It is a sad truth of our times that the public sector is known for its inefficiency. Very rarely are the projects they undertake delivered on time. Staying within budget and executing the right scope is also a great issue. However, some tools have been introduced to make this easier. Project management tools like PROPMPTII, PRINCE and PRINCE2 have all been innovative tools that have greatly increased the efficiency of project management.
1975: PROMPT II: Project Resource Organisation Management and Planning Techniques
Simpact Systems Ltd., came up with a world class system for project management in 1975. It was a bold response to the present computer projects which were inadequate in computing the time estimated for completion and the original budget. Such was the case, that actual execution was twice, thrice or even ten times the original estimate. PROMPTII came into the scenes by setting down guidelines for stage flow on the basis of the following factors:
- The Feasibility Study: to make key decisions on whether the project should or can be taken and if it will be effective when complete.
- The Initial Stage: to decide on how the project organisation is set up
- Stage of Specification: to work on development as per user specifications
- Stage of Design: to plan out the logical stage by stage process and to figure out to the physical design of the system being developed
- Stage of Development: to actually build and test the system
- Stage of Installation: to see if the client accepts the working system
- Stage of Operation: to fine tune the system for the work
PRINCE in 1989:
10 years after PROMPTII, PRINCE was developed and it became the UK standard for all government information systems projects. Their key features were:
- A well defined management structure
- A guideline for control procedures
- A focus on the deliverables for the customer
What made this method different was the idea of “assuring progress” via:
- Business Assurance Coordinator(BAC)
- Technical Assurance Co-ordinator(TAC)
- User Assurance Co-ordinator(UAC)
PRINCE was however criticised for being too complicated, inflexible and applicable to only large projects. This led to the new version.
PRINCE2 in 1996:
This was an upgrade from the previous edition of PRINCE. The BAC, TAC and UAC were removed from the official version. It was made more adaptable and companies who used PRINCE now could use easily the parts of PRINCE that worked best for them. Where the original was used for specifically IS and IT type projects, the new revision was more generic and hence usable for any project.
PRINCE2 in 2009:
In 2009, PRINCE was revamped again to make the method simpler and easier to customise. This new version is based on seven new principles, which include
- Continued Justification of Business
- Defining Different Roles and Responsibilities
- Learning from Various Experiences
- Managing by Exception
- Managing Processes by Stages
- Tailoring to Suit Different Environments
- Focusing on Different Products
This new revamped method was devised to give project managers better tools to handle projects more efficiently.
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