PRINCE2 Abridged Glossary

Joanna PRINCE2 Leave a Comment

This is an abridged glossary of terms from ‘Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, 2017 Edition’.

acceptance The formal act of acknowledging that the project has met agreed acceptance criteria and thereby met the requirements of its stakeholders.
acceptance criteria A prioritized list of criteria that the project product must meet before the customer will accept it (i.e. measurable definitions of the attributes required for the set of products to be acceptable to key stakeholders).
approval The formal confirmation that a product is complete and meets its requirements (less any concessions) as defined by its product description.
benefit The measurable improvement resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders.
benefits management approach An approach that defines the benefits management actions and benefits reviews that will be put in place to ensure that the project’s outcomes are achieved and to confirm that the project’s benefits are realized.
benefits tolerance The permissible deviation in the expected benefit that is allowed before the deviation needs to be escalated to the next level of management. Benefits tolerance is documented in the business case. See also tolerance.
business case The justification for an organizational activity (project), which typically contains timescales, costs, benefits and risks, and against which continuing viability is tested.
change authority A person or group to which the project board may delegate responsibility for the consideration of requests for change or off-specifications. The change authority may be given a change budget and can approve changes within that budget.
change budget The money allocated to the change authority available to be spent on authorized requests for change.
change control approach A description of how and by whom the project’s products will be controlled and protected.
checkpoint report A progress report of the information gathered at a checkpoint, which is given by a team to the project manager and which provides reporting data as defined in the work package.
communication management approach A description of the means and frequency of communication between the project and its stakeholders.
customer The person or group who commissioned the work and will benefit from the end results.
customer’s quality expectations A statement about the quality expected from the project product, captured in the project product description.
daily log A log used to record problems/concerns that can be handled by the project manager informally.
delivery approach The specialist approach used to create the products.
delivery step A step within the delivery approach.
dis-benefit A measurable decline resulting from an outcome perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders, which reduces one or more organizational objective(s).
embedding (PRINCE2) The act of making something an integral part of a bigger whole. Embedding is what an organization needs to do to adopt PRINCE2 as its corporate project management method and encourage its widespread use.
end project report A report given by the project manager to the project board, confirming the handover of all products. It provides an updated business case and an assessment of how well the project has done against the original PID.
end stage assessment The review by the project board and project manager of the end stage report to decide whether to approve the next stage plan. Depending on the size and criticality of the project, the review may be formal or informal. The authority to proceed should be documented as a formal record.
end stage report A report given by the project manager to the project board at the end of each management stage of the project. This provides information about the project’s performance during the management stage and the project status at the management stage end.
event-driven control A control that takes place when a specific event occurs. This could be, for example, the end of a management stage, the completion of the PID, or the creation of an exception report. It could also include organizational events that may affect the project, such as the end of the financial year.
exception A situation where it can be forecast that there will be a deviation beyond the tolerance levels agreed between the project manager and the project board (or between the project board and corporate, programme management or the customer).
exception assessment A review by the project board to approve or reject an exception plan.
exception plan A plan that often follows an exception report. For a stage plan exception, it covers the period from the present to the end of the current management stage. If the exception were at project level, the project plan would be replaced.
exception report A description of the exception situation, its impact, options, recommendation and impact of the recommendation. This report is prepared by the project manager for the project board.
follow-on action recommendations Recommended actions related to unfinished work, ongoing issues and risks, and any other activities needed to take a product to the next phase of its life. These are summarized and included in the end stage report (for phased handover) and end project report.
governance (corporate) The ongoing activity of maintaining a sound system of internal control by which the directors and officers of an organization ensure that effective management systems, including financial monitoring and control systems, have been put in place to protect assets, earning capacity and the reputation of the organization.
governance (project) Those areas of corporate governance that are specifically related to project activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organization’s project portfolio is aligned with the organization’s objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable.
handover The transfer of ownership of a set of products to the respective user(s). The set of products is known as a release. There may be more than one handover in the life of a project (phased delivery).
highlight report A time-driven report from the project manager to the project board on management stage progress.
inherent risk The exposure arising from a specific risk before any action has been taken to manage it.
initiation stage The period from when the project board authorizes initiation to when it authorizes the project (or decides not to go ahead with it). The detailed planning and establishment of the project management infrastructure is covered by the initiating a project process.
issue A relevant event that has happened, was not planned, and requires management action. It can be any concern, query, request for change, suggestion or off-specification raised during a project. Project issues can be about anything to do with the project.
issue register A register used to capture and maintain information on all of the issues that are being managed formally. The issue register should be monitored by the project manager on a regular basis.
issue report A report containing the description, impact assessment and recommendations for a request for change, off- specification or a problem/concern. It is created only for those issues that need to be handled formally.
key performance indicator (KPI) A measure of performance that is used to help an organization define and evaluate how successful it is in making progress towards its organizational objectives.
lessons log An informal repository for lessons that apply to this project or future projects.
