7 Prince2 Themes

by StarAgile

August 29, 2020
Category Project Management


When there is a need to evaluate the performance of each component to connect them together for the best results we need to look at themes. This will determine how to correctly connect individual elements to their best ability to other elements for a productive result. 

One such thing in managing projects is called Prince2 themes.  

Prince2 principles, themes, and processes work closely with each other in making the entire management successful. 

There are 7 Prince2 themes as discussed below in the bottom up order. We are walking you through an approach where you understand the last but the most important theme first and reach to the business case eventually. Remember to start from theme1 once you master these themes correctly. 


Theme7: Progress - This theme is used while controlling and managing the project by measuring and monitoring the progress and other data-driven checkpoints in the project.

  • Prince2 recommends doing this activity first by documenting the project initiation document (PID).
  • There 2 types of progress reporting such as 

        1. Time driven - occurs at regular intervals example milestones, checkpoints, etc

        2. Event-driven - occurs at certain events that have happened such as Issue log, exception report, etc.

        3. Besides, there are 4 types of reports namely, Checkpoint report, Highlight Report, End-stage report, and End project report.

  • At a minimum, the Prince2 recommends the PID document

Theme6: Change - These are events where there needs to be an action to control the course of the project in the right direction. Here the products might be off the mark and must identify, analyze, and control the products by doing some changes.

  • Issues are small or medium unplanned action that requires immediate attention from the project board and the management.
  • Problems are something unplanned which has a big impact and are not as small as anticipated
  • Issue/Problems register this is the document that contains the issues that occurred at various stages and action is taken to eliminate them
  • Exceptions are exceeding the aspects such as cost, time, scope, benefits or risks
  • A change control procedure is needed when we make changes to the way we work because of problems or issues or exceptions. It consists of steps such as Identify, Record, Evaluate, Purpose, Decision, Implementation steps and roll back the decision.
  • At the minimum, prince2 recommends having the Issue register and change management approach documented and followed.

Theme5: Risk - Here the uncertainty in the project is analyzed and suitable responses are made to the project for the successful outcome.

  • Risk is defined as the threats with threat actors exploiting the vulnerability with a certain probability of occurrence affects the assets and causes an impact.
  • Risks are of 2 types they are positive risk or the opportunity and negative risk or the threats.

Some definitions

       1.  Risk appetite is a unique capability of handling the risk of the organization

       2.   Risk Budget is the cost allocated for the risks responses

       3.    Risk Tolerance is the threshold risk that one exceeds causes an exception report.

  • Risk Management procedure

        Step1 - Identify the risks

        Step2 - Assess risk, for example, the Impact values and Probability values

        Step3 - Risk treatment plan

        Step4 - Treat the risks

        Step5 - Implement the risk responses

        Step6 - communicate

  • Prince2 defines 6 responses to the threats they are avoid, transfer, mitigate, accept, share and prepare contingency plan and 6 responses to the opportunities such as an exploit, enhance, reject, share, transfer and prepare contingency plans
  • Residual risks are those risks left over after the risk treatment.
  • Prince2 recommends at the minimum to have risk register and risk management approach

Theme4: Plans - The plans define answers to the questions how, when, where, and by whom and for how much.

  • There are 3 types of planning required those are

        1. Project plan which species the scope, roles, time, costs or budget, and project control data points. This plan gets updated at every stage of the project whenever there are changes.

        2. Stage plan for the day-to-day management of the project

        3. Team Plan for the work done by the team

  • There are other plans such as exception plans for meeting the time, cost and features of the products or services due to exceptions and decisions to be taken when there is an exception 
  • The time and money also needs a plan they included in the budget plan, it includes the following

        1. Money for the activity, for responses to the risks, Cost tolerances, to fund the authorized changes, and for the contingency plans

  • The product-based planning provides the following,

    1. Project descriptions

    2. Work breakdown structure

    3. Product workflow diagram

  • At the minimum have the project plan, stage plan, and team plan. Have the exceptions and budget planning also. Ensure you have the project-product descriptions and work breakdown structure.

Theme3: Quality - The supplier organization has to check at each step and stage of the projects whether the products or services that are produced are fit for purpose.

  • For the quality of the processes, products and the services the organization must measure quality at each stage of the project management
  • The high-level quality policies, procedures, processes, and standards are made by the Quality Management systems (QMS).
  • Baselines are the products after being approved of the required specifications.
  • Acceptance methods record the final approval of the products to the required specifications by different stakeholders.
  • Quality Register is the register where the results of the quality methods are recorded.
  • The minimum requirements of the prince2 are quality management approach and quality register.

Theme2: Organization - Use of this theme is to define various roles in the organization.

  • The customer organization is the organization that provides or thinks of the needs for the projects and provides the requirements and specifications from the suppliers.
  • The supplier organization is the organization that is receiving the project's requirements and specifications from the customer. This is where the actual work is done to complete the project and handover the deliverables to the customer organization.
  • Project board role is the role where the decisions of all the sorts such as when one of the key 7 aspects are exceeded and project requires direction and control over the processes and then exceptions are granted.
  • Senior user role is a role where the senior member of the customer organization interacts with the supplier and controls the project with requirements, specifications, and cost.
  • Senior supplier role is the role where the supplier organization nominates one person to interacts with the customer for the deliverables and progress of the project
  • Project assurance role is to ensure the required quality is maintained for all the deliverables as per the customer expectations
  • Project manager role is the role which is responsible for the entire project work such as progress, team motivation, project management documents creation and works, etc
  • The team manager manages the team of the specialist who works on the project. They control their team's efforts and direction for the sub delivery.
  • The project support role is where the documentation work and other administrative work takes place.
  • Stakeholders are all the roles discussed above.

Prince2 recommends that communication management documents be written that identifies all the stakeholders 

Theme 1: Business case - Here the high-level business case is specified with the continued business justification principles. The use is to achieve the business needs to make sure that the project that they are going to pursue has some business benefits such as profits and realization of the business goals and objectives. So the first step is to define the business case in detailed sentences. Think about the outputs, outcomes, and benefits of the projects. The project must see positive results from this project which is the outcome of the project. Benefits are profits, achieving the business goals and objectives, and customer retention, and customer satisfaction. Outputs are the deliverables that are provided to the customer on completing the project.

The benefits get measured in the benefits management approach.

At the minimum, the project must create the business case and update that in all the stages of the project life cycle. Then you must analyze whether there is a realization of the business outcomes and benefits. Finally, you must maintain and update the Benefits management approach.

Register with Staragile Prince2 certification to learn how to work with prince2 principles and themes for successful project management.