The universe of business is ever changing, and innovative technologies are being embraced each day but what remains unchanged forever is the undertaking of new projects. Due to this, associations are putting resources into system and methodology that assist them in dealing with their ventures in fruitful and productive way. This is the motivation behind the wide use and success of many project management methodologies nowadays. (Daga,2015)
PRINCE2 is a project management methodology being used worldwide by the organisations to manage their projects efficiently. This is a tool that is widely accepted and used in the field of Information technology. Other project management frameworks that are widely used are PMBOK, Scum, Agile and waterfall framework.
Even if the above-mentioned methodologies are used, it is quite difficult to deliver the project to success. It has been observed in many cases despite all the factors being favourable, complete benefits may not be realised.
According to Gauld (2007, p.103):
20-30% projects are complete failures and halted halfway. 30-60% fail partly as the time passes by due to time constraints, cost exceeding or other issues. Very few of the projects succeed. Tons of money gets wasted on such projects.
This essay discusses the impact of PRINCE2 on IT project performance and presents the factors that adversely affect the usefulness of PRINCE2 and other project management frameworks, wherever they appear and finally suggestions to solve the problems associated with them using current and suggested PRINCE2 features.
Defining Success for a Project;
Baker, Murphy and Fisher (2008, p.903) suggests that
If a project meets the technical performance specifications and/or mission to be performed, and if there is high level of satisfaction concerning the project outcome among key people in the parent organization, key people in client organization, key people in the project team and the key users or clientele of the project effort, the project is considered an overall success.
Thus, just completing the project in the given time frame and budget and meeting its technical constraints is not enough to call a project a success. Satisfaction of the people involved is the key to considering the project a completely fruitful one. (Baker, Murphy and Fisher 2008, p.903)
Delivering the project to success
Project Management frameworks are quite useful in carrying out a project. But many a times despite the presence of these methodologies, the project fails because the adoption of these frameworks come with a whole bunch of problems and challenges which must be addressed carefully.
The projects which seem to be immensely overbudgeted fall without giving any benefits and are forced to stop midway resulting in complete business failure or greatly damaging it. The situation has become more immense with the evolving innovative technology and the fact that IT professionals require skill of both IT as well as business. To protect the projects from completely collapsing and providing nothing good, there are numerous other factors that need to be kept in mind. The following paragraphs mention the aspects that unfavorably affect the effectiveness of PRINCE2 and other project management frameworks in delivering the projects efficaciously. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781)
Factors that unfavorably influence the handiness of PRINCE2 and other project management frameworks in effectively completing projects;
• Collapse in the relationship between the exterior contractors and companies: Studies have shown the worsening relations between the organizations and the external contractors is the direct reason behind the failing of the projects. Numerous companies and government organizations have subcontracted IS support. This has lead to the associations depending more on the skills, eminence and experience of the outsider contractors, hence, putting their projects to a greater risk. The immature decisions in dealing with supplier combined with complications in large scale IS outsourcing can directly lead to project failures. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781) User commitment is seen as important by 77% of surveyed individuals, in a project. (White & Fortune, 2002 p.1-11)
• Insufficient project support(funding): Projects can fail badly in the cases where senior management do not provide enough support and do not get involved in the projects efficiently or employ immature professionals who have no experience in gaining required support and assurance from the stakeholders and they fail to do so. Studies have shown that unfortunate project outcomes are a direct consequence of poorly designed budget plans, no or very less sponsorship and poorly developed administrative structures. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781) 85% of the surveyed people feel support from senior management to be critical in a project. (White & Fortune, 2002 p.1-11).