log An informal repository managed by the project manager that does not require any agreement by the project board on its format and composition. PRINCE2 has two logs: the daily log and the lessons log.
management product A product that will be required as part of managing the project, and establishing and maintaining quality (e.g. highlight report, end stage report). The management products are constant, whatever the type of project, and can be used as described, or with any relevant modifications, for all projects. There are three types of management product: baselines, records and reports.
management stage The section of a project that the project manager is managing on behalf of the project board at any one time, at the end of which the project board will wish to review progress to date, the state of the project plan, the business case and risks and the next stage plan, in order to decide whether to continue with the project.
milestone A significant event in a plan’s schedule, such as completion of key work packages, a development step or a management stage.
off-specification Something that should be provided by the project, but currently is not (or is forecast not to be). It might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specifications. It is one type of issue.
outcome The result of change, normally affecting real-world behaviour and/or circumstances. Outcomes are desired when a change is conceived. They are achieved as a result of the activities undertaken to effect the change.
output A specialist product that is handed over to a user (or users). Note that management products are not outputs but are created solely for the purpose of managing the project.
plan A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something which specifies the what, when, how and by whom it will be achieved. In PRINCE2 there are only the following types of plan: project plan, stage plan, team plan and exception plan.
planning horizon The period of time for which it is possible to plan accurately.
PRINCE2 principles The guiding obligations for good project management practice that form the basis of a project being managed using PRINCE2.
problem A type of issue (other than a request for change or off-specification) that the project manager needs to resolve or escalate. Also known as a concern.
producer The person or group responsible for developing a product.
product An input or output, whether tangible or intangible, that can be described in advance, created and tested. PRINCE2 has two types of products: management products and specialist products.
product breakdown structure A hierarchy of all the products to be produced during a plan.
product description A description of a product’s purpose, composition, derivation and quality criteria. It is produced at planning time, as soon as possible after the need for the product is identified.
product flow diagram A diagram showing the sequence of production and interdependencies of the products listed in a product breakdown structure.
product-based planning A technique leading to a comprehensive plan based on the creation and delivery of required
outputs. The technique considers prerequisite products, quality requirements and the dependencies between products.
programme A temporary, flexible organization structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organization’s strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.
project A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.
project approach A description of the way in which the work of the project is to be approached. For example, are we building a product from scratch or buying in a product that already exists?
project assurance The project board’s responsibilities to assure itself that the project is being conducted correctly. The project board members each have a specific area of focus for project assurance, namely business assurance for the executive, user assurance for the senior user(s), and supplier assurance for the senior supplier(s).
project brief A statement that describes the purpose, cost, time and performance requirements, and constraints for a project. It is created before the project begins, during the starting up a project process, and is used during the initiating a project process to create the PID and its components. It is superseded by the PID and not maintained.
project closure notification Advice from the project board to inform all stakeholders and the host sites that the project resources can be disbanded and support services, such as space, equipment and access,
demobilized. It should indicate a closure date for costs to be charged to the project.
project initiation documentation (PID) A logical set of documents that brings together the key information needed to start the project on a sound basis and that conveys the information to all concerned with the project.
project initiation notification Advice from the project board to inform all stakeholders and the host sites that the project is being initiated and to request any necessary logistical support (e.g. communication facilities, equipment and any project support) sufficient for the initiation stage.
project lifecycle The period from initiation of a project to the acceptance of the project product.
project management The planning, delegating, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project, and the motivation of those involved, to achieve the project objectives within the expected performance targets for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risk.
project management team The entire management structure of the project board, and the project manager, plus any team manager, project assurance and project support roles.
project manager The person given the authority and responsibility to manage the project on a day-to-day basis to deliver the required products within the constraints agreed with the project board.
project mandate An external product generated by the authority commissioning the project that forms the trigger for starting up a project.
project plan A high-level plan showing the major products of the project, when they will be delivered and at what cost. An initial project plan is presented as part of the PID. This is revised as information on actual progress appears. It is a major control document for the project board to measure actual progress against expectations.
project product What the project must deliver in order to gain acceptance.
project product description A special type of product description used to gain agreement from the user on the project’s scope and requirements, to define the customer’s quality expectations and the acceptance criteria for the project.
project support An administrative role in the project management team. Project support can be in the form of advice and help with project management tools, guidance, administrative services such as filing, and the collection of actual data.
quality The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of a product, service, process, person, organization, system or resource fulfils requirements.
quality assurance An independent (of the project team) check that products will be fit for purpose or meet requirements.
quality control The process of monitoring specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant standards and of identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.
quality criteria A description of the quality specification that the product must meet, and the quality measurements that will be applied by those inspecting the finished product.
quality management approach An approach defining the quality techniques and standards to be applied, and the various responsibilities for achieving the required quality levels, during a project.
quality register A register containing summary details of all planned and completed quality activities. The quality register is used by the project manager and project assurance as part of reviewing progress.
quality review technique A technique with defined roles and a specific structure, designed to assess whether a product in the form of a document (or similar, such as a presentation) is complete, adheres to standards and meets the quality criteria agreed for it in the relevant product description. The participants are drawn from those with the necessary competence to evaluate its fitness for purpose.
