PRINCE2 seven principles

PRINCE2 derives its methods from 7 core principles. Collectively, these principles provide a framework for good practice and are the guiding obligations:

1. Continued Business Justification

A project must make good business sense. There needs to be a clear return on investment and the use of time and resources should be justified.

2. Learn from Experience

Project teams should take lessons from previous projects into account. A lessons log is kept updated for this purpose.

3. Define Roles and Responsibilities

Everyone involved in a project should know what they and others are doing. This includes knowing who the decision makers are.

4. Manage by Stages

Difficult tasks are better off broken into manageable chunks, or management stages.

5. Manage by Exception

A project running well doesn’t need a lot of intervention from managers. The project board is only informed if there is or might be a problem.

6. Focus on Products

Everyone should know ahead of time what’s expected of the product. Product requirements determine work activity, not the other way around.

7. Tailor to the Environment

PRINCE2 can be scaled and tailored. Projects that adapt PRINCE2 to their needs are more likely to succeed than projects that use PRINCE2 dogmatically.

Source: PRINCE2.com

PRINCE2 2017 – Full one hour overview of PRINCE2 from Mandate to Closure

One of the best overviews of how PRINCE2 works by Antony della Porta of  The Sustainable PM

This video looks at getting the project started with the activities, and any documents recommended and take you up to a point at the end of Initiating a Project and being ready (hopefully) to kick the delivery part of the project off in earnest. Run the plan!

The message is that we need to start with a broad yet formal understanding of the “Why What and How” of the project in “Starting Up a Project” and build on the that with more detail through “Initiating a Project.” At the end of “Starting Up a Project,” the next step is to go to “Directing a Project” (which is where the Project Board function for direction and decision) to “Request Initiate a Project” and kicks off this Process. Note that even though the Project Executive is on board from Starting Up a Project, it is only when “Starting Up a Project” is complete, and the Project Brief is ready along with the Initiating Stage Plan, does “Directing a Project” start.

“Step at a time” – “Detail builds with each step” so we can keep in control and by that I mean from a “Governance” perspective, so we do NOT have a “runaway train.” In “Initiating a Project” we look at Planning as this is the key activity here. We need to understand the products (product breakdown), so then we can prioritize, estimate and then Plan. This helps us update all the project documents we started in “Starting Up a Project” to provide the business with the best information they need to make an “informed decision” as to whether the project is worth the investment or not. The underlying point here is to understand and agree on the project “Scope”!

Should we get the “Green Light” at the end of “Initiating a Project” we then move into the “Delivery” part, “Controlling a Stage” and “Managing Product Delivery”.

Now for the product build part, there are some separate videos that you through “Scrum” and how the core of the “Product Deliver” approach, Iterative Development, and using “Timeboxes” (Sprints in Scrum) are used to control ID. The session also explains how to use this approach in a project as there need to be some changes! We also look at handling Risk and Issues, with escalation and the “Exception” route.

Finally, the video takes you through a recap of the previous videos and then leads into “Closing a Project,” with a look both aspect, normal and premature closure.

Please note: this is not a course in itself, its a “walkthrough” to provide you with a good and reasonably detailed understanding of the approach.

PRINCE2 is a guidance and a framework to guide you through the project.

The full accredited course can be found on http://www.d-p-c.net/courses.html

You will see the course card on the Landing Page.

All the courses are run as a “Classroom” with the details drawn on a whiteboard throughout the explanation

For a full image of the new life cycle follow this link: http://bit.ly/P2-2017ProcessMap

PRINCE2®, MSP®, M_o_R® and MoP® are registered trademarks of AXELOS Limited.

PMP Formulas – Cost Variance

I started taking Project Management course, and I feel stuck at the formulas for the lack of business background, and instead of running away from it (IT IS SCARY!). I will face it by reading online materials and share it here (with proper citation) and hopefully will get feedback on whether I’m on the right track or not.

AccountingCoach costing is an important subtopic of cost accounting. Standard costs are usually associated with a manufacturing company’s costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.
Rather than assigning the actual costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead to a product, many manufacturers assign the expected or standard cost. This means that a manufacturer’s inventories and cost of goods sold will begin with amounts reflecting the standard costs, not the actual costs, of a product. Manufacturers, of course, still have to pay the actual costs. As a result there are almost always differences between the actual costs and the standard costs, and those differences are known as variances.
Standard costing and the related variances is a valuable management tool. If a variance arises, management becomes aware that manufacturing costs have differed from the standard (planned, expected) costs.
If actual costs are greater than standard costs the variance is unfavorable.
An unfavorable variance tells management that if everything else stays constant the company’s actual profit will be less than planned.
If actual costs are less than standard costs the variance is favorable.
A favorable variance tells management that if everything else stays constant the actual profit will likely exceed the planned profit.
The sooner that the accounting system reports a variance, the sooner that management can direct its attention to the difference from the planned amounts.

I think the quality of this introductory paragraphs to Cost Variance is the reason why AccountingCoach is making it the first result when you Google accounting related keywords.
The concept of Cost Variance is explained as

Cost Variance (CV)
Concept: Provides cost performance of the project. Helps determine if the project is proceeding as planned
Formula: CV = EV – AC
Result Interpretation:
Negative = over budget = bad
Positive = under budget = good

This did not sound simple when I read it first, as someone who did not come from a business background, I could not understand the formula without a scenario like the one provided by AccountingCoach.
I will try to make it a habit to post on issues that I see as problematic during my PMP training and share whatever I find.