Breakdown in project communications is one of the most common causes of project failure. This driver helps you think through what communications you will need, then how and if they should be recorded. It also gives advice on thinking through the most effective way of communicating.
Importantly, the driver includes stakeholder management which normally involves substantial communications and can be critical to the success of a project. Good stakeholder management makes the difference between receiving real support or only lip service.
PRIME uses Project Memos which are used in the same way as memos in a normal business operations. This is an example of where PRIME works hard to make the project environment normal, familiar and simple to understand.
There are three aspects of change and PRIME covers all of them:
1.) Changes in the organisation which affect the project;
2.) Changes within the project itself
3.) Changes needed in the organisation because of the project (business readiness)
PRIME gives you clear advice on how to manage change and avoid a major 'project killer' - scope creep. The driver covers change budgets and a time allowance for change, the different types of change and setting up simple but effective change control procedures. Business readiness is especially important. If an organisation is not ready for a project deliverable then the work to deliver on time will be wasted and benefits will be lost.
This driver covers the control you will need during the project to keep things on track. Unless your project is very unusual, it will go off course sometimes. It's important to detect early signs, identify the problem and get it back on track. PRIME covers six key areas for monitoring and control: progress, finance, staff performance, benefits, risks and quality.
During a project, problems can sometimes be more severe and they may result from things outside the project as well as inside. PRIME provides two levels of problem escalation. The first is 'Warning' where the Project Manager needs to involve the Sponsor to take action and bring the project back on track. The second is 'Crisis' where the project will not meet one (or more) key objectives. This may result in the project being shut down early.
Most projects involve some procurement and a few involve little else. This driver helps you think through and plan the procurement in your project where that will be significant. It gives you help and advice in five important areas:
1.) ‘Make or buy' decisions
2.) Understanding your organisational purchasing procedures
3.) Planning the purchasing
4.) Preparing contracts and orders
5.) Managing suppliers (including contracting)
PRIME covers these areas in a way that aligns with the ISO requirements for procurement management.
The PRIME quality driver helps you to specify and then manage quality in your project. Many projects and project management books define good project management as delivering on time and within budget. However, that is both limited and unrealistic. There is clearly no advantage in delivering a heap of unusable garbage on time and to budget.
The driver covers the delivery of quality, tied in powerfully with the products and the project reporting. That includes not setting your sights unrealistically high in the first place - not every project needs the '5 star quality' needed for 'safety of life' projects. Quality has a major impact on project costs as well as timing. Therefore specifying the right quality, not excessive quality, can reduce your project budget significantly.
Risk management is essential but not necessarily difficult. While every project needs this driver, the management of risk may be done rapidly and simply in some projects. The driver provides practical advice that integrates managing risk into the routine of managing the project. This includes a timetable identifying key points where risk analysis and then risk management are done.
PRIME incorporates the ISO requirements for good risk management. That includes the responsibilities of the Project Steering Group (or project board) for the way in which risk is being managed in the project as a whole, as well as in the control of individual risks. With PRIME, all those responsibilities and regular review points are built in.
A logical way of planning is to think what you need to produce - the 'products' - before trying to think what work will be involved. A number of approaches use this 'product based' planning in varying degrees and that includes the American Project Management Institute (PMI), the space agency NASA and some universities involved with project management.
However, PRIME has taken 'product planning' onto a whole new level. As well as flowing through smoothly to activity planning, it also links product planning to progress, quality and financial control. This is very powerful, very effective … and surprisingly simple.
This driver covers the organisational structure of PRIME and the 'people management' aspects. PRIME does not underestimate the 'soft' human factors as the success of the project ultimately depends on those involved - so this driver is important.
PRIME gives you a clear project organisation structure with crystal clear roles and responsibilities. A lot of communications problems start where people are not sure what they are supposed to be doing, and are even less clear on what others are doing.
Key aspects of project team management, relevant in a project environment, are also covered. This is an area that many other approaches do not touch on.
The financial aspects of a project are, of course, extremely important. The finance driver helps you develop a flexible project budget, based on deliverables. That allows you to quickly recalculate if something changes. It also gives advice on developing a sound, well considered Business Case.
The Business Case includes the project justification. Here the driver gives you practical advice on different project justifications, the key differences in types of benefits and - really useful - pitfalls to avoid when specifying benefits measures.
The 9 project 'Drivers' give you vital and pragmatic subject based advice on how to do the work of managing your project. Whereas the Core covers the flow of the project and defines who does what when, the Drivers give advice on 'how to' run a project and project management.
The extent to which you will use a particular driver will depend very much on the nature and size of the project. The PRIME® 'project profile' helps you think through how much you need them. This simple but powerful diagram gives you a visual image of your project..
While PRIME has been built to make running projects as easy as possible, it is nevertheless comprehensive and fills in the gaps left by other approaches in vital areas such as financial planning and control.
For more details just drive with your mouse over one of the project drivers.
PRIME the project implementation method
simple, complete, straightforward project management
|More about PRIME|