PRINCE2 Agile 2016
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10.1 The PRINCE2 approach to the Organization theme

The purpose of the Organization theme is to define and establish the project’s structure of accountability and responsibilities (the who?).

10.1.1 Three project interests

The PRINCE2 principle of defined roles and responsibilities states that a PRINCE2 project will always have three primary categories of stakeholder, and the interests of all three must be satisfied if the project is to be successful. Figure 10.1 shows the three primary interests which make up the project board. PRINCE2 recommends that for completeness the project board should include representation from each of the business, user and supplier interests at all times.

Figure 10.1 The three project interests

Figure 10.1 The three project interests

  • Business The products of the project should meet a business need which will justify the investment in the project. The project should also provide value for money.
  • User PRINCE2 makes a distinction between the business interests and the requirements of those who will use the project’s outputs. The user presence is needed to specify the desired outputs and ensure that the project delivers them. The senior user(s) will represent this stakeholder interest on the project board.
  • Supplier The creation of the project’s outputs will need resources with certain skills. The supplier viewpoint should represent those who will provide the necessary skills and produce the project product. The senior supplier(s) will represent this stakeholder interest on the project board.

10.1.2 The project management team

10.1.2.1 Project management team structure

A project management team is a temporary structure specifically designed to manage the project to its successful conclusion. The structure allows for channels of communication to decision-making forums and should be backed up by role descriptions that specify the responsibilities, goals, limits of authority, relationships, skills, knowledge and experience required for all roles in the project management team. Figure 10.2 illustrates the structure of the project management team and its reporting lines.

Figure 10.2 Project management team structure

Figure 10.2 Project management team structure

10.1.2.2 Dealing with changes to the project management team

Ideally, the project manager and project board members should stay with the project throughout its life. In practice, however, this may not always be possible and the project management team may change during the project. A clearly defined team structure, together with comprehensive role descriptions outlining the responsibilities for each role, should help to alleviate disruption caused by project management team changes.

The use of management stages also allows a smooth transition for changes to the project management team. Project roles should be reviewed for the next stage during the Managing a Stage Boundary process. The use of end stage reports and stage plans can help to ensure that any handover procedure is thorough and well documented. Although ideally the project executive and project manager should stay with the project throughout its lifecycle, a stage boundary provides an opportunity to hand over the role during the project if this is necessary.

10.1.3 Working with the corporate organization

10.1.3.1 Centre of excellence

The concept of a centre of excellence is that of a central standards unit, which defines standards (such as processes, templates and tools), and provides skills, training and possibly independent assurance functions to a number of projects.

A centre of excellence can be useful where:

  • Resource shortages, either in numbers or skills, make it difficult to supply people to perform project administration for each current project
  • There are a number of small projects of a diverse nature that individually require only limited support from project support
  • There is a large programme, requiring coordination of individual projects
  • A large project requires several resources to handle project support roles.

Refer to AXELOS’s Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (OGC, 2008) for further information on the centre of excellence and its relationship to projects.

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