The PRINCE2® methodology in a management tool

The PRINCE2® methodology in a management tool

How to apply the PRINCE2® methodology in a project management application. This project method can be integrated into a project tool to remain pragmatic and efficient.

The PRINCE2® methodology

PRINCE2 is a project management method designed based on the experience of multiple projects. There is a pragmatic side to it because it is not based on theory but on the reality of the project.

The main advantage of this methodology is its speed of assimilation (usually the initial Foundation training lasts 3 days). It is based on 7 principles, 7 themes and 7 processes. Compared to the 49 processes of the PMBoK, the assimilation time is obviously not the same.

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of the PRINCE2 method is that it does not cover project management techniques (with 3 exceptions). It is therefore possible to leave a PRINCE2 Foundation course and to be unable to manage a project because of the lack of techniques to do so. The PMBok of the Project Management Institute goes much further and offers many techniques but its training course is much longer and more expensive. To avoid the costs and the delay, the alternative is to use PRINCE2 concepts in tools that provide techniques. 


Using PRINCE2® in a project management application

The 'Designing a Project' process

In order to introduce you to the PRINCE2 'Designing a project' process, we will use the example of the tool Gouti.

What is it all about? The objective of this process is to determine why the project should be carried out, what are the justifications and the associated issues. It consists of making a draft of the project that will be submitted for validation and project launch. What will come out of the process? The project brief.


How can this be translated into a project management application such as Gouti? 

In Gouti, this work will be done through the project charter with the project in “Draft” status. The initialization of this charter will allow to have a first macro version with the information that will allow to define:

  • The current situation
  • Why do this project (the expected benefits)
  • What will be produced (the deliverables)
  • How the project is to be carried out (a macro view of the project approach)
  • Initial estimations of duration and costs
  • Who needs to work on the project

The result of this process is the project brief (called a project charter in Gouti). The project manager will then submit it to the management who will take the decision to launch the project or not (GO/NOGO). The project now has the "Request for launch" status.


The link with PRINCE2 is that the process "Elaborate a project" allows you to decide if you launch the project and the following process "Initiate a project". On the Gouti side, this results in a change of status to 'Initialization phase' after the management gives the GO to launch the project.

Once in this status, the project manager can continue to work on the project charter by entering details, defining all the deliverables and the implementation tasks, etc.…


Progress reports

Another example of the integration of PRINCE2 concepts into a project management tool is the progress report. The "Progress" theme describes different types of reports including this one. It is made by the project manager and aims to communicate to the steering committee, at regular intervals, the progress made on the current sequence. The way of making this report is not specified in PRINCE2 because one of the 7 principles of this method is "Adaptation to the project environment". This means that this report will be made considering the specificities of the project and will be different for every project.

Gouti proposes a technique for this progress report: the use of the flash report. With this report, the progress is communicated according to a period defined by the project manager. It offers a short/medium term forecast and a macro vision of the project situation. The aim here is to respond to the need for communication described by PRINCE2. To do so, the application offers a turnkey solution to produce a report that will standardize an important concept and optimize the project manager's working time.


Saving time with project management solutions

The PRINCE2 methodology is very interesting and can bring a lot if it is correctly applied. The main difficulty is to translate it into pragmatic techniques and solutions, to adapt it to its reality. Using a project tool such as Gouti allows more flexibility and openness to follow a project methodology. Indeed, it significantly increases the productivity of the project manager, but also of the teams and management.

Be pragmatic.


Christian Gutekunst