I was swamped during a certain period of my life. I had a full-time job as a lecturer, I was finishing my MBA thesis, and I was organising my wedding – all of that at the same time!. Yes, I almost went crazy!. And then, I realised how important planning is and how it can help when you are managing different projects.
So, I planned my activities setting times and days to accomplish everything I had to do. Also, I sought the help of my friends and family. In the end, everything turned out well!. Without realising, I was applying Prince2 methodology. This is why I decided to write this blog because sometimes we are immersed in our commitments, and we don’t take the time to plan and organise our personal projects effectively.
What is a project?
A project is a temporary activity that will introduce a change in our routine. For example, you want to change your job, get married, buy a house, enroll in university, move to another country or go on holiday. All of those are projects, and the way how you manage them will determine their success. The following figure shows the features of a project.
How should we start?
Prince2 stands for PRojectsINControlled Environments 2ndversion. It is a methodology developed by the UK government to increase the ROI of its projects. It shows how the project manager should plan, delegate, monitor and control all the aspects of a project to reach the expected targets for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risks.
According to the previous figure, our first step should be creating a sequence of activities whose objective is the result that we want to achieve. For example, if our project is to buy a house, we need to establish the required conditions to start making our dream come true. We also need to develop the strategy, for example, how we will save the money for the first payment.
The second step of delegation is to identify the people that would help us to reach a successful outcome, for example, a friend, a colleague, our partner or an external institution like a bank. Monitoring means that we need to find a way to measure our success during the project and to keep our motivation all the way. Finally, control means that we need to be aware of any opportunity to reduce costs or speed up the project. Please have a look at the following example.
This is a simple example that can be as detailed and complex as you want. These 4 steps are not enough for managing your project. You should establish targets according to the next figure.
Having all those parameters set should be enough to organise our projects and a achieve success!. Prince2 is a very complex and detailed methodology, and this was just the introduction applied to personal projects. Corporate projects are more complex and will require the use of the entire method.
- Axelos, HM Government. (2018) Prince2: Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2. London, The Stationery Office.
- Knowledge Train. (2018) Prince2: Foundation and Practitioner. Course material.