• Poor Employee performance: Despite the presence of a well-structured approach to a project, it may still suffer shortcomings due to poor teamwork, poor leadership, no impetus and failure of individual contribution and dedication towards work. As the time passes by what appears as the biggest challenge to the management is retaining the experienced staff and provide them continuous motivation to contribute their part in the work because in projects that are driven for longer periods, the employees may start getting doubtful about the results. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781)
• Poor Communication: Poorly developed communication system can lead to project failures even when everything else fall well in place. As a result, companies fail to capitalize in beset resources and put forward their best in front of the contractors and suppliers. If there is no proper communication channel between suppliers and the company, the project may suffer serious issues. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781). About 144 out of 206 people surveyed about critical features in a project agreed that effective communication is vital for a project. (White & Fortune, 2002 p.1-11)
• Bad Transformation management: Change is the law of life and projects as well. The projects in which the company fails to cope up with unexpected changes may flop. Especially in government and health segments, the associations have battled to handle the cultural changes that lead to project catastrophes. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781). Flexibility in change is viewed to be an important of project by 64.5% of the surveyed people.
• Weak Project administration: Poorly managed projects, poorly adopted management frameworks, immature decisions and wrong management style can lead to project letdowns. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781)
• Poor Vision for necessities and possibility: organizations which do not have unclouded vision about the scope and cannot effectively judge the requirements can let their projects to failures. It is necessary to identify the requirements of the project in initial stages to avoid any unexpected spending that can come up later in the project. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781)
• Size and complication of the Project: It is obvious that the larger the project, larger will be the complexity, larger will be the time required and larger will be the capital invested. In these cases, many a times the management becomes overconfident about the success of the project without exploring properly the complications, time and money required to complete the project. (Hughes, Drivedi & Rana,2017 p.776-781)
Present and suggested PRINCE2 features that can help resolving these problems:
PRINCE2 has many features that can help in resolving the above-mentioned issues.
? Effective stakeholder involvement and communication: For a project to be successful it is very important to build up strong relations with stakeholders, users and suppliers. PRINCE2 solves the problem of low commitment by stakeholders by involving them effectively as the representatives in the project board. This also improves communication between all the parties involved. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Controlled management: PRINCE2 set up management stages by clearly defining roles and responsibilities of people involved. This prevents mismanagement which helps in driving the project smoothly through all stages. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Tools for managing staff and requirement assurance: In many cases despite the presence of budget, the project cannot be driven further because of unavailability of staff and resources. PRINCE2 relates the agreement to continue work in upcoming phases to accessibility of employees and necessities. Thus, management guarantees that the staff stay committed and there are ample resources for next stage of the project to begin. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Risk management: PRINCE2 has its own risk management methodology which guide on how to identify, assess, plan and implement risk management. It also clearly specifies for whose responsibility is it in a risk involved. However, it is not an autonomous method. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Attention to justification: The very basis of any project is the business case which provides a regular justification. In a PRINCE2 project, Business case is frequently made and rationalized according to the existing needs of the project. Even at the end an assessment is carried out to check whether the product delivered has been satisfactory to the clients or not. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Tailoring feature: The most striking feature of the PRINCE2 project is that it can be customized to compliment the needs of any kind of project ranging from large to small projects.
? Supervised beginning, mid and termination: Many a times projects are started very early without even exploring the possibilities involved in it. PRINCE2 provides a regulated start, clearly mentioning the priority tasks that need to be carried out first. Even during the progress of the project, Project Manager handles the daily management of the project and a continuous justification is done. Also, there is a clearly defined method for the closure of the project. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
? Change Control: PRINCE2 presumes that the projects are meant to be carried out in ever changing environment and not in the static one. Hence, it provides definite guidelines and procedures for managing any change that occurs in the project during its tenure. (Hedeman, Heemst, Fredriksz, 2005)
In the nutshell, driving a project to success despite the use of Project management frameworks, is not an east task. Clear understanding of the project goals, communication, set vision for future, active involvement and proper management are the needs of every project. PRINCE2 understand and address all these needs. It is and has been quite useful in making projects an achievement, especially IT projects, through the whole lot of features it provide. Hence, in this ever-evolving world of technology, PRINCE2 can act as an effective guiding tool for the companies and help them accomplish their projects even in the changing and developing environment.
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6. White D & Fortune, J 2002, ‘ Current Practice in Project Management- an Empirical Study’, International Journal of Project management, vol.20, issue 1, pp.1-11.