Prince2 can save you time. Here’s 4 ways… there are many more!
1) Management by exception is a genuine time saver. It is essentially “hands-off” management – you establish the parameters for a block of work (a stage, a work package), and then delegate that work.
It’s hands off, but it nevertheless provides management and control. You focus on the decisions and the unexpected, which saves time at all levels of the project management team. Time is scarce. Your team is busy. Use scarce time wisely. That’s efficient.
Does management by exception really save time? Well, just look at some of the inefficient alternatives commonly used by non-Prince2 teams.
- “micro-management” is time consuming
- “management by walking around” can be irrational and unstructured
- “management by meeting” eats up man-days of effort in large, unproductive meetings
2) The Prince2 approach to planning saves time.
Prince2 encourages you to “rIght-size” your planning. Prince2 has three levels of plan
- You need a project plan, but it can be fairly simple. This is a summary plan, showing the key deliverables, the stage boundaries, some key milestones and some high level estimates. Because this is high level, it’s quicker to do. You are saving time by not writing a long, detailed plan.
- The stage plan is essentially a “just-in-time” plan with some extra detail. You don’t do detailed planning until you get near to the work concerned, and that saves you time as it avoids reworking your plan.
- The team plans contain the lowest level of detail. The Prince2 project manager delegates the creation of each team plan to the team manager. That make sense. And that’s more time saved for the project manager.
3) Quality – do the work once, don’t do it twice
Prince2 has a strong focus on quality. If you use it correctly, it can save you a lot of time. With Prince2, you do concrete, pragmatic work on quality early in the project, before your deliverables are produced.
If you don’t use this upstream approach to quality, you’ll probably waste time. You’ll discover the defects downstream. You’ll find out the customer’s quality expectations when you deliver. And you’ll probably fix any problems. But fixing quality defaults once the product is delivered can be very time consuming. You may end up doing the work twice… once to make the product, and a second time to fix it.
So addressing quality the Prince2 way saves you time. One of the most famous books on quality is called “Quality is Free”. The book says that addressing quality correctly doesn’t cost you time and money, it saves time and money. Prince2 agrees.
4) Don’t reinvent the wheel each project
Prince2 has a defined life cycle, with a defined set of roles and responsibilities. This saves you time.
Each project is unique. Without a method like Prince2, you start a project with a blank sheet of paper. You need to invent a way forward, you need to build a team and ways of working. With Prince2, your project is still a challenge, but you know how to address the key questions.
✓ You know how to get started, using the Prince2 “Startup up a Project” process.
✓ You know how to structure your team, with a Project Executive, a Project Manager and so on.
✓ You know you should get agreement on a Project Brief, your first major document.
✓ You know you will continue with the “Initiating a Project” process.
With Prince2, the first crucial weeks of your new project are mapped out.
You have a proven route map, even though your project is new and unique. Now that’s a real time saving.