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In Prince2® when they talk about tolerances, what are they talking about?
Tolerance and plans are major controls in the project and can be applied at all levels. The levels follow those of the organisation and plan themes. In addition, quality can be applied at product level by inclusion of quality tolerances in the product description. The principle of Management by Exception sets out the six tolerance areas to control against. The tolerances are set at one level above which they apply and are reported to this level.
Corporate or Programme Management set the overall project tolerances. The Project Board is responsible for the project operating within these tolerances. If they are forecast to be exceeded, the Project Board will escalate the exception situation to Corporate or Programme level for a decision on action. Project tolerance is recorded in the Project Plan.
The Project Board will agree tolerances for each stage with the Project Manager and this is recorded in the Stage Plan.
The Project Board reviews the project to decide whether to continue, change or stop and this can include amending stage tolerances, if appropriate. Where a stage tolerance is forecast to be exceeded, an Exception Report is produced by the Project Manager.
At a lower level: The Project Manager will agree tolerances for each Work Package with the Team Manager and these will be recorded in the Work Package. If the tolerance is forecast to be exceeded, the Team Manager will refer the matter to the Project Manager for a decision on corrective action.