Prince2 Glossary

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Glossary of terms Prince2 2009

accept (risk response)

A risk response to a threat where a conscious and deliberate
decision is taken to retain the threat, having discerned that it is
more economical to do so than to attempt a risk response action. The threat should continue to be monitored to ensure that it remains tolerable.

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.

activity

A process, function or task that occurs over time, has recognizable results and is managed. It is usually defined as part of a process or plan.

agile methods

Principally, software development methods that apply the project approach of using short time-boxed iterations where products are incrementally developed. PRINCE2 is compatible with agile principles.

approval

The formal confirmation that a product is complete and meets its requirements (less any concessions) as defined by its Product Description.

approver

The person or group (e.g. a Project Board) who is identified as
qualified and authorized to approve a (management or specialist) product as being complete and fit for purpose.

assumption

A statement that is taken as being true for the purposes of
planning, but which could change later. An assumption is made where some facts are not yet known or decided, and is usually reserved for matters of such significance that, if they change or turn out not to be true, there will need to be considerable re-planning.

assurance

All the systematic actions necessary to provide confidence that the target (system, process, organization, programme, project, outcome, benefit, capability, product output, deliverable) is appropriate. Appropriateness might be defined subjectively or objectively in different circumstances. The implication is that assurance will have a level of independence from that which is being assured. See also 'Project Assurance' and 'quality assurance'.

authority

The right to allocate resources and make decisions (applies to
project, stage and team levels).

authorization

The point at which an authority is granted.

avoid (risk response)

A risk response to a threat where the threat either can no longer have an impact or can no longer happen.

baseline

Reference levels against which an entity is monitored and
controlled.

baseline management product

A type of management product that defines aspects of the project and, once approved, is subject to change control.

benefit

The measurable improvement resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders.

Benefits Review Plan

A plan that defines how and when a measurement of the
achievement of the project's benefits can be made. If the project is being managed within a programme, this information may be created and maintained at the programme level.

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 costs, benefits, risks and timescales, and against which continuing viability is tested.

centre of excellence

A corporate coordinating function for portfolios, programmes and projects providing standards, consistency of methods and
processes, knowledge management, assurance and training.

Change Authority

A person or group to which the Project Board may delegate
responsibility for the consideration of requests for change or offspecifications. 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

The procedure that ensures that all changes that may affect the project's agreed objectives are identified, assessed and either approved, rejected or deferred.

checkpoint

A team-level, time-driven review of progress.

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.

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.

closure recommendation

A recommendation prepared by the Project Manager for the Project Board to send as a project closure notification when the board is satisfied that the project can be closed.

Communication Management
Strategy

A description of the means and frequency of communication
between the project and the project's stakeholders.

concession

An off-specification that is accepted by the Project Board without corrective action.

configuration item

An entity that is subject to configuration management. The entity may be a component of a product, a product, or a set of products in a release.

Configuration Item Record

A record that describes the status, version and variant of a
configuration item, and any details of important relationships
between them.

configuration management

Technical and administrative activities concerned with the creation, maintenance and controlled change of configuration throughout the life of a product.

Configuration Management
Strategy

A description of how and by whom the project's products will be controlled and protected.

configuration management
system

The set of processes, tools and databases that are used to manage configuration data. Typically, a project will use the configuration management system of either the customer or supplier organization.

constraints

The restrictions or limitations that the project is bound by.

contingency

Something that is held in reserve typically to handle time and cost variances, or risks. PRINCE2 does not advocate the use of contingency because estimating variances are managed by setting tolerances, and risks are managed through appropriate risk responses (including the fallback response that is contingent on the risk occurring).

corporate or programme
standards

These are over-arching standards that the project must adhere to. They will influence the four project strategies (Communication Management Strategy, Configuration Management Strategy, Quality Management Strategy and Risk Management Strategy) and the project controls.

corrective action

A set of actions to resolve a threat to a plan's tolerances or a defect in a product.

cost tolerance

The permissible deviation in a plan's cost that is allowed before the deviation needs to be escalated to the next level of management. Cost tolerance is documented in the respective plan. See also 'tolerance'.

