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P2_PC is a new pc based software product written by planning software experts that guides organisations and Project Managers through the implementation of a PRINCE2 project using a software assistant. It has a comprehensive set of suggested Checklists (processes, activities, actions and questions) for all sizes of project. It also has the ability to plan the PRINCE2 process itself with transfer of tasks/resources data to project management software (such as Microsoft Project) in order to create a Gantt chart.
For successful projects utilising PRINCE you must manage the progress of the process methodology in tandem with the project/stage plans.
We can assist organisations to customise Checklists to develop a corporate framework around which to ensure PRINCE compliance and steps the Project Manager through all the processes, actions and documents needed to run any size of project.
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P2_PC has a full set of PRINCE2 tools with full Product Planning (Product Checklist, Breakdown & Flow); Issue, Risk & Document Registers (which are optional); Work Package Breakdown and a full Checklist that includes all Processes and associated activities with Healthcheck questions after each section. The Checklist is reproduced automatically to cover extra stages after Stage 1.
P2_PC also comes with a free project management application (called Project Commander - which has all the equivalent features of, and is fully compatible with Microsoft Project). This means that new Project Managers, with no project software, can move forward to create project plans quickly at no extra cost.
The tasks in the PRINCE2 Checklist can be exported to Microsoft Project (if installed on your pc) or Project Commander or in fact to any project software that utilises a MPX file format.
In order to deliver a project under PRINCE2 - it is important that the management activities identified in PRINCE are planned as a separate project plan - as they could inhibit the progress of the actual project (unless corners are cut). The idea of PRINCE is to minimise risk and therefore the scheduling of all PRINCE tasks is imperative to the success of the actual project itself.
How you implement PRINCE2 in different organisations for different size projects is not clearly indicated by the methodology. In fact many organisations are not sure how compliant they are and many newly qualified Practitioners are confused as to the extent of what parts of PRINCE2 they should use. There also needs to be a visible audit system to ensure that all processes/activities have been performed to an acceptable level of compliance and which tasks have been omitted and why. It is also important to record when each task has been completed and by whom.
If all relevant documents and the Issue/Risk Registers are saved in the P2_PC project file - it means that anyone with access to P2_PC software can access all project documentation from one file. They do not need to know where individual documents are stored. This is due to the fact P2_PC can synchronise all documents in its' Document Register with where the files are stored (whether locally or remotely) and zip up the lastest copy into the project file.
FRAMEWORK TO MANAGE ALL PROJECT SIZES
Any organisation/Programme Manager needs to create a framework specifying how all sizes
of projects are controlled and managed by the Project Manager.
P2_PC has a number of prepared Checklists (from small projects with just one stage upwards to major projects with multiple stages) with suggested activities to cover all processes and Health Check questions to ensure that compliance is adequate. There are 5 suggested templates (both 2005 and 2009 versions) that cover small departmental projects (with a lone sponsor) to larger projects with full Project Board/Programme Management. Each Checklist clearly shows which PRINCE2 roles are responsible to carry out the task and provide an answer to healthcheck questions.
With these Checklists, even though they have been compiled with great care, there is a Checklist Generator program that allows organisations at executive level to edit the standard ones or create their own Checklists to impose the corporate standards on the Project Managers and how they deliver projects.
In the absence of the above or where guidance is lacking, the Project Manager can provide a suitable checklist for the processes and procedures that he/she will follow for a project for prior agreement with the executive.
AUDIT OF ACTIVITIES AND HEALTHCHECK QUESTIONS
The organisation needs to be able to audit that the PRINCE2 processes have been fully carried out (to ensure compliance) and record when and by who they were performed Also if they were ignored, the reasons why.
P2_PC Checklists are displayed in a spreadsheet type form that allows the Project Manager to identify names to PRINCE2 roles, when tasks are due and actually performed by date and by whom. The Checklists show which tasks are regarded as compulsory and which are optional - with the ability to record comments and current status. Also if a task has not been carried out fully or at all why. It is a feature of the Checklists that compulsory tasks have to be completed and progress shown against them - their status cannot be changed or the tasks deleted.
PRINCE2 GANTT CHART MANAGEMENT PLAN
The organisation and the Project Manager needs a management project plan (that is updated) that is fully detailed and shows the resources and timing needed in the implementation process of PRINCE2.
There is provision to fill in target dates for all processes and activities and then from that you can create a Gantt chart with full progress updates for actual and target baseline dates with % complete. The Gantt charts clearly identify Work Packages and the products to be produced within each Stage Plan as an addition at the end of the Checklist.
PRODUCTS AND WORK PACKAGES
PRINCE2 is built around identifying products (management and other) and there is a need to clearly schedule their delivery within the project plan.
Products can be clearly entered & documented in each Stage Plan and scheduled for start & delivery in Product Planning and then assigned to the relevant Team Manager in the Work Packages. This clearly gives the Project Manager and Team Managers a clear structure to deliver each and all of the products identified to be completed in the Stage.
PRINCE2 TEMPLATE LIBRARY
There is a full library of pre-formatted templates in Word format for popular Prince2 documents.