Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:12 am Post subject: PRINCE2 Organisation
I've just started to study the prince2 methodology and I am not able to understand how the project board roles must be applied to a "typical" software house environment. Example: a new customer asks a software, my company is a software house and will provide the software solution. About the project board composition, I cannot figure the "real" roles: executive = software house CIO/boss, supplier = development dept. senior engineer , user = the customer? I'm a little big confused about how to apply the project board roles to this environment, because I've noticed that the PRINCE2 considers the project (and the related entity business case) as developed in a customer environment, with an internal customer project manager and so on...
Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:09 pm Post subject: PRINCE2 Organisation- The Practical Challenge
Prince2 to is not prescriptive with roles that must be adopted and there is no reason why you cannot define your own roles and assurance functions with a P2 basis to them. As long as you clearly state and differentiate the responsibilities.
In Client Supplier relationship we need to be pragmatic about the Project Board composition. The Business Case for your Supplier organisation should not be disclosed to the Client. Equally the Business benefits on the client side are not strictly relevant to the Supplier. Your project is likely to feed into a wider project for the Customer, e.g. operational work streams are likely to exist. (possibly an opportunity to offer more services?)
As a Software House your role will be a Supplier to the Customer. But you?re right to work on the basis that the role of Sponsor needs to be owned by the Software House. Covering your scope and interests.
Not knowing the strategic importance or risk involved it is hard to offer the right advice. However this might apply:
- Establish an Internal (Supplier) Board within your Software House. The Account/Relationship Manager or Analyst/Consultant to represent the Client's interests (Senior User).
- As the PM be clear about who is committing resource / the solution to you. This person needs to have the authority to assign more resource and needs to sit on your internal board as Senior Supplier.
- The Internal Board?s Sponsor may come form your chain in command (Head of Project, Head of Delivery etc)
- This allows internal issues to remain internal and protect 'Supplier' reputation and interests.
- Establish a Project Partnership with the Client, an Operational level of working for day-to-day management of the project. A good working relationship with counterparts on the Client side is crucial to the success. Risk and Issues can often be discussed openly in an air of trust and cooperation.
- If there is a need for an overarching Project Board. Be very clear. Make sure your Board?s remit relates to the scope of your project. If not the danger is your project will deviate with issues that are not related to your scope.
? For the wider Board, your Account/Relationship Manager now adopts the Senior Supplier role. Supported by your software house consultant/analyst
? Senior Users adopted by the Client?s operational (the end user rep) & technology (supporting the hosting platform) personnel
? Sponsor is open here. Either a Senior person on the Client side who?s most interested in seeing the project succeed or may be the purse string holder. Or if the client wishes this can be performed by the Account Manager (this can work if the Account Manager has more senior meetings within the Client?s organisation)
By the way?
- Consider co-locating on the client side at times. Especially if it?s a big, risky and or important project.
Don't look to Prince2 to tell you how you must organise your project.
Project management is a brain-in-gear activity. You must work out who can add value by being on your project board. This requires experience - yours or other's.
The roles you end up with will be influenced by the people available: there's no point in having a role (because you think Prince2 says you should) if there is nobody able to perforn the role properly.
Having worked out what roles your project needs and who will fulfil them then name the role to conform to Prince2 as far as possible, but don't be afraid to invent a new role and role title if it would help your project.
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