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

Used to record problems/concerns that can be handled by the
Project Manager informally.

deliverable

A specialist product that is handed over to a user(s). Note that
management products are not outputs but are created solely for the purpose of managing the project.

dependencies (plan)

The relationship between products or activities. For example, the development of Product C cannot start until Products A and B have been completed. Dependencies can be internal or external. Internal dependencies are those under the control of the Project Manager. External dependencies are those outside the control of the Project Manager - for example, the delivery of a product required by this project from another project.

dis-benefit

An outcome that is perceived as negative by one or more
stakeholders. It is an actual consequence of an activity whereas, by definition, a risk has some uncertainty about whether it will materialize.

DSDM Atern

An agile project delivery framework developed and owned by the DSDM consortium. Atern uses a time-boxed and iterative approach to product development and is compatible with PRINCE2.

embedding (PRINCE2)

What an organization needs to do to adopt PRINCE2 as its
corporate project management method. See also, in contrast,
'tailoring', which defines what a project needs to do to apply the method to a specific project environment.

End Project Report

A report given by the Project Manager to the Project Board, that confirms the handover of all products and provides an updated Business Case and an assessment of how well the project has done against the original Project Initiation Documentation.

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. According to 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 performance during the stage and the project status at stage end.

enhance (risk response)

A risk response to an opportunity where proactive actions are taken to enhance both the probability of the event occurring and the impact of the event should it occur.

event-driven control

A control that takes place when a specific event occurs. This could be, for example, the end of a stage, the completion of the Project Initiation Documentation, 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 Project Manager and Project Board (or between Project Board and corporate or programme management).

exception assessment

This is a review by the Project Board to approve (or reject) an
Exception Plan.

Exception Plan

This is 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 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.

Executive

The single individual with overall responsibility for ensuring that a project meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits. This individual should ensure that the project maintains its business focus, that it has clear authority, and that the work, including risks, is actively managed. The Executive is the chair of the Project Board. He or she represents the customer and is responsible for the Business Case.

exploit (risk response)

A risk response to an opportunity by seizing the opportunity to
ensure that it will happen and that the impact will be realized.

fallback (risk response)

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 to 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). The final handover takes place in the Closing a Project process.

Highlight Report

A time-driven report from the Project Manager to the Project Board on stage progress.

host site

A site where project work is being undertaken (for example, an
office or construction site).

impact (of risk)

The result of a particular threat or opportunity actually occurring, or the anticipation of such a result.

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 they authorize the project (or decide not to go ahead with the project). 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 only created for those issues that need to be handled formally.

Lessons Log

An informal repository for lessons that apply to this project or future projects.

Lessons Report

A report that documents any lessons that can be usefully applied to other projects. The purpose of the report is to provoke action so that the positive lessons from a project become embedded in the organization's way of working and that the organization is able to avoid the negative lessons on future projects.

logs

Informal repositories managed by the Project Manager that do not require any agreement by the Project Board on their 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 (for example, Highlight Report, End Stage Report etc.). The management products stay 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 technical stage, or a management stage.

off-specification

Something that should be provided by the project, but currently is not (or is forecast not to be) provided. This might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specifications. It is one type of issue.

operational and maintenance
acceptance

A specific type of acceptance by the person or group who will
support the product once it is handed over into the operational
environment.

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(s). Note that
management products are not outputs but are created solely for the purpose of managing the project.

performance targets

A plan's goals for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risk.

plan

A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something which
specifies the what, when, how and by whom. In PRINCE2 there are only the following types of plan: Project Plan, Stage Plan, Team Plan, Exception Plan and Benefits Review Plan.

planned closure

The PRINCE2 activity to close a project.

planning horizon

The period of time for which it is possible to accurately plan.

portfolio

All the programmes and stand-alone projects being undertaken by an organization, a group of organizations, or an organizational unit.

premature closure

The PRINCE2 activity to close a project before its planned closure. The Project Manager must ensure that work in progress is not simply abandoned, but that the project salvages any value created to date, and checks that any gaps left by the cancellation of the project are raised to corporate or programme management.

prerequisites (plan)

Any fundamental aspects that must be in place, and remain in
place, for a plan to succeed.

PRINCE2

A method that supports some selected aspects of project
management. The acronym stands for PRojects IN a Controlled Environment.

