Here in his next instalment of 'A Good Night Out with PRINCE2®', lead PRINCE2® trainer at SPOCE Project Management, Richard Lampitt takes us through the 2nd PRINCE2® stage. If a good night out was a project and we wanted to run this PRINCE2® style, how would it all look? This week, he takes us through the next project stage 'Initiating a Project', the planning and scope of the project.

It’s said that PRINCE2© is adaptable and can be tailored to suit any type and size of project in any environment. So, let’s put that to the test shall we and see how the various elements of PRINCE2, such as the Processes, Themes, Roles and Management Products relate to a small, straightforward project involving the organising and hosting of ‘A Good Night Out’, perhaps in my home county of Dorset!

The following are just some examples, NOT the ‘full’ detailed picture!

Tailoring examples are shown in blue text.

Initiating a Project


Plans the project and sets up the project management controls/approaches to ensure a solid foundation is set for the project. Ensures all the key stakeholders understand what we’re going to do, why, where, when, who’s involved and at what cost.

Covers all the work required of the first stage (Initiation Stage).

Plans the main scope of the night out (project); States when it will take place and where, and what attendees will be doing until when and at what cost, by creating the (Project Plan) (PlansTheme). The Project Plan shows what needs to be done and produced to deliver the final ‘project product’ which will be the ‘Organised and Hosted Night Out’, which had a (Project Product Description) (Quality Theme and Plans Theme) written for it during the ‘Starting Up a Project’ Process.The Project Plan will be a simple high-level ‘checklist’ of the major products, activities, resources and timings, and include the product descriptions for the products to be developed by the project, as well as the Project Product Description for the overall project product (‘Organised and Hosted Night Out’).The ‘Organised and Hosted Night Out’ is composed of the following major products: ‘Venue’, ‘Attendees’, ‘Invite Email’, ‘Food Menu’, ‘Drinks Menu’,‘Event Schedule’ and a ‘Bar Games List’, each requiring a (Product Description) (Plans Theme) to be written for them.

These Product Descriptions will simply include each product’s purpose and their related (quality criteria) (Quality Theme) which they need to meet for the products to be considered as being fit for purpose. They set tolerances (Progress Theme) for some of the quality criteria). The product’s to be created will show the overall scope of the project and be included within the Project Plan (as mentioned above). They used MoSCoW prioritization technique (Plans Theme) to set scope tolerance (Progress Theme). For example, the Food Menu and Bar Games List were both a ‘MUST’ have, whereas the Drinks Menu was considered a ‘COULD’ have.

Checks the overall estimated planned cost from the (Project Plan) (Plans Theme) of the evening to see if it’s still cost effective. Checks there are sufficient (benefits) (Business Case Theme) to be gained and the night out has an overall acceptable level of (risk) (Risk Theme) associated with it.

Sets out how uncertainties (risks) will be identified and managed (Risk Management Approach) (Risk Theme), e.g. the risk of someone over indulging, or the risk of bad weather conditions affecting any outside bar games! Oh, and all other risks which are associated with lots of eating and drinking!! This will be a simple statement of the procedure to follow for such situations to be captured, assessed for probability and impact and managed prior to and during the night out! Zero tolerance was set against any risks (threats) to people’s welfare when playing certain pub games!

Sets out how any problems and changes (issues) to the night’s plans should be handled (Change Control Approach) (Change Theme), e.g. what to do if someone does become unwell and the night’s plans need to be altered! This will be a simple statement of the procedure to follow for such issues to be identified, captured, assessed for impact and managed prior to and during the night out!

A (Change Authority role) should be appointed to decide on any required changes to the evening’s agreed plans. The Project Board and Project Manager will share the (Change Authority role) (Change Theme and Organization Theme). Some extra money (change budget) (Change Theme and Plans Theme) could be set aside in case any extra, or different meals and drinks are requested in addition to what had been originally agreed, or additional taxis are needed to take people home!

Sets out how the expected level of quality of the venue, standard of food, drinks and fundraising bar games will be achieved. (Quality Management Approach) (Quality Theme). This will be a simple statement of the standards expected, e.g. venue, food and hygiene standards, and how they will be assessed.

Identifies who the night out will be of most interest to (key ‘user’ stakeholders), so that we can send them an invite. Decides what, how and when communication should happen with any other interested parties (Communication Management Approach) (Organization Theme), e.g. communicating with partners and other family members during the night out to let them know all’s going well! This will be a simple list showing who will communicate with who, how and when.

Defines the details of how and when a review of the (expected benefits) of holding the night out will be made (Benefits Management Approach) (Business Case Theme), so that we’ll know whether the night out really was successful and whether such a night out will be worth arranging again in the future, e.g. did we raise the amount of money for charity we were expecting to? This will be a simple table in a document showing the expected benefits and how, when and by whom they will be reviewed.

Sends all the details of the proposed night out and how it will be managed to the (Project Board) in the form of a (PID) (Project Initiation Documentation), AKA Pubs In Dorset! The Project Manager now waits for the formal ‘go-ahead’…or not! (ALL PRINCE2 Themes are relevant to the PID). The PID was a simple document, made up of just 4 double-sided pages!

Richard is the lead PRINCE2 trainer at SPOCE Project Management and runs many of our classroom and virtual classroom courses. If you are interested in finding out more about project sucess and the fundamentals of planning then why not contact us on...

Call; 0800 177 7623 / 0800 17 SPOCE