prince2-msp_spiralboundPRINCE2 Levels of Project Planning

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology that was developed in the UK. This methodology defines the type of plans that a project team should consider.

Stages in PRINCE2 are defined as time-bound periods of a project, which do not overlap in time and are referred to as Management Stages. The end of a Stage may signify a major event, such as signing a major contract.  Project Phases may overlap in time, but Stages do not.  Under PRINCE2 a Project Plan is divided into Stages and a Stage plan is detailed out prior to its commencement.

PRINCE2 defines the following levels of plans:

  • Programme Planwhich may include Project Plans or one or more portfolios of multiple projects,
  • Project Plan – this is mandatory and is updated through the duration of a project,
  • Stage Planthere are a minimum of two Stage Plans: an Initiation Stage Plan and First Stage Plan. There would usually be one Stage Plan for each Stage,
  • Exception Planwhich is at the same level and detail as a Stage Plan and replaces a Stage Plan at the request of a Project Board when a Stage is forecast to exceed tolerances (contingent time), and
  • Team Planwhich is optional and would be used on larger projects where Teams deliver Products that require detailed planning. A typical example is a contractor’s plan, which would be submitted during the bid process.

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