PRINCE2 principles

The guiding obligations for good project management practice that form the basis of a project being managed using PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 project

A project that applies the PRINCE2 principles.

probability

This is the evaluated likelihood of a particular threat or opportunity actually happening, including a consideration of the frequency with which this may arise.

problem/concern

A type of issue (other than a request for change or off-specification) that the Project Manager needs to resolve or escalate.

procedure

A series of actions for a particular aspect of project management established specifically for the project - for example, a risk management procedure.

process

A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs.

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 checklist

A list of the major products of a plan, plus key dates in their
delivery.

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
inter-dependencies of the products listed in a product breakdown structure.

Product Status Account

A report on the status of products. The required products can be specified by identifier or the part of the project in which they were developed.

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 authorization
notification

Advice from the Project Board to inform all stakeholders and the host sites that the project has been authorized and to request any necessary logistical support (e.g. communication facilities, equipment and any project support) sufficient for the duration of the project.

Project Brief

Statement that describes the purpose, cost, time and performance requirements, and constraints for a project. It is created pre-project during the Starting up a Project process and is used during the Initiating a Project process to create the Project Initiation Documentation and its components. It is superseded by the Project Initiation Documentation and not maintained.

Project Initiation
Documentation

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 the start-up 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 risks.

project management team

The entire management structure of the Project Board, and Project Manager, plus any Team Manager, Project Assurance and Project Support roles.

project management team
structure

An organization chart showing the people assigned to the project management team roles to be used, and their delegation and reporting relationships.

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 office

A temporary office set up to support the delivery of a specific
change initiative being delivered as a project. If used, the project office undertakes the responsibility of the Project Support role.

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 Project Initiation Documentation. 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 to define 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.

proximity (of risk)

The time factor of risk, i.e. when the risk may occur. The impact of a risk may vary in severity depending on when the risk occurs.

quality

The totality of features and inherent or assigned characteristics of a product, person, process, service and/or system that bears on its ability to show that it meets expectations or satisfies stated needs, requirements or specifications.

quality assurance

An independent 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 inspection

A systematic, structured assessment of a product carried out by two or more carefully selected people (the review team) in a planned, documented and organized fashion.

quality management

The coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to quality.

Quality Management Strategy

A strategy defining the quality techniques and standards to be
applied, and the various responsibilities for achieving the required quality levels, during a project.

quality management system

The complete set of quality standards, procedures and
responsibilities for a site or organization. In the project context,
'sites' and 'organizations' should be interpreted as the permanent or semi-permanent organization(s) sponsoring the project work, i.e. they are 'external' to the project's temporary organization. A programme, for instance, can be regarded as a semi-permanent organization that sponsors projects - and it may have a documented quality management system.

quality records

Evidence kept to demonstrate that the required quality assurance and quality control activities have been carried out.

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

See 'quality inspection'.

quality review technique

A quality inspection technique with defined roles and a specific
structure. It is designed to assess whether a product that takes the form of a document (or similar, e.g. 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.

records

Dynamic management products that maintain information regarding project progress.

reduce (risk response)

A response to a risk where proactive actions are taken to reduce the probability of the event occurring by performing some form of control, and/or to reduce the impact of the event should it occur.

registers

Formal repositories managed by the Project Manager that require agreement by the Project Board on their format, composition and use. PRINCE2 has three registers: Issue Register, Risk Register and Quality Register.

reject (risk response)

A response to a risk (opportunity) where a conscious and deliberate decision is taken not to exploit or enhance an opportunity, having discerned that it is more economical to do so than to attempt a risk response action. The opportunity should continue to be monitored.

release

The set of products in a handover. The contents of a release are managed, tested and deployed as a single entity. See also
'handover'.

reports

Management products providing a snapshot of the status of certain aspects of the project.

request for change

A proposal for a change to a baseline. It is a type of issue.

residual risk

The risk remaining after the risk response has been applied.

responsible authority

The person or group commissioning the project (typically corporate or programme management) who has the authority to commit resources and funds on behalf of the commissioning organization.

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 is acceptable.

risk estimation

The estimation of probability and impact of an individual risk, taking into account predetermined standards, target risk levels, interdependencies and other relevant factors.

risk evaluation

The process of understanding the net effect of the identified threats and opportunities on an activity when aggregated together.

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