Tailoring the PRINCE2® model

The PRINCE2 project management method has been deployed in virtually every industry worldwide and has facilitated the success of projects in organizations both large and small. That’s not to say that PRINCE2 is a universally applicable methodology however, success can only be brought about by tailoring PRINCE2 to suit unique project goals and challenges.

PRINCE2 is comprised of a series of inter-linking elements. Tailoring does not consist of mixing elements, omitting some while including others. Rather, tailoring involves adapting the method as a whole to account for external factors, creating a project management scheme that provides an adequate level of governance in any given context.

 Tailoring PRINCE2 differs greatly from ‘embedding’ PRINCE2. Embedding PRINCE2 replaces every facet of project management with the PRINCE2 method, including terminology, documentation and team roles. There are several reasons why an organization may choose not to embed PRINCE2. This may be due to the size of the organization, work culture or ongoing projects.

Tailoring PRINCE2 offers a more subtle approach to the integration of PRINCE2 and there are many ways in which this can be done. Important to note is that PRINCE2 principles and themes cannot be tailored and should be used instead as a static reference.

Here are some examples of how PRINCE2 may be tailored to suit a unique organization:

  1. Terminology
    It is not always beneficial to adopt PRINCE2 terminology. While it can facilitate better interfacing between your organization and third parties, it can also make internal communication unclear. Sometimes it’s best to speak the ‘language’ of your organization, rather than devise a new way of communicating.
  2. Documentation
    PRINCE2 details several documentation procedures. These should never be discarded but, depending on the size of a project, they can sometimes be combined into a single document if the project scope is too small to warrant several.
  3. Team roles
    Like documentation, PRINCE2 includes several key roles each with their own unique responsibilities. While it’s important that every responsibility is assigned to a team member, if you lack the personnel, you can simply combine roles so long as this does not create a conflict of interests.

Tailoring PRINCE2 to suit different project environments requires a good bit of common sense and logic. Never follow the methodology blindly if it makes a project more difficult. If you need additional guidance, PRINCE2 Practitioner training courses can help you figure out exactly how best to tailor PRINCE2 to suit your business needs.