deviations from the plan if there are anyThe involvement of management and stakeholders at the right time and place during the project.Helps in maintaining good communication channels between the project, project management, and the rest of the organisation.Provides a method of capturing and sharing lessons learnt.Secures a pathway to increasing the project management skills and competences of the organisation's staff at all levels.All right, but why use a project management methodology?It has been known from various surveys that the project managers of high-performing projects are most likely to have been PRINCE2® certified. It enables them to manage the project, take risks, and have control over the use of resources.Since PRINCE2® and its methods are widely renowned and understood, it provides a common language for all the members in a project.It represents years of project management best practice that provides information about a lot of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to the participants in a project.With PRINCE2®, it will become easy for you to maintain a flexible and improved communication system throughout the project by employing Agile methods.Tell me about the training and certificationsPRINCE2® certification is awarded by AXELOS, and in order to get the certification, the user needs to take part in a training course with an Accredited Training Organisation, after which the user needs to sit for an examination. There are three ways to undertake the course: Virtual, Online, and Classroom. Trainers must be re-accredited once in every 3 years and undergo a surveillance check once every year.However, PRINCE2® examinations are either undergone:As a part of a PRINCE2® accredited training course through your PRINCE2® training providerOnlineAt a public PRINCE2® examination centre.Whichever option you select, the PRINCE2® examinations you appear for will have the same style and structure.There are four levels of certification for PRINCE2®:1. PRINCE2® 2017 Foundation: This level of certification confirms that the holder has adequate knowledge and understanding of the method of PRINCE2® and is qualified to work in a project management team using the very method.If you opt for this, then you must be able to:Describe the motive and major content of all roles, the seven principles, the seven themes, and the seven processes.State which management products considered as input or output by using the seven processes.State the main purpose and key contents of the major management products.State the relationships between processes, deliverables, roles, and the management dimensions of a project.2. PRINCE2® 2017 Practitioner: This level of certification confirms that the holder has developed an adequate understanding of the way the concepts of PRINCE2® can be applied in a certain given scenario and will be able to apply the same in a real project scenario under proper guidance. However, qualified PRINCE2® Practitioners who pursue the APMP qualification of the Association for Project Management (APM), are not eligible to attend certain topics of the syllabus, ones that are covered in PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification.         If you go for this, then you must be able to:Produce detailed explanations of all principles, themes, and processes and worked examples of all PRINCE2® products as they might be applied to address the particular circumstances of a given project scenario.Show that you comprehend the relationships between principles, themes, and processes and PRINCE2® products and can apply this understanding.Demonstrate that you understand the reasons behind the principles, themes, and processes of PRINCE2® and that you understand the principles underpinning these elements.Demonstrate your ability to tune PRINCE2® to different project circumstances.The examinees are strongly advised to read the book and review the test exams time and time again.3. PRINCE2® Agile Foundation:This level of certification was released in June 2018 and establishes the fact that the holder has sufficient knowledge and understanding of PRINCE2® and the Agile way of working and is able to work in a project management team by combining the concepts of both.4. PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner: This level of certification identifies the holder as being able to implement the principles of PRINCE2® in project management and apply the concepts of Agile, such as Scrum and Kanban.So, in a brief, to get PRINCE2® Agile Foundation or Agile Practitioner certification, you need to:Show that you understand the basic concepts of the common agile ways of workingShow that you understand the purpose and context for combining PRINCE2® and the agile way of workingDemonstrate your ability to fix and flex the six aspects of a project in an agile contextDemonstrate the ability to tailor the PRINCE2® principles, themes, processes and management products to a project in an agile context.You can visit our link to know more about PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Certification TrainingWhat is the process of Examination?Although you were informed about the four levels of certification in the previous section, the examination format varies accordingly.We will provide you with a brief insight on each format and the prerequisites so that you get a general idea about the same before selecting a course with us.So, here are the four examination formats.The PRINCE2® Foundation Examination format:The duration of examination is 60 minutes.There will be a total of 60 questions.It will be a closed-book examination.You will need to have at least 33 out of 60 questions correct, that is, a pass mark of 55%.Prerequisites: There are no specific pre-conditions for the Foundation level certification.You may study this on your own or as take it as a prerequisite to the PRINCE2® Practitioner course.However, with respect to the PRINCE2® Certification Requirements, while it is not mandatory, having a basic knowledge of managing projects is always preferred.The PRINCE2® Practitioner Examination format:The duration of examination is 60 minutes.There will be a total of 68 questionsYou will need to have at least 38 out of 68 questions correct, that is, a pass mark of 55%.It will be an open-book exam (official PRINCE2® manual only).However, if you take the examination in your native language, then the duration of the same will be for 150 minutes. If not, it will be for 188 minutes. The distribution of the questions will be as follows:35 questions from the theme25 questions from the processesAnd 8 questions from the principles.Prerequisites:In order to appear for the PRINCE2® Practitioner examination, you must be able to provide a proof of passing one of the following exams:PRINCE2® FoundationProject Management Professional (PMP)Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager)IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager)IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate).The PRINCE2® Agile Examination format:It will be an objective test.There will be 50 questions, each worth one mark.You will need a score at least 30 marks to pass (out of 50 available), that is, 60%.The test duration will be of two-and-a-half hours (150 minutes), no additional reading time.It will be an open-book exam (official PRINCE2® Agile guide only)What are the Prerequisites?In order to sit for the PRINCE2® Agile examination, you must have a Registered PRINCE2® Practitioner status (i.e. hold a current PRINCE2® Practitioner