quality tolerance The tolerance identified for a product for a quality criterion defining an acceptable range of values. Quality tolerance is documented in the project product description (for the project-level quality tolerance) and in the product description for each product to be delivered.
request for change A proposal for a change to a baseline. It is a type of issue.
reviewer A person or group independent of the producer who assesses whether a product meets its requirements as defined in its product description.
risk An uncertain event or set of events that, should it occur, will have an effect on the achievement of objectives. A risk is measured by a combination of the probability of a perceived threat or opportunity occurring, and the magnitude of its impact on objectives.
risk actionee A nominated owner of an action to address a risk. Some actions may not be within the remit of the risk owner to control explicitly; in that situation there should be a nominated owner of the action to address the risk. He or she will need to keep the risk owner apprised of the situation.
risk appetite An organization’s unique attitude towards risk- taking that in turn dictates the amount of risk that it considers acceptable.
risk management The systematic application of principles, approaches and processes to the tasks of identifying and assessing risks, planning and implementing risk responses and communicating risk management activities with stakeholders.
risk management approach An approach describing the goals of applying risk management, as well as the procedure that will be adopted, roles and responsibilities, risk tolerances, the timing of risk management interventions, the tools and techniques that will be used, and the reporting requirements.
risk owner A named individual who is responsible for the management, monitoring and control of all aspects of a particular risk assigned to them, including the implementation of the selected responses to address the threats or to maximize the opportunities.
risk register A record of identified risks relating to an initiative, including their status and history.
risk response Actions that may be taken to bring a situation to a level where exposure to risk is acceptable to the organization. These responses fall into a number of risk response categories.
risk response category A category of risk response. For threats, the individual risk response category can be to avoid, reduce, transfer, share, accept or prepare contingent plans. For opportunities, the individual risk response category can be to exploit, enhance, transfer, share, accept or prepare contingent plans.
risk tolerance The threshold levels of risk exposure that, with appropriate approvals, can be exceeded, but which when exceeded will trigger some form of response (e.g. reporting the situation to senior management for action).
scope For a plan, the sum total of its products and the extent of their requirements. It is described by the product breakdown structure for the plan and associated product descriptions.
scope tolerance The permissible deviation in a plan’s scope that is allowed before the deviation needs to be escalated to the next level of management. Scope tolerance is documented in the respective plan in the form of a note or reference to the product breakdown structure for that plan. See tolerance.
senior supplier The project board role that provides knowledge and experience of the main discipline(s) involved in the production of the project’s deliverable(s). The senior supplier represents the supplier’s interests within the project and provides supplier resources.
senior user The project board role accountable for ensuring that user needs are specified correctly and that the solution meets those needs.
specialist product A product whose development is the subject of the plan. The specialist products are specific to an individual project (e.g. an advertising campaign, a car park ticketing system, foundations for a building or a new business process). Also known as a deliverable. See also output.
sponsor The main driving force behind a programme or project. PRINCE2 does not define a role for the sponsor, but the sponsor is most likely to be the executive on the project board, or the person who has appointed the executive.
stage plan A detailed plan used as the basis for project management control throughout a management stage.
stakeholder Any individual, group or organization that can affect, be affected by or perceive itself to be affected by, an initiative (i.e. a programme, project, activity or risk).
supplier The person, group or groups responsible for the supply of the project’s specialist products.
tailoring Adapting a method or process to suit the situation in which it will be used.
team manager The person responsible for the production of products allocated by the project manager (as defined in a work package) to an appropriate quality, timescale and at a cost acceptable to the project board. This role reports to, and takes direction from, the project manager. If a team manager is not assigned, the project manager undertakes the responsibilities of the team manager role.
team plan An optional level of plan used as the basis for team management control when executing work packages.
theme An aspect of project management that needs to be continually addressed, and that requires specific treatment for the PRINCE2 processes to be effective.
threat An uncertain event that could have a negative impact on objectives or benefits.
time tolerance The permissible deviation in a plan’s time that is allowed before the deviation needs to be escalated to the next level of management. Time
tolerance is documented in the respective plan. See also tolerance.
time-driven control A management control that is periodic in nature, to enable the next higher authority to monitor progress (e.g. a control that takes place every 2 weeks). PRINCE2 offers two key time-driven progress reports: checkpoint report and highlight report.
tolerance The permissible deviation above and below a plan’s target for time and cost without escalating the deviation to the next level of management. There may also be tolerance levels for quality, scope, benefits and risk. Tolerance is applied at project, management stage and team levels.
user The person or group who will use one or more of the project’s products.
user acceptance A specific type of acceptance by the person or group who will use the product after it has been handed over into the operational environment.
work package The set of information relevant to the creation of one or more products. It will contain a description of the work, the product description(s), details of any constraints on production, and confirmation of the agreement between the project manager and the person or team manager who is to implement the work package that the work can be done within the constraints.
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