Here in this week's instalment of 'A Good Night Out with PRINCE2®', lead PRINCE2® trainer at SPOCE Project Management, Richard Lampitt takes us through two more of the all important PRINCE2® stages. 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 'Controlling a Stage' the day to day running of the project and 'Managing product delivery', where the projects products are created.

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!


Tailoring examples are shown in blue text.

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

Controlling a Stage

Manages each delivery stage of the project on a day-to-day basis. Ensures each stage is running smoothly and to the agreed plan. Takes action to resolve issues and manage risks to help keep the stage and overall project on track. Reports on stage progress to the Project Board at regular intervals. Escalates exception situations to the Project Board where tolerances are forecast to be exceeded

Involves (monitoring) (Progress Theme) against the agreed plan to check the actual rate of spend against the planned spend (in case we can’t get a taxi home due to spending too much on food and drink)! Frequent checks are made against the time to ensure we are forecast get home (when the project ends) at the original time planned and agreed. Corrective action is taken by the Project Manager, where necessary, to ensure the agreed time, cost and scope of the night out is kept to, within the agreed (tolerances) (Progress Theme).

Manages any (changes) (Change Theme) to what was planned for the night out, e.g. we didn’t plan to eat on the way home as well as at the pub, but now we do want to grab a bite to eat on the way home too! (increase in scope) (Change Theme). Any ‘actual’ drinking or eating induced problems (issues) (Change Theme) and ‘potential’ problems (risks) (Risk Theme) are identified and managed in order to help the night go as well as was intended. The issues and risks will be raised verbally, or by text message and be noted in the App (Daily Log) on the Project Manager’s phone.

Sends the Project Board regular updates via text messages (Highlight Report) (Progress Theme), on the evening’s events and informs them of any forecast deviations of agreed tolerances (Exception Report) (Progress Theme), e.g. the night is due to finish later than the agreed time tolerance! Any exception reporting will be handled verbally by phone and by text message if required.

So that people attending the night out don’t forget the fine details, the Project Manager could put little reminders to make any calls for taxis and any other notes/reminders in their mobile phone App, which would be their (Daily Log) (Progress Theme).

Checks that the (benefits expected) (Business Case Theme) are on target to be realized, e.g. the raising of money for charity from the bar games!

Managing Product Delivery

Where the planned work is undertaken to build the project’s products. Raises any issues and risks related to the work and reports on the work’s progress.

This is where the project’s products are created/obtained, such as the selection of venue, attendees, drinks menu, food menu and bar games, with frequent checks/reviews of whether the products being created are fit for purpose (quality control) (Quality Theme) , e.g. checking the food menu options will meet all dietary requirements and that the arranged bar games are going to be suitable for raising the money for charity. The work instructions (Work Package) (Progress Theme) to build the products was given verbally, along with copies of the (Product Descriptions) (Plans Theme and Quality Theme) for the products to be created. The checks and reviews undertaken on the products will be noted in the App (Daily Log) on the Project Manager’s phone.

Raises any problems (issues) (Change Theme) with the products being created, e.g. the food menu isn’t varied enough for different people’s tastes. And, potential problems (risks) (Risk Theme) that ‘might’ be encountered during the creation of the products, e.g. due to the nature of some bar games, people ‘might’ not wish to take part in them, which would lead to less funds being raised for charity! The issues and risks will be raised verbally, or by text message and be noted in the App (Daily Log) on the Project Manager’s phone.

Produces regular updates (Checkpoint Report) (Progress Theme) for the Project Manager on how things are going, e.g. every hour the bar games team give the Project Manager a quick ‘verbal’ update on what bar games have been designed. On the night, they can give a verbal update every 30 minutes on how well the games are raising funds for charity. These updates will be noted in the App (Daily Log) on the Project Manager’s phone.

In next week's blog Richard takes us through the final stage 'Closing a Project.'

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

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