certificate).But why should I get PRINCE2® Certified?There are many reasons why it is recommended to study PRINCE2®.The most notable of them are:It is the industry standardIf you are looking to work in project management, then your search ends at PRINCE2®.PRINCE2® is a qualification that is recognised worldwide, one that is approved by the UK government as a best practice for project management. It has turned into an important benchmark of capability within the industry, and is considered an important requirement for those looking to further their project management careers.It helps in gaining First Class Project Management SkillsPRINCE2® offers the skills that will make you confident about managing projects with success. The key element it follows is using a common language, systems, and procedures. What results is you being able to govern resources and risks with fewer mistakes, but the incidents will teach you and your team how to learn from the same mistakes.Irrespective of the type of project, organisation, or industry one is involved with, PRINCE2® is adaptable enough to be seamlessly adjusted, not to forget the immense amount of time, money, and effort it saves.The time taken for you to qualify will not take longIt will not take you long to complete all the certifications of PRINCE2®. Their duration is from 20 to 50 hours for the entry-level PRINCE2® Foundation level, two to three days for the PRINCE2® Practitioner and Professional levels.The first level can be studied online. You can take your own time in scheduling your studies according to the time table. However, if you desire to finish your qualifications at a quicker pace, then there are a host of bundled packages having different classifications together.It assists you in shaping your career by getting better jobsHaving a PRINCE2® certification adds credibility to your CV. It is a renowned international product which has the quality method for managing any project. According to Arras People's 2011 survey, half of the people who opted for the same have certifications in PRINCE2®. This clearly explains why so many companies are hiring candidates who are certified in PRINCE2®.The 2016 AXELOS PRINCE2® survey shows that a majority of the surveyees, particularly from Germany and the Netherlands, felt that PRINCE2® certification is essential for a better career growth. The ones to opine otherwise stood at less than 10% of the total votes.A better future is accomplished by continuously being equipped with the best of the upgrades available and a PRINCE2® certification is one of those top-tier choices.It will qualify you to earn more moneyMany companies worldwide offer an average annual salary of around $42,380 to PRINCE2® Foundation certified candidates. Potential candidates could earn up to $66,206 after they complete their PRINCE2® Practitioner certification,So, being PRINCE2® certified helps you secure your financial benefits and career on a long-term basis.You will be open to more opportunities globallyIt is a fact. PRINCE2® qualifications are recognised and acclaimed globally. So, there is no doubt that it creates more opportunities for you globally.Did you ever dream of working abroad? If yes, then project management could be the ideal choice.What is the cost of the components of the certification?Whether it is PRINCE2® Foundation or PRINCE2® Practitioner, the total cost is split into various segments and varies from country to country and from one accredited training organisation to another. All the fees mentioned here have approximate values and may be subjected to change depending on the region.The components involved in the PRINCE2® certification cost are:PRINCE2® TrainingPRINCE2® examCost of Sample Examination papersStudy GuideMembership fee.Well, opting for a PRINCE2® course online means that the cost of your training component in PRINCE2® could be as low as under $300, considering that you go for a PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations bundle. Choosing this combination will give you access to the entire course lasting for a year. Some training providers offer such courses for just $60, provided you want to complete the same within a month. Generally, the Foundation examination could cost around $900 but you automatically would end up paying much less on the PRINCE2® certification if you get one of those bundled courses including both PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations.However, in case you think about attending a classroom training, then you may have to pay around $1000 for your PRINCE2® certification. A few of these PRINCE2® courses cover the cost of the PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification examinations. So keep the cost of the PRINCE2® certification in mind if you are planning to go for PRINCE2® training. Moreover, take time to pay attention to the extent of course coverage, flexibility and the bundled services that are provided. This will help you cut down on the cost of PRINCE2® certification.PRINCE2® course onlineIf you go for a PRINCE2® course online, you will save a lot of money on the PRINCE2® examination cost. PRINCE2® course online for the Foundation level may cost you €450 or more, but the classroom session may cost €1000 or more. Speaking of PRINCE2® examination cost, you will be able to save quite a lot of money by going for the online course.And what about the future of PRINCE2® professionals?To determine if the PRINCE2® certifications are worth going for, you will need to have a look at the average salaries of the jobs targeted at PRINCE2® certified Project Managers.The average salary of PRINCE2® certified employees is around $85,000 to $90,000.        A number of studies and surveys demonstrate the fact that PRINCE2® certified professionals earn more than their non-certified peers.You may start with the job role of a coordinator or an administrator, but you can rise up to a director’s position with the aid of a PRINCE2® certification.With the help of a PRINCE2® certification, you also become skilled in handling project delivery successfully, thus becoming an invaluable asset to your company.A PRINCE2® certification imparts knowledge on how to manage your resources on the project effectively. Moreover, you will be able to effectively take care of risks and hence aid businesses more.Axelos survey revealed that individuals feel that PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner Certification is an invaluable asset for them irrespective of their position.In a nutshell, if you compare the PRINCE2® foundation exam costs, your salary should range from $33,000 to $ 93,000. Hence you can justify the costs of learning PRINCE2® with the staggering salary. Like we mentioned at the beginning of this article, PRINCE2® certified professionals are in high demand in the major companies throughout the world.You will be a sought-after person when your peers and organisation become aware of your skills in project management.ConclusionAll the information and discussion shared above is just the tip of the iceberg of information about PRINCE2®. There are more to follow in our subsequent articles having every useful information that will help you choose your career options, especially when you are standing at the crossroads of selecting the appropriate one for your future.We wish you all the best on your journey to pursuing excellence!
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What is PRINCE2®

PRINCE2® is one of the methodologies which will l... Read More