PRINCE2® Structure - Novel Project Management Practice

PRINCE2 stands for Projects In Controlled Environments. It is a process-based project management methodology. It offers a well-defined and researched framework along with training and certifications. Being widely used across various countries, PRINCE2 has a broader scope. Hence is applicable for managing projects in various industries. In this article, let us look at the structure of the PRINCE2 project management methodology.

What Is PRINCE2® Structure?

Every project management methodology has a defined and standardized structure. The principles and aspects are clear and concise and form the base of the entire framework. The basic structure of PRINCE2 is in such a way that resources and risks are managed effectively by dividing the entire project into smaller stages or tasks.

Along the process, the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. A seven-step process helps manage the project life cycle along six aspects. The seven-step PRINCE2 process helps cover all the aspects of a project right from start to finish. Let us have a look at the principles, aspects, processes, and themes that constitute the PRINCE2 structure.

Seven Principles of PRINCE2®

For a project management methodology to be considered PRINCE2 the following seven principles must be adhered to.

Continued Business Justification

Every project must be able to justify itself in terms of value offered to customers, the return expected out of the investment, and practical benefits. A business case is a document that explains this. It is revised post successful reviews throughout the project life cycle. So essentially a project ends if it is not viable.

Learn From Experience and Feedback

Previous project outcomes are the most important resources for an organization. Hence proper methods must be devised to capture these experiences and feedback. This will make sure that past mistakes are not repeated. A lesson log is a document that records all the learned lessons. For better execution, a lesson log must be referred to throughout the project life cycle.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities

It is important for every team member to know the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the project. This helps in forming a proper channel for conflict resolution and decision-making. The structure of people in a project includes corporate, board members for the project, project manager(s), and team members.

Micromanagement/Manage by Stages

PRINCE2 ensures a stage-by-stage process in which a bigger project is broken down into smaller manageable tasks or stages. An update on the business risk and project plan is done when moving from one stage to another.

Manage by Exception

For every project, tolerances are defined. Defining these tolerance limits eliminates unnecessary intervention from the project managers and board members. They get intimated only if the tolerance limit is exceeded.

Focus on Products

Every team member must be aware of the product to be expected in advance. It is important since work activities are determined by product features and requirements. By doing so, the structure ensures that product quality is not compromised at any point.

Tailor to Suit the Project Environment

PRINCE2 is a flexible project management methodology. It can be scaled and tailored based on the project requirements. It can be tailored to fit the project using factors such as size, importance, complexity, risk, and time.

Six Aspects of PRINCE2®

The six aspects include areas that have to be managed and monitored in every project. PRINCE2 methodology helps in achieving this by devising Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for every aspect. The following are the six aspects of the PRINCE2 project management methodology −


The scope of a project involves the work to be done. It should be explained in detail in the project plan.


The costs of a project must be mentioned in detail in the project plan. And it must be measured regularly by setting tolerance limits.


The project duration of each stage or project phase must be mentioned in the project plan.


Identifying risks is vital to a project’s health. A risk management approach must be used to prepare risk mitigation plans.


The expected quality must be clearly defined based on proper communication with the clients and stakeholders. In order to meet the specified quality standards, quality control techniques and assurance procedures must be used.


Cost-benefit analysis and business case documents must be prepared for every project. This will help identify various benefits and values created.

Seven Step PRINCE2® Process

The PRINCE2 methodology makes use of the following seven-step process for managing projects.

Start the Project

A project brief, details stage plan, and business case document are created to understand if a project is viable or not. In addition, a trigger document and due diligence must be created before the project starts.

Initiate the Project

At this step, the six aspects of a project viz. Scope, costs, timescales, risk, quality, and benefits are defined.

Direct the Project

Activities in this step include authorizing the initiation and various stages of a project. In addition, direction is given by the respective authorities whenever required.

Control Stages

At this stage, tasks are assigned, work is monitored, issues are resolved, and progress is reported by the project manager.

Manage Product Delivery

In this step, acceptance, execution, and delivery of the work packages take place.

Manage Stage Boundary

In this step, the project manager first updates the board members with updates on the current stage and presents a plan for the upcoming stage. Secondly, the project board reviews the updates on the current stage and approves the upcoming stage based on the information provided.

Close the Project

The project goals and objectives must be achieved at this stage. Certain mandatory activities like product handover, project evaluation, and recommendations have to be done. This step marks the official project closure.


PRINCE2 has a standardized and well-established project management structure that is enabled through its seven principles and six aspects. Its novel project management techniques are implemented by following a seven-step process right from project initiation to closure. Organizations can make use of such a novel and reliable methodology to ensure project success.