Many of us are aware of the manual Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® – often referred to as the “PRINCE2 book” or the purple book. In a succinct 327 pages, it explains the PRINCE2® (Projects IN Controlled Environments) structured project management method for project managers and team members.
Few of us are aware that there is a second manual aptly named Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 (the blue book) which in a mere 166 pages (including glossary and index) looks at the world renowned project management method, specifically from the viewpoint of helping senior managers (think sponsors and steering committees – or in PRINCE2-speak executives and project board) direct project work. Novel thought, hey?
It reveals answers for those burning questions often left unvoiced by those of us sponsoring/directing projects including:
- What is expected of me as Sponsor/Executive?
- More importantly, what should I expect of my Project Manager (PM)?
- How do I really know that my PM is using PRINCE2 appropriately for the project and our organisation?
- I need to delegate, but how do I keep control?
- What decisions should I be making?
- What information will there be for me to make those decisions?
- How do we tailor and adapt PRINCE2 depending on the size and type of projects we are doing?
- What really does an effective PRINCE2 Project Board (steering committee) look like?
All these questions and more are covered off neatly in this Directing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 manual without getting bogged down into the day-to-day nitty-gritty of the project manager’s role (which is of course covered off in the “standard” PRINCE2 manual).
In addition it deftly includes an 8-point project board duties checklist on project senior management duties and behaviours:
- Be accountable for the project
- Provide unified direction
- Delegate effectively
- Facilitate cross-functional integration
- Commit resources
- Ensure effective decision making
- Support the Project Manager
- Ensure effective communication
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