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.
The formal act of acknowledging that the project has met agreed acceptance criteria and thereby met the requirements of its stakeholders.
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.
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.
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.
The formal confirmation that a product is complete and meets its requirements (less any concessions) as defined by its Product Description.
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.
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.
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'.
The right to allocate resources and make decisions (applies to
project, stage and team levels).
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 management product
A type of management product that defines aspects of the project and, once approved, is subject to change control.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
The money allocated to the Change Authority available to be spent on authorized requests for change.
The procedure that ensures that all changes that may affect the project's agreed objectives are identified, assessed and either approved, rejected or deferred.
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.
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.
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.
A description of the means and frequency of communication
between the project and the project's stakeholders.
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
Technical and administrative activities concerned with the creation, maintenance and controlled change of configuration throughout the life of a product.
A description of how and by whom the project's products will be controlled and protected.
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.
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
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.
A set of actions to resolve a threat to a plan's tolerances or a defect in a product.
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'.
A statement about the quality expected from the project product, captured in the Project Product Description.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
This is a review by the Project Board to approve (or reject) an
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A time-driven report from the Project Manager to the Project Board on stage progress.
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.
The exposure arising from a specific risk before any action has been taken to manage it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A significant event in a plan's schedule, such as completion of key Work Packages, a technical stage, or a management stage.
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
A specific type of acceptance by the person or group who will
support the product once it is handed over into the operational
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.
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.
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.
All the programmes and stand-alone projects being undertaken by an organization, a group of organizations, or an organizational unit.
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.
Any fundamental aspects that must be in place, and remain in
place, for a plan to succeed.
A method that supports some selected aspects of project
management. The acronym stands for PRojects IN a Controlled Environment.
The guiding obligations for good project management practice that form the basis of a project being managed using PRINCE2.
This is the evaluated likelihood of a particular threat or opportunity actually happening, including a consideration of the frequency with which this may arise.
A type of issue (other than a request for change or off-specification) that the Project Manager needs to resolve or escalate.
A series of actions for a particular aspect of project management established specifically for the project - for example, a risk management procedure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of
delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
The period from the start-up of a project to the acceptance of the project product.
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
An organization chart showing the people assigned to the project management team roles to be used, and their delegation and reporting relationships.
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.
An external product generated by the authority commissioning the project that forms the trigger for Starting up a Project.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Evidence kept to demonstrate that the required quality assurance and quality control activities have been carried out.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The set of products in a handover. The contents of a release are managed, tested and deployed as a single entity. See also
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.
A person or group independent of the producer who assesses
whether a product meets its requirements as defined in its Product Description.
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.
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.
An organization's unique attitude towards risk taking that in turn dictates the amount of risk that it considers is acceptable.
The estimation of probability and impact of an individual risk, taking into account predetermined standards, target risk levels, interdependencies and other relevant factors.
The process of understanding the net effect of the identified threats and opportunities on an activity when aggregated together.
The systematic application of principles, approaches and processes to the tasks of identifying and assessing risks, and then planning and implementing risk responses.
Risk Management Strategy
A strategy 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.
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.
A description of the types of risk that are faced by an organization and its exposure to those risks.
A record of identified risks relating to an initiative, including their status and history.
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 avoid, reduce, transfer, accept or share. For opportunities, the individual risk response category can be exploit, enhance, reject or share.
The threshold levels of risk exposure which, when exceeded, will trigger an Exception Report to bring the situation to the attention of the Project Board. Risk tolerances could include limits on the plan's aggregated risks (e.g. cost of aggregated threats to remain less than 10% of the plan's budget), or limits on any individual threat (e.g. any threat to operational service). Risk tolerance is documented in the Risk Management Strategy.
risk tolerance line
A line drawn on the summary risk profile. Risks that appear above this line cannot be accepted (lived with) without referring them to a higher authority. For a project, the Project Manager would refer these risks to the Project Board.
Graphical representation of a plan (for example, a Gantt chart), typically describing a sequence of tasks, together with resource allocations, which collectively deliver the plan. In PRINCE2, project activities should only be documented in the schedules associated with a Project Plan, Stage Plan or Team Plan. Actions that are allocated from day-to-day management may be documented in the relevant project log (i.e. Risk Register, Daily Log, Issue Register, Quality Register) if they do not require significant activity.
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.
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 Responsible Owner
A UK government term for the individual responsible for ensuring that a project or programme of change meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits. The person should be the owner of the overall business change that is being supported by the project. The Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) should ensure that the change maintains its business focus, that it has clear authority, and that the context, including risks, is actively managed. This individual
must be senior and must take personal responsibility for successful delivery of the project. The SRO should be recognized as the owner throughout the organization.
The SRO appoints the project's Executive (or in some cases may elect to be the Executive).
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 interests within the project and provides supplier resources.
The Project Board role accountable for ensuring that user needs are specified correctly and that the solution meets those needs.
share (risk response)
A risk response to either a threat or an opportunity through the
application of a pain/gain formula: both parties share the gain
(within pre-agreed limits) if the cost is less than the cost plan; and both share the pain (again within pre-agreed limits) if the cost plan is exceeded.
A product whose development is the subject of the plan. The
specialist products are specific to an individual project (for example, an advertising campaign, a car park ticketing system, foundations for a building, a new business process etc.) Also known as a deliverable or output.
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.
Any individual, group or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by, an initiative (programme, project, activity, risk).
The pre-project activities undertaken by the Executive and the
Project Manager to produce the outline Business Case, Project Brief and Initiation Stage Plan.
An approach or line to take, designed to achieve a long-term aim. Strategies can exist at different levels - at the corporate,
programme and project level. At the project level, PRINCE2 defines four strategies: Communication Management Strategy, Configuration Management Strategy, Quality Management Strategy and Risk Management Strategy.
The person, group or groups responsible for the supply of the
project's specialist products.
The appropriate use of PRINCE2 on any given project, ensuring that there is the correct amount of planning, control, governance and use of the processes and themes (whereas the adoption of PRINCE2 across an organization is known as 'embedding').
The person responsible for the production of those 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, then the Project Manager undertakes the responsibilities of the Team Manager role.
An optional level of plan used as the basis for team management control when executing Work Packages.
A method of grouping work together by the set of techniques used, or the products created. This results in stages covering elements such as design, build and implementation. Such stages are technical stages and are a separate concept from management stages.
An aspect of project management that needs to be continually
addressed, and that requires specific treatment for the PRINCE2 processes to be effective.
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'.
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 two weeks. PRINCE2 offers two key time-driven progress reports: Checkpoint Report and Highlight Report.
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, benefit and risk. Tolerance is applied at project, stage and team levels.
A programme management term describing a group of projects structured around distinct step changes in capability and benefit delivery.
transfer (risk response)
A response to a threat where a third party takes on responsibility for some of the financial impact of the threat (for example, through insurance or by means of appropriate clauses in a contract).
A specific type of acceptance by the person or group who will use the product once it is handed over into the operational environment.
A variation on a baselined product. For example, an operations manual may have an English variant and a Spanish variant.
A specific baseline of a product. Versions typically use naming
conventions that enable the sequence or date of the baseline to be identified. For example, Project Plan version 2 is the baseline after Project Plan version 1.
A development approach that is linear and sequential with distinct goals for each phase of development. Once a phase of development is completed, the development proceeds to the next phase and earlier phases are not revisited (hence the analogy that water flowing down a mountain cannot go back).
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.