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Tailoring PRINCE2® in the project environment

Project ManagementWhat is tailoring?

  • Adapting the methodology to the project scale, complexity, geography and culture, whether it’s part of a programme or a stand-alone project.
  • The adoption of PRINCE2® across a company is embedding not tailoring.

General approach to PRINCE2®:

  • Tailoring does not omit elements because PRINCE2® is a web of elements. -
  • It’s more about the adaptation of the method to external and project factors so that you don’t overburden the project but still provide the right level of control.
  • It’s about applying the method with grace and ease.

PRINCE2® might need to be tailored for: 

  • Projects in a programme environment
  • Project scale
  • Commercial customer/supplier environment
  • Multi-organization projects
  • Project type
  • Sector type
  • Sector differences
  • Project management bodies of Knowledge

Projects in a programme environment:

A programme is an organisation’s temporary, flexible structure that is created to manage a group of related projects and activities. The purpose of a programme is to deliver outcomes and benefits that relate to a company’s strategic objectives. A project is generally disbanded once it is completed; a programme differes as it helps transform an organisation. So a programme exists until all benefits are realised – this could take a few years.

How PRINCE2® can be tailored when working in a programme environment:

By looking at how to adapt the themes:

Business Case

  • The project business case will be accumulated and may only consist of the benefits or budget and how the project will contribute to the programme. Justification of project will be sitting in the programme business case.
  • The business case may be created and managed by the programme.
  • The business case could exist prior to initiating a project.
  • Benefits could be defined and tracked and managed by the programme.
  • Benefits review plan could be part of the programme’s benefits realisation plan.


  • In a programme, the Senior Responsible owner is needs to make sure that the programme meets its objectives and delivers benefits.
  • There is also a programme manager and one or more business change manager. The company could also have a lead supplier and project executive within the programme.
  • The SRO confirms the project executive role.
  • The programme manager is responsible for the day to day activities of the programme on behalf of the SRO.
  • The business change manager is responsible for the benefits throughout the programme – bridge between business and programme.
  • Project team structures need to be integrated so that there are clear lines of responsibility, duplication is avoided and reports and reviews are efficient.

Integration of roles could include:

  • Programme being executive for more than one projects
  • Business Change manager in the programme could be senior user on the project.
  • Project support could be provided by the programme
  • Programmes design authority could be projects change authority or project assurance
  • The projects communication strategy could be derived from the programmes stakeholder engagement strategy.


  • QMS is derived from the programmes QMS.
  • Quality assurance and quality control could be from the programme management team.
  • Programmes design authority could advise the PM on the quality methods.


  • Standards for plans will be in the programmes monitoring and control strategy.
  • The programme may have planners that can help the PM with project and stage plans.
  • The programme dependency network will detail the projects deliverables and will be used by other related projects.


  • Projects RMS will be derived from the programme RMS.
  • A common set of risks categories should be defined.
  • Risk evaluation techniques should be implemented.
  • Mechanisms to escalate to the programme level should be used.


  • Projects configuration Management strategy will be derived from the programmes information management strategy. This describes interfaces.
  • The projects change authority may include the programme’s design authority.


  • The programme’s monitoring and control strategy may influence the projects reviews and reports and any project management standards.
  • Project level tolerances will be defined by the programme.
  • Management stages will be influenced by the programme plan.


  • The process most affected by being part of a programme is start up.
  • The programme could undertake this process almost entirely. Except the Project manager will still be responsible for the initiation stage plan.

Management products

  • Some management products for programmes and projects have the same name. You could either preface with the word Project or Programme or you could make them look very different in style so that it’s obvious to see which is which.
  • Either the programme or project will maintain the registers and logs – e.g. Risk register – one for the programme or one for each project.
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