Sample Research Paper on Project Management

The following report presents a critical review of the use of PRINCE2 in project
management through certification. The acronym PRINCE2 refers to Projects IN Controlled
Environments, which is a management approach based on processes. The most common features
in the system include the focus on business justification of a given project's organization
structure. The discussion includes a critique of the application of the project management system
in the construction sector. This includes the advantages of using the system and the drawbacks
that occur during its use. Based on the three key factors that determine the approach of a given
project, namely quality, time, and cost, the use of PRINCE2 has several implications on the
achievement of the client’s needs. In addition to that, the discussion presents seven principles
necessary for the execution of a project following the PRINCE2 system. The report describes
various roles of project managers in the implementation of the methodology and challenges
encountered about the expectations of project management.

1.0 Introduction

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In the recent past, the use of PRINCE2® has increased, with the construction industry
being part of the main sectors where the system is used. Many international firms are known to
use the method of project implementation and management. The Highways Agency, for
example, has obtained PRINCE2 certifications as a standard requirement for project
management. Given the many factors necessary for construction projects, such as adherence to
estimated costs, budgets, risks, scope, time scale, and quality (Mishra & Mallik, 2017) . The
application of the system has spread across more than 150 countries across different continents.
PRINCE2 is a methodology based on processes that helps draw focus on organizations and
management of the entire project. The approach considers the project's entire life cycle, with
each stage-structured until completion.

1.1 Background
The PRINCE2 system was founded in 1989 through an agency dealing in
telecommunications and information technology. Initially branded PROMPT, as Project
Resource Organization Management Planning Technique, the scheme was used in the UK to
install information systems (Hinde, 2018) . The methodology was published as PRINCE in 1996
and is known for delivering projects of all sizes and complexities.

1.2 Principles of PRINCE2
The PRINCE2 technique is built on seven significant principles that must be followed in the
execution of any given project
Focus on product All projects are focused on the definition and delivery of products following
their requirements for quality. Project teams should check deliverables against requirements on
the quality registers.

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Tailor to suit project environment The method should be adjusted to suit each project's specifics
based on the level of oversight and planning according to the scope and personnel involved
(Hughes, et al., 2017) .
Manage by exception All PRINCE2 projects have distinct tolerances for each objective to
establish limits of delegated authority. Therefore, problems forecast at a given level of
management are escalated to the next management level before decisions are made.
Manage by stages The planning and control of projects are done on a staged basis while the
business cases, risks, and detailed plan for preceding stages are updated in every stage.
Defined roles and responsibilities All roles and responsibilities are clearly defined for all
stakeholders with a clear indication of role sharing. The structuring of roles is classified into four
levels: corporate management project board, project management, and team level.
Continued business justification The requirement is that projects should produce a clear need
with consumer benefits and cost analysis, which justifies the business.
Learning from experience, All projects should be learning experiences with lessons sought and
recorded in every step throughout the process to improve the work.

2.0 Literature Review

The PRINCE2 methodology as a management tool has been widely adopted globally,
with many organizations using the tool across different sectors. In the construction sector, many
projects have been observed to use the tool to optimize and revolutionize the output. Projects of
varying sizes, nature, and use have been simplified through the approach, with many benefits
developing. Thousands of projects across different continents have transformed the adopted

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approach for project management. As a modern approach that is not based on linear processes
than traditional methods, the PRINCE2 system offers an alternative for project development.
Concerning other approaches of project management, the study indicates several features of
similarity with PRINCE2 in that all encompass the entire life cycle for any given project. The
following reviews involve research work performed before concerning the application of
PRINCE2 in project management compared to the standard features and differences.

2.1 PRINCE2 compared to other approaches
Research has been performed to analyze the use of PRINCE2 as compared to other modern
approaches such as PMBOK. According to the research, there are several similarities, such as
focusing on improving the maturity of project processes and the development of contracting
companies (Siegelaub, 2017) . There are ways in which the PMBOK complements the PRINCE2
approach through the five stages of project management, namely initiation, design, execution,
control, and closing. Following the research by Chin et al., (2012), the two approaches are
complementary in that while PMBOK provides the project information, PRNCE2 offers the way
forward on implementation (Chin, 2012) . Additionally, the two are built on best practices that
offer a reasonable basis for implementing projects on a global scale. According to the Cio Stuff
journal (2011), PRINCE2 presents a standard approach compared to Agile (Gefen, et al., 2011) .
This explains why the system is prevalent in government projects and global organizations.
Table 1 Comparison between PRINCE2 and PMBOK
Feature PMBOK PRINCE2
Project start Customer-centered project

