Chapter 17

Monitoring Progress and Setting Up Effective Controls

In This Chapter

Looking at time-driven and event-driven controls

Managing by exception and saving senior staff time – big time

Understanding tolerances and exceptions

Checking progress and keeping control of projects

Controls in PRINCE2 are simple but extremely effective. If you use controls well they save time and make progress on the project extraordinarily clear. In fact, one progress control – which is a natural progression from the product planning covered in Chapter 14 – is one of the clearest available and involves no extra work if you do your planning well.

The main control during the project stages revolves around a management approach called Exception Management. This idea comes from accounting and works very effectively in a project. The key principle in Exception Management is that if everything goes to plan, actually you don’t have too much to talk about. Only when something happens that’s significantly different to what you expected do you need to sit up and take notice. And yes, this chapter deals with what ‘significantly’ means too.

Controls in PRINCE2 break down into two groups: event-driven controls and time-driven ones. Most controls are event driven, which means that they’re triggered when something happens rather than when a certain period of time elapses. There are three time-driven controls; two progress reports at two different levels and an optional team meeting.

Controlling at Different ...

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