A plan provides a statement of how and when objectives are to be achieved, by showing the major products, activities and resources required for the scope of the plan. In PRINCE2, there are three levels of plan: project, stage and team. Team plans are optional and may not need to follow the same composition as a project plan or stage plan.
An exception plan is created at the same level as the plan that it is replacing.
A project plan provides the business case with planned costs, and it identifies the management stages and other major control points. It is used by the project board as a baseline against which to monitor project progress.
Stage plans cover the products, resources, activities and controls specific to the stage and are used as a baseline against which to monitor stage progress.
Team plans (if used) could comprise just a schedule appended to the work package(s) assigned to the team manager.
A plan should cover not just the activities to create products but also the activities to manage product creation – including activities for assurance, quality management, risk management, configuration management, communication and any other project controls required.
- Plan description Covering a brief description of what the plan encompasses (i.e. project, stage, team, exception) and the planning approach
- Plan prerequisites Containing any fundamental aspects that must be in place, and remain in place, for the plan to succeed
- External dependencies That may influence the plan
- Planning assumptions Upon which the plan is based
- Lessons incorporated Details of relevant lessons from previous similar projects, which have been reviewed and accommodated within this plan
- Monitoring and control Details of how the plan will be monitored and controlled
- Budgets Covering time and cost, including provisions for risks and changes
- Tolerances Time, cost and scope tolerances for the level of plan (which may also include more specific stage- or team-level risk tolerances)
- Product descriptions (see section A.17) Covering the products within the scope of the plan (for the project plan this will include the project’s product; for the stage plan this will be the stage products; and for a team plan this should be a reference to the work package assigned). Quality tolerances will be defined in each product description
- Schedule Which may include graphical representations of:
- Gantt or bar chart
- Product breakdown structure (see Appendix D for an example)
- Product flow diagram (see Appendix D for an example)
- Activity network
- Table of resource requirements – by resource type (e.g. four engineers, one test manager, one business analyst)
- Table of requested/assigned specific resources – by name (e.g. Nikki, Jay, Francesca).