charter

Business case is driven

Empowerment for the project
manager

Consider key stakeholders
and financiers

Client ownership and control
by senior management

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(executive) above the PM

Approach to project
management

Descriptive Prescriptive of project
process interactions but
scalable

Adaptation to specific
projects

Some processes can be left
out if need be

All processes are considered
but scaled according to
specific requirements of
projects
Control The project manager decides

what to control

Lays out on multi-level
control schemes for progress
reporting and tracking the
project at different levels.

2.2 PRINCE2 in construction management
Application of PRINCE2 in construction management is not strange following the
multiple projects across the world that have seen the system's successful implementation.
According to research by Rupali et al., (2017), several aspects of project management have been
addressed through the use of PRINCE2 (Mahajan, 2017) . Based on project managers' experience,
the methodology offers several benefits in usability and definition of roles. In their study,
Vnoučková et al. (2015) assert that strategic development in the building industry is attributed to
the competitiveness of business entities and human resources. The implementation of project
management in the building sector through the approach is based on four main milestones. The
management should satisfy themes, principles, processes, and adaptations based on the system.

2.2.1 PRINCE2 themes

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These are aspects that are addressed throughout the entire project, offering a systematic approach
to managing a given project. By addressing the themes, the method ensures that projects are on
track with the objectives.
Table 2 themes in PRINCE2
Business case Relates with continuous business justification principle whose theme offers

knowledge on the

Organization Useful for guiding managers to delegate and assign roles to teams
Quality Essential for delivery of the best quality product by defining the quality

requirements of the project

Plans Creates the path along which targets for the project are achieved in

parameters of cost, quality and time

Risk Threats and opportunities' projected in the entire cycle of the project
Change Change brings the implied adaptation of the project to the requirements

before incorporating

Progress Determined by the executed work against the plan

2.2.2 Roles of project managers in implementing PRINCE2
Project managers are part of the central team that runs a project in its entire life cycle.
They are tasked with ensuring that a project adheres to a client's requirements in quality, cost,
and time. There are several roles that project managers are in charge of during the
implementation of the PRINCE2 method (Wedekind & Philbin, 2018) . Firstly, they are
responsible for selecting the team that executes the project during the initiation stage. Managers
should select a team of professionals on behalf of the client and oversee the work's progression

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until completion. Throughout the PRINCE2 process, managers must ensure that the client's
needs are satisfied with the allocated budget. Throughout the process of implementing the
method, project managers have distinct roles crucial in the delivery of any given project. As
indicated below in table 3, there are several responsibilities assigned to project managers
throughout the PRINCE implementation process.
Table 3 Roles of the project manager in implementing PRINCE2
Stage of PRINCE2 Implementation Role of project managers
Starting up a project  Appointment of the executive project board

 Preparation of project brief
 Defines the outline of a business case
 Assigning roles to the project team

Initiation of a project  Production of management strategies based on
risk, configuration, and communication
 Documentation of acceptable business case
 Project controls and files
 Assembly of project initiation document
Directing a project  Authorization of initiation of a project
 Authorization of exception plan
 Project culture activities

Stage control  Overseeing and reporting on the progress of

the project
 Stepping in to correct on errors
 Coordinating daily work
 Communication with the project team

Product delivery management  Execution of work package
 Delivery of work package
 Approval for completion of work package

Management of stage boundaries  Planning the stage

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 Authorizing start of next stage
 Reporting to project board on stage end
progress
 Production of an exception plan

Project closure  Closing remarks

 Documentation and reporting on project
closure
 Handing over

3.0 Discussion

Based on the literature review earlier described, there are several ways in which the use
of PRINCE2 project management meets clients' expectations of projects and requirements. The
following discussion presents a critical assessment of the demands of the method and the
satisfaction of these demands. Besides, several benefits arise from the use of the approach and
disadvantages of the same.

