The word “small” in the term small project roughly denotes the size which is less than normal. But in global firms, ‘small’ is synonymous with a budget of millions. In smaller organizations, it may stand for a budget of thousands. Thus, the meaning of the word ‘small’ varies from one entity to the other.
Many people are under the impression that the small-scale projects are easily manageable and do not need much effort to complete. However, without the best practices guidance set, any project can get discarded completely. In an organization, teams can work successfully only if proper guidance sets are made available to them. Often, due to the lack of communication, the project managers are compelled to digress from the PRINCE2 framework. Here are a few guidelines to handle such problems and give you an idea how to adopt PRINCE2 in smaller projects.
Managing Communication Problem:
It is natural to think that if you are working in a small scale project, there will be an easy and smooth communication between the team members, as everyone is working closely together. But this may not always be the case. You cannot directly presume that the team members know their individual roles and responsibilities very well.
As a Project Manager, you should assign specific tasks to your team members. To keep all the members on track, it is good to assign the tasks regularly based on the daily scrums. Scrum is nothing but the decisions made by the team members collaboratively. Even if the project is progressing in an unperturbed manner, you have to arrange daily meetings and assign tasks to the team members.
If the team members communicate collaboratively, the project advances towards the proper outcome. Alongside the internal communication and status updates, it is good to have external communications also. If you do not communicate externally, the sponsors will automatically get detached from the small-scale projects, treating them as a lower priority. Hence to keep the sponsors engaged in the small-scale projects, the Project Managers should try to be in touch with the sponsors always.
Managing with the problem of deviation from PRINCE2:
Prince2 is readily adaptable in smaller projects also, which by all means, is a great news for people engaged in smaller projects. However, some project managers are not implementing the principles followed in Prince2 application. They are just using the name Prince2 as a ‘brand’ in their projects. They are considering Prince2 only for its reputation, instead of making use of its best practices. Those projects run merely on PINO, which means Prince In Name Only. PINO is mostly predominant in the small-scale projects. To make sure that your project is working smoothly using Prince2, you should conform to the following principles in every step-
- Make sure that the project is justified and remains uniform throughout its delivery.
- Ensure a clarity of the roles and responsibilities.
- Split the project into phases for planning and control.
- Define acceptance levels and authority limits.
- Focus on your project and achieve the best quality in a limited time-span.
By using these principles, your project will be more controlled than a PINO project. Moreover, you can make use of a Tailored version of Prince2 processes, as follows.
- You can merge start-up phase with initiation, which can be completed in an hour.
- Merging a controlled stage with product delivery.
- Merging the planning stage with the project plan which includes tolerance agreement.
- Finally, delivery can be done in a single stage.
The processes which are mentioned here, may not be suitable for every project. The project environment can also impact the performance of the project! For a project Manager with a repertoire of experience, it is easy to analyze the work environment and determine the right changes necessary in the project.