The Project Manager role in PRINCE2

Within a PRINCE2 context, the project manager is responsible for running the project on a daily basis on behalf of the Project Board.

“The project manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the required products within the specified tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, benefits, and risk.*”

According to the PRINCE2, the PM should ensure that the project delivers not only a working product(s) but a product(s) capable of achieving the benefits identified in the key document of a PRINCE2 managed project: the Business Case (the justification for undertaking a project).

The role of the project manager in PRINCE2

The project manager’s first activity is to Plan. This role has to define the sequences of activities to achieve the defined product(s). By planning these sequences the PRINCE2 PM can get control on the project.

Following the Planning, the PM has to Delegate to other project team members some works.
We live in a fast-paced environment where everything is pervaded by a constant transformation and PM needs the support and involvement of specialistic members in a project environment.

Once s/he has delegated some activities, he/she can not leave things going and wait for the work done by the other members of the project. The project manager is entitled to Monitor progress and make sure that works are in line with plans.

It is his/her responsibility to execute a form of Control when things are not proceeding according to the plan or to take opportunities to speed up the sequences or reduce costs.

The project manager is responsible for Planning, Delegating, Monitoring and Controlling so to take corrective actions or implement measures to improve performances (re-planning)

The Responsibilities of the Project Manager in PRINCE2

The responsibilities of a project manager can vary from project to project. PM may also play the roles of team manager for example if this role is not appointed to others.
The project manager’s main (for the complete list refer to the Appendix C5.1 of the official manual) responsibilities are:

  • Prepare the following baseline management products and agree them with the project board
    • Project brief
    • Benefits management approach
    • Project Initiation Document
    • Stage/exception plans
    • Work packages
  • Prepare the following Reports
    • Highlight reports
    • Issue reports
    • End-stage reports
    • Exception reports
    • End project report
  • Maintain the following records:
    • Issue register
    • Risk register
    • Daily log
    • Lessons log
  • Tailor the PRINCE2 method.
  • Liaise with corporate, external suppliers.
  • Leads and motivate the project management team.
  • Manage the information flows.
  • Manage the production of the required products.
  • Establish and manage the project’s procedures and controls.
  • Authorize work packages.
  • Advise the project board of any deviations from the plan.

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Project Manager skills fundamental to deliver PRINCE2 projects

The competencies of a project manager can vary from business to business. Factors like industry, company size, company maturity, and company culture may affect the specific competencies but there are some standard skills required to PRINCE2 PMs both technical and management skills.

According to PRINCE2, “to be successful, the project manager must be able to balance to the different aspects of the project manager for a particular project“.

The technical project management competencies are the core skills for a project manager and include:

  • Time Management
    • The time management ability helps the project manager to organize, plan and allocate his time between specific activities

Leadership skills can support longer-range strategic objectives

  • People management
    • Project managers should aim to optimize the efficient use of Human resources by managing people development, their work activities and their performance.
  • Problem Solving
    • The process of understanding what the underlying issues of the problem really are to reach a solution.
  • Attention to detail
    • The Attention to detail skills helps the project manager to manipulate small pieces of data with accuracy when accomplishing a task.
  • Communication
    • The PM has to Liaise with corporate, external suppliers, lead and motivate the project management team and Project managers with good verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills help facilitate the sharing of information between people within a project management team.
  • Negotiation
    • Negotiation is a skill required for the project manager in order to settle differences and, avoiding argument and dispute, aim to achieve the best possible outcome for the project.
  • Conflict management
    • This skill can be considered the sum-up of effective communication, problem-solving abilities and good negotiating skills, which make possible dealing with disputes in a rational, balanced and effective way.

* source managing successful projects with PRINCE2.


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