3.1 Quality expectations and acceptance criteria in PRINCE2
Following the review of research materials and customer feedback, several expectations
are due for any given construction project with the use of PRINCE2. Firstly, the critical
requirements of quality for any particular project based on the specifications must be considered,
including measurements for products. Besides that, the proposed cost for improvement or
damage correction should be sufficient to fund the repairs. Another expectation deals with the
influence on the planned time, cost, scope, and risk management (Radka, 2017) . There should be
a priority set on customer requirements which influence the management system. For the

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mentioned demands, the approach has criteria for achieving quality based on the measurable
attributes of PRINCE2 products. These may be in measures of ease of use, maintenance,
significant functions, costs, and functionality. The acceptance criteria should be based on an
agreement between the client and the PM. The PID's approval is under the project board, which
signifies the acceptance of the project obligations. Besides that, based on the methodology's
themes, the project management gets to decide on the worth of availing the project accordingly.
The organization, design, change, and level of risk affect the progress of the project.

3.2 Benefits of using PRINCE2 in project management
The application of PRINCE2 is linked to several advantages in project management.
Firstly, there is optimal use of resources, including human resources. Besides that, the entire
framework is flexible and hence has a wide range of products under which it can be applied
(Murillo Gomez & Jim{\'e}nez, 2018) . The approach offers quality communication and
accountability in the management of projects concerning consumer needs. Additionally, there is
a better strategy for understanding and maintaining project viability with a clear direction by
stages for control of project operations with a clear understanding of roles. This can be
ascertained by the principle of role specification among stakeholders in projects. Another
advantage is related to the stable governance that maximizes efficiency through communications.
Following a principled approach, the use of PRINCE2 offers certification and training of project
personnel, which promotes a structured approach to boost the confidence of achieving the
desired outcome. This can be attributed to the theme constructs that restrain the level of progress
for a given project. They help ensure that projects meet their minimum requirements, considering
the critical elements of cost, time, and quality.

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3.3 Disadvantages of using PRINCE2 in project management
Despite the many benefits earlier mentioned, there are negative impacts that result from
the application of the PRINCE2 methodology. Firstly, based on the extensive application of
themes, the process involves a lot of documentation, a risk factor for big projects. One of the
critical elements is documentation, which varies from the business case, quality register, project
product description, risk register, and change control approach (Hinde, 2018) . Besides that, there
is an increased need for maintenance and updates following the bulk of documentation and
project requirements. Consequently, updating files and maintaining has a cost implication, which
may add extra costs to the budget. This may discourage most clients, considering the high costs
incurred on the direct expenses of a project for labor and material (Coppola, et al., 2016) .
Another disadvantage is the lack of involvement and ample time for senior management, which
may slow down the project. This may result from members' linked roles and, therefore, a
collision of multiple roles assigned to a party. Also, the increased documentation calls for
increased care in recording and dispersing information on the project, which may be adversarial
for members.

Conclusion and Recommendations

From the above discussion, we can conclude that the use of PRINCE2 methodology in
project management has multiple benefits. This depends on the observance of the main principles
and themes, as outlined for the effective implementation. Different studies have indicated that
the use of PRINCE2 offers benefits concerning the output of a project. Thus, the report argues
that for the implementation to be successful, the entire process must adhere to the seven
principles and the themes based on customer requirements. For instance, for effective delivery, a
project must be process-based systematic, enriched with transparent processes, self-assessable,

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and conditional on the business case. This is to imply that the level of success in the completion
of a project is dependent on the implementation of project management practices based on the
organization with clear roles, quality development, change, and risk management, among other
principles. Conclusively, project management through PRINCE2 gives guidance to organizations
through a flexible approach based on the four elements discussed earlier. There are, however,
several recommendations for the effective implementation of the system by project managers.
Firstly, the submission of on-time progress reports is essential for more transparent operations.
Besides that, planning quality control by using a quality register is useful for improving quality
requirements for the project. Additionally, the manager should establish a project culture that
promotes workflow and better relationships among stakeholders.

References

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participation. Journal for the Advancement of Performance Information \& Value, 4(1).
Coppola, D., D'Ambrogio, A. & Gianni, D., 2016. Bringing Model-based Systems Engineering
Capabilities to Project Management: an Application to PRINCE2. s.l.:s.n.

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Gefen, D., Ragowsky, A., Licker, P. & Stern, M., 2011. The changing role of the cio in the world
of outsourcing: Lessons learned from a cio roundtable. Communications of the Association for
Information Systems, 28(1), p. 15.
Hinde, D., 2018. PRINCE2 Study Guide: 2017 Update. s.l.:John Wiley \& Sons.
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s.l.